updated 03:55 pm EST, Thu December 18, 2008
Snow Leopard in a rush?
Apple may feel under pressure to release Mac OS X Snow Leopard as soon as possible, writes The Guardian. The British paper notes that developers have been receiving hints that Mac OS X will be shipping sooner than expected, which was "about a year" after this summer's WWDC event. Khronos Group president Neil Trevett, meanwhile, comments that the ratification of Apple's key OpenCL standard happened in just six months, whereas other standards have taken as long as 18 months to formalize.
In late November, Apple's director of Unix engineering, Jordan Hubbard, delivered a claim during a presentation which suggested a first-quarter 2009 release date.
It is believed that Apple wants to be ready to show off Snow Leopard at January's Macworld expo, but the greater pressure is said to be Windows 7 -- which Microsoft itself may be hurrying to ship in June, rather than late 2009 or early 2010, according to Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle. While Microsoft's motive is thought to be addressing criticism of Windows Vista, Apple may want to create a gap in which Snow Leopard is virtually unopposed.
The company is nevertheless believed to be unable to ship the OS before February, in part because OpenCL was ratified so recently. Hardware makers will need to gain certification to claim OpenCL compatibility, and the tests alone should take over a month, says Trevett. Video card makers will also need to write supporting Mac drivers, created in parallel alongside ones for Windows and Linux.