When Apple previewed OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” at WWDC this past summer, it said the latest update to OS X would arrive in about a year. A rather long development cycle of 18 months for a relatively minor upgrade (from the user’s perspective at least) that improves multi-core processor support, enhances GPU performance, enables larger amounts of RAM and features the new QuickTime X. A recent presentation by Apple’s Director of Engineering of Unix Technologies, Jordan Hubbard, revealed that the actual ship date for Snow Leopard may be much sooner than the original target date. A single slide during Hubbard’s presentation at LISA ’08, a technical conference for engineers and system administrators, chronicles Mac OS X development from its public beta in 2000 to its current iteration. The last line on the slide includes a projected release date of Q1 2009 for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Surprise, surprise – that is a good six or seven months earlier than expected and makes for a slightly speedier 14-month development cycle. This seemingly contradictory release date leaves us wondering whether this is an oversight, an optimistic projection that may be end up being a moving target or is Hubbard hinting at good things to come for the upcoming Macworld 2009 slated for January 5-9 in San Francisco? We are hoping for the latter but only time will tell.
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