Late rumor shows new developer Mac; is this for real?

Ah, there’s nothing like the thrill of last-minute keynote rumor-mongering. This is one I don’t think anyone saw coming, which in my book lends it some credibility. TUAW has posted some images of a page purportedly from Apple’s web site advertising Mac Fusion, a new Mac specifically for developers with the tagline, “Leave your apps behind. Build your apps for OS X.” The photos look legit insofar as it looks exactly like Apple’s marketing. That said, I’m simultaneously skeptical and intrigued by this new rumor.

Why skeptical? For starters, why would Apple release a Mac specifically for developers? Running WIndows and Linux via Boot Camp? Can’t you do that with any other Mac? How would this Mac be any different than a Mac mini with the developer tools installed? Second, what is it with people taking photos of the screen instead of screenshots? Is it to lend credibility to it? “I took a photo therefore it has to be real”? Never mind the fact that photos can be doctored, often with convincing results if the right person is at it. Lastly, how would Apple get away with the name “Mac Fusion” without upsetting VMWare, makers of the popular Fusion?

On the other hand, I am intrigued, despite my skepticism. I mean, this comes out of nowhere. Usually we see fakes of stuff we expect to see, not something totally out of nowhere. The marketing is spot-on Apple, as I mentioned before, in terms of the slogan and page layout. Also, the page mentions “OS X,” not “Mac OS X,” which is consistent with Apple’s apparent shift in OS X branding. And perhaps there are other special features with developers in mind; there’s not a whole lot to go off on with these photos.

Looks interesting, maybe. So to sum it up, this is could be real but is likely a well-done hoax. Only a few hours left until we know for sure.

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