updated 11:15 am EST, Wed November 18, 2009
OS likely to have major interface changes
Apple is in early development of the next major version of Mac OS X, evidence suggests. The information comes by way of the open-source launchd framework, which is used to boot Mac OS X and manage its processes. The framework's codebase was recently updated, and a posted changelog contains the entry "< rdar://problem/7386864> 11A47: SecurityAgent no longer visible via Accessibility."
The entry reflects the Apple identification scheme for OS builds, which includes a first number for major versions, a letter for minor versions, and a second number marking smaller iterations. The launch edition of Leopard was 9A571 for example, whereas Snow Leopard was 10A432. Mac OS X 10.6.2 is 10C540. The use of "11A47" in code not only indicates that Mac OS X 10.7 is under construction, but that the project is several weeks old.
It is generally assumed that v10.7 will mark a significant departure for the Mac OS, as Apple has long admitted that Snow Leopard was intended as an intermediate refinement. The potential direction of the OS is uncertain, though the company may be interested in continuing its expansion of touch technology.