OS X 10.5 Delayed

Following in Redmond’s footsteps, Apple has pushed-back the release of OS X 10.5, code named Leopard. This comes just a week prior to the popular World Wide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, where Leopard is to be the center of discussions. Can we still expect to see the Leopard’s spots? It’s too soon to tell.

So is this a case of Apple’s ingenuity catching up with them? Or the slow-down in development releases that Jobs spoke-of a couple years back? Or worse yet, is Apple falling into the tar-pits that Microsoft seems to find itself in these past decades years? Regardless of the circumstances that bring us to this sobering realization, it’s a downer to say the least.

What? You in the back row, “BS” you say? Well I never!!

All joking aside, this sort of thing will most likely never happen at Apple. Mostly because Apple doesn’t publicize ship dates until they are nearly upon us. They wrap themselves in secrecy in nearly everything they do. Sometimes it’s great for them, like for instance, in these type of situations. Other times it can bite them a bit, as tends to happen when the wild and creative rumor mills churn into motion prior to a public Apple event. The rumors generated tend to be much more than is ever realistically possible, leaving expectations far too high to be satisfied by Mr Jobs.

By this time next week I’m sure we’ll have seen a couple ‘Holy Canoli’ moments from Steve’s demonstration of Leopard. A couple tidbits that will have many of us begging to turn over $129 at Apple’s earliest convenience. (Built-in Parallels functionality anyone?) There will undoubtedly be a sprinkling of expected enhancements as well, to appease the more down-to-earth amongst us. Possibly tabbed iChat or a better Finder implementation.

Will Jobs announce a release date? Typically I’d say ‘no’ without any hesitation. But at this point in time, I offer a very possible ‘maybe’. I only waiver because of the circumstances at this point in time: Microsoft’s Vista resides in Purgatory as it pushes release date after release date. Apple’s market share momentum can’t be ignored. It’s a great time to strike with another release of OS X to really put Microsoft in the weeds, a safe distance behind. But were something awful to happen, resulting in Leopard missing a publicized release date, Apple would suffer a serious set back.

So sit back with the rest of us and see what Steve’s got to offer. We’ve got big plans for covering WWDC next week – or so I’m told – so enjoy a front row seat with us here at The Apple Blog!

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