Help, Guides, and News on making the Switch To Apple Macintosh Computers
Key Facts and Items
- At WWDC 2006 (August 2006) Steve Jobs announced a "Spring 2007" Leopard release
- Apple executives continue to highlight a "Spring 2007" release
- The latest Leopard Build (9A377a) was released to Apple Developer Connection members on March 4, 2007 - buzz in the Apple community is that the release is far from stable and not ready for release
- Steve Jobs's WWDC speech indicated Leopard had several "Top Secret Features" that could not be announced until a later date
- Macworld 2007 (January 2007) didn't disclose any "Top Secret Features"
- No details of any top secret features have emerged since then
- Mac OS X 10.4.9 Tiger has been released
Now let's analyze the initial release dates of Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger with respect to the prior OS:
As you can see, I have not filled in March 13, 2007 as the last release of Tiger because we don't know if it is. Note however that the likelihood is quite high given Apple's Mac OS X release history as charted here and no prior Mac OS X update has had a version number higher than 10.x.9. Is easy to observe that the last update to a current Mac OS X version has been released prior to the release of a new version. Also observe that the gap between the last revision of a current and new operating system has shrunk for the past three Mac OS X releases. If Leopard were to follow the same number of days between Panther and Tiger then Leopard would be released on March 27, 14 days after Tiger 10.4.9. I don't have any confidence in such an early release date.
Key Dates for 2007
- Spring 2007: begins March 21, 2007
- Summer 2007: begins June 21, 2007
- Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC): June 11 through June 15
So Leopard will be released sometime between March 21 and June 20. Note that WWDC 2007 occurs in Spring and that Apple would be well within the "Spring 2007" timeframe if it released Leopard during WWDC. I don't think such a move would be strategic because it would be in the best interest of Apple, the Apple community, and Apple investors to allow the Mac user base to have "hands on" experience prior to WWWDC. Familiarity with Leopard going into WWDC 2007 will maximize the usefulness of the event. Besides, what good would the Leopard Session Tracks be without people having some idea, knowledge, and questions about the the features and technologies in Leopard? Therefore, by releasing Leopard ahead of WWDC, it would allow Mac users, developers, the press, and others to get familiar with Leopard prior to WWDC so that the "Leopard Tracks" can be that much more useful.
Leopard Books - The Best Indicators?
Do upcoming Leopard books give the best indication of Leopard's release date? Take a look at the following publication dates (in parenthesis) for upcoming Leopard books as listed by Amazon.com:
- Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual - (May 1, 2007)
- Mac OS X Leopard For Dummies - (May 21, 2007)
- MAC OS X Leopard: Beyond the Manual - (May 28, 2007)
- Mac OS X Leopard for Starters: The Missing Manual - (June 1, 2007)
- Mac OS X Leopard Just the Steps For Dummies - (June 5, 2007)
- Mac OS X Leopard On Demand - (June 8, 2007)
- Teach Yourself VISUALLY Mac OS X Leopard - (June 12, 2007)
Tiger Books as a comparison
The first Tiger Books had publication dates prior to Tiger's release date. Mac OS X Tiger was released on April 29, 2005. Take a look at the following Tiger books and their respective publication dates:
- Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Peachpit Learning Series - (April 21, 2005)
- Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Visual QuickStart Guide - (April 26, 2005)
Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger were all released on a Friday but Puma was released on Tuesday. Leopard may follow the pattern of the prior three releases and pounce out of Cupertino on a Friday or, Apple may end up releasing it on a Tuesday as it did with Puma. Taking all factors as described in this post into consideration I expect a Leopard release to be:
- Prior to WWDC
- On a Friday or Tuesday
- Released in May 2007
- Friday May 4, 2007
- Tuesday May 8, 2007
- Friday May 11, 2007
If I had to choose one of the three dates, I'd give the edge to Friday May 11, 2007.
Don't forget about the iPhone
There's one more item to take into consideration ... iPhone. Apple indicated that it would be available in June and WWDC 2007 would be the ideal venue to announce it's availability. People will finally be able to touch and feel the iPhone instead of looking at it in a glass enclosure. I expect that Apple will announce a series of iPhone sessions prior to the start of WWDC with the goal to demonstrate the interoperability between the iPhone and Leopard.