The Current State of OS 10.6 (Or: It's Coming Way Later Than You Think)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Riemann Zeta, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Riemann Zeta macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Many rumours have been thrown around those wacky tubes of the interweb about how Apple is nearing completion of Snow Leopard (10.6) and that the OS could see RTM anywhere from the 1st quarter of 2009 to June-ish. However, it would appear that Snow Leopard is actually a long, long way off. If Apple was at all prepared for a mid-2009 release, we would have seen a new developer's build at Macworld. Since Apple had absolutely zero information about 10.6 at Macworld and has only demonstrated a couple of extremely preliminary, pre-beta builds to a select few developers, it stands to reason that they are in no way close to a 10.6 release. Based upon the recent Win 7 Beta, it is apparent that we will certainly see Windows 7 before Snow Leopard. Apple doesn't even have a coherent beta build available yet--the developer's builds are extremely buggy and aren't even close to being feature locked. This certainly doesn't convey the idea that the OS is only a few months away from being complete.

    I think Apple's biggest hangup with Mac OS 10.6 is that they still haven't decided what to do with the 64bit issue. They have a few (less than ideal) options here:

    (1) Make 10.6 pure x64 only, preventing anyone with a machine that is not a Core 2 or above from running it and breaking compatibility with any pre-10.6 driver/framework/extension. Since they would not even bother with any kind of x32 support (let alone PPC support), I could see this pissing off a lot of people.

    (2) Make it a hodgepodge of x32 and x64 code (like 10.5), but this time with some real x64 effort (i.e. bundled programs recompiled, etc...), but still not have a true x64 kernel or kernel-mode drivers.

    (3) Split 10.6 into two separate strains--like MS does for Windows--with the 10.6 installer disc deciding to install either the x32 or the x64 version respectively, depending on the encountered CPU. With this third option, all applications, drivers, frameworks, etc... complied for use on 10.6 would become mandatory "Universal i386" binaries containing both x32 and x64 code instead of the current x32/PPC code (as Apple has killed PPC anyway, for better or worse). Users with the x64-only strain will not be able to use any legacy x32-era drivers or extensions, just like Win 6/7 x64 users cannot use any 32bit device drivers.

    Any ideas/comments on which of the three Apple might choose? It seems like the third option would be the most attractive, as (2) would be the half-assed x64 commitment and (1) would probably create a "legacy hardware support" backlash (a la Vista) and would hinder adoption of 10.6.
     
  2. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #2
    You can already do all of the above with the latest build.
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #3
    Does this even matter?

    The masses should be/are happy with Leopard for the moment. Given the amount of switchers, having a new OS released so quickly might actually be a frightening experience. Plus, having a beta of Windows 7 out doesn't really mean that a gold release is imminent. I've yet to see how many versions of W7 will be available for what pricepoints..

    W7 UberUltimate Home Pro for $450!
     
  4. Riemann Zeta thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    True. I still like Leopard more than Windows 7, despite all the pretty flashiness and eye-candy of Win 7. The Mac UI (to use a cliche) paradigm has always seemed more logical and cleaner than the plethora of different Vista/7 UI types (you have the nice looking modern UI for some bundled parts of the OS but the ugly old NT4/2000 UI for others; some programs have a nice clean interface, others just look like Win 3.1 programs with a translucent window border). And it is dumb of MS to keep the 25 different OS types as it is all the same kernel, be it Windows 7 Ghetto Edition for 3rd World Nations, Windows 7 Ultimate Meat-Lovers Supreme or Windows 7 for Computers That May or May Not Have a Pen. It actually takes them more work to deliver all those goofy versions of Vista/7 with features stripped out and it makes their product lineup sound like Streetfigher 2...Windows 7 Advanced Turbo Championship Edition Hyper-Fighting.

    But I do disagree with the comment about the polish of the Win 7 Beta being meaningless. MS has stated that Win 7 is feature-locked and that there will be no Beta 2--after this, it is RC1 then RTM. So it does seem like development is progressing faster than it did for other minor Windows updates, such as Win 2000 --> XP. The only part of Windows 7 that currently sucks is IE8--its rendering engine is a joke compared with WebKit.

    The only things that I would like to see in Leopard are better OpenGL support/GPU drivers (why should MS have all the cool 3D support) and my damn translucent menus back (the ones from OS 10.5.1).
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #5
    It was never going to come in Q1 2009, but the release date will be announced, at least, at WWDC.
     
  6. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

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    #6
    You do realized that Intel has been releasing 64bit processors for sometime now, most of the core 2 line and most xeon's are capable of this already.

    http://www.intel.com/technology/intel64/index.htm

    It used to be a old notion that X64 was only for the AMD/Operton crowd but that hasn't been the case for sometime now. Now granted if they did this it would of course screw over the older Intel processors that aren't EMT64 capable (intel's 64Bit instruction set).
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    I don't know nuthin' about the technical issues, but I do know that we should not read anything into the lack of a 10.6 demo at Macworld. Apple seems to have deliberately kept that presentation low-key. All the evidence points towards a number of new products coming fairly soon that were not mentioned in January.
     
  8. Riemann Zeta thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Yes I did. That is why I said "preventing anyone with a machine that is not a Core 2 or above from running it." The original Intel Core Duo chip that Apple used when they were first transitioning to i386 does not have any x64 capability, only Core2-based chips have it. Obviously 64bit support does not require an AMD chip (although Intel did just copy the x64 instruction set from AMD, all without ever giving AMD any credit for designing it...without AMD, 64bit computing would not exist at the consumer level, considering the massive failure that was the DOA "Itanium" architecture).
     
  9. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #9
    I would to note, for my own edification, that (IMO) the optimization of 10.6 SHOULD have been part of 10.5.
     
  10. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #10

    ummm.. It's still January.;)
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    Indeed it is, Watson!
     
  12. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #12
    Tiger was demoed at MWSF 2004 and it was released three months later. So I would agree that Snow Leopard is not likely to come in the first half of this year.

    Although it might have been that Apple only had time to demo so many products and couldn't fit in Snow Leopard. That might also have been the reason for no iMac and Mac mini then.

    Another possibility is that Apple wants to wait for more consumer-oriented improvements (new GUI) before doing a non-WWDC demo.
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Or it might well be that Apple is deliberately playing down the importance of the Macworld keynote, if only because they won't be doing them anymore.
     
  14. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #14
    Option 2 is probably more likely. I would love them to just focus on 64-bit but perhaps 10.7 they can slim all the 32-bit underwear off.

    I am hoping for June but it could be late summer.
     
  15. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I think Apple is probably regretting ever shipping 32-bit Intel chips. It was so stupid to do so, but I guess when Steve Jobs decides he is mad at IBM/Freescale and wants 'power per watt,' planning for the future is irrelevant.

    Now they are in the position of getting every device driver replaced again, after doing it just 3 years ago(intel), and again 3-4 years before that (for OS X).

    As to AMD, you can give them credit by calling the architecture by it's real name: AMD64. Intel isn't required to, because of the original cross licensing agreements that brought AMD into the x86 chip business in the 1980s.
     
  16. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #16
    It's mostly 64-bit already.
     

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  17. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

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    #17
    There were some builds before the holidays in Decemeber, and another one very recently that I can't talk about...
     
  18. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #18
    I don't think you are all that familiar with software releases.

    3 points I want to focus on.
    First. Windows 7 is nothing but a framework as current. The framework for OS 10 has been in continuous development for a decade now.

    Second. Why would Apple show a bunch of people at a consumer expo a developer's build?

    Third. If 10.6 is pure 64 bit with no legacy code how then is Apple not able to make up their minds?


    To encompass it all. How do you figure all this? What are your credentials?
     
  19. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #19
    Windows 7 is scheduled for next year. I doubt we'll be waiting that long for SL. Apple's withdrawal from MacWorld was all about this. People expecting something there that didn't come which led to all sorts of speculation about late releases, difficulties etc. I wouldn't be surprised to see an updated press release within the next month. I'm confident SL will be out by the summer.
     
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #20
    This year.

    I am confident they'll tell us the ship date at WWDC and it be out in the fall.
     
  21. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #21
    That's what I'm saying.
    Also remember be patient. Breathe. Go outside. Play in your garden. Dance. Get drunk. Sleep in. Drink coffee. Be patient.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #22
    I think this rather does have the potential to create a small nuisance for Apple, although Apple has already pretty well established that they will make new releases incompatible with old hardware essentially whenever they feel like it, even in the absence of any hardware-driven rationale for the change. Also the upside is that the longest lifetime hardware -- the Mac Pro -- was never released with 32 bit hardware.
     
  23. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #23


    Next year. Announced in 2007 and developed for release in three years according to Microsoft...
     
  24. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #24
    Mhmm. The current beta expires August 1, 2009.

    I'll bet that's their new release date.
     
  25. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Ya, but it's the software infrastructure that is the big challenge. If they had started Intel @64-bit, they would only have to deal with the app transition today. At this point, they have to deal with app+device driver transition.

    Apple can't deprecate the whole software ecosystem; they may as well junk OS X at that point.
     

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