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Summary:

In case you were getting excited about Snow Leopard coming out anytime soon, or maybe holding off on a hardware purchase in anticipation of a WWDC ’09 release, you might be disappointed by the news that it likely won’t make it into the hands of consumers […]

snowleopardIn case you were getting excited about Snow Leopard coming out anytime soon, or maybe holding off on a hardware purchase in anticipation of a WWDC ’09 release, you might be disappointed by the news that it likely won’t make it into the hands of consumers by that early June date. AppleInsider is reporting that the release schedule of the new Mac OS has many stages, the last of which won’t take place until two months after the Developer’s Conference.

What we will see June 8, if AppleInsider’s source is to be believed, is a major developer update to Snow Leopard that will be the first release to be “feature complete,” including all interface changes and functionality additions withheld from prior builds. In other words, they’ll be able to show off a product at WWDC that will look pretty much like what consumers will be getting two months later.

Between now and then, there should be one more build, which will bring “major updates” to what we’ve already seen. Then, after the release at WWDC, we should see one more release prior to the Gold Master build in order to work out any remaining kinks.

All of this means you won’t be able to get your hands on Snow Leopard until late summer or fall of 2009, when Apple generally releases hardware updates. Which in turn means that if you’re waiting to pull the trigger on a new computer purchase, you have to be willing to wait almost 6 months. It also means that Snow Leopard will drop much closer to the projected release date of Windows 7, so we could be in for quite the OS grudge match.

  1. Hasn’t Apple always – or at least recently – offered a free upgrade for impending OS updates? (“Buy a Mac now, get Snow Leopard when it ships”)

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  2. Only if the release date of the operating system is known – we’re too far out now. If it ships in September all back to school purchases would qualify for an update, but that’s about it.

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  3. My money is still on an October release date, similar to Leopard’s launch. Yes they have had different release dates over the years, but Panther had an October debut as well. Heck, have your cake and eat it too- if you get your Mac near the launch date they throw in an upgrade disk with the Leopard install.

    Still by now, 10.5.6 is a pretty stable build with a lot of the kinks ironed out. No shame stickin’ with it for awhile.

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  4. Actually im happy to hear this news.
    I really want this next version to well cooked.
    Leopard was released in a rush with too many bugs IMHO.
    Very un Apple like.
    Hope we return to solid releases again.
    Bugridden rush releases are too much deja vu M$ for my liking…

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  5. I am betting on an August release date. That will ensure that they have a shiny (and relatively new) OS to install on the back-to-school computers. I haven’t looked at the trends in a while, but if I remember, that is typically when they move the most computers.

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  6. It would be a shame if Snow Leopard was released at around the same time as Windows 7. I am really hoping Snow Leopard is released ahead of Windows 7 – I would love to see Apple take the wind out of Microsofts sails yet again.

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