IHT on Apple Leopard

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Sat Apr 14 07:27:29 CDT 2007

  International Herald Tribune <http://www.iht.com>
Apple will delay release of new OS X version for 4 months
By John Markoff
Friday, April 13, 2007

*SAN FRANCISCO:* Apple, the computer and consumer electronics company, 
is delaying the introduction of the new version of its flagship 
Macintosh OS X operating system as much as four months because of 
quality issues.

The company previously said the program would ship this spring.

The uncharacteristic schedule slippage is particularly embarrassing for 
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, because it had previously poked 
fun at Microsoft's struggles to complete its Vista operating system.

Microsoft finally shipped the consumer version of its Vista operating 
system in January - roughly two years late - after starting the project 
over in the face of technology and security challenges.

Since its release, Vista has generally received a lukewarm or negative 
reception from software reviewers.

Last year at a conference, Apple's head of software development, 
Bertrand Serlet, took the stage to illustrate how a number of Vista's 
features were similar to those in Apple's current operating system, 
known as Tiger.

"If you can't innovate, I guess you just imitate," he said. "But it's 
never quite as good as the original."

Microsoft executives have declined to comment on the OS X delay, which 
was announced after the close of the stock market.

But the company took a philosophical stance in a news release.

Pointing to the time needed to shake out the errors from the software 
code for the program, called Leopard, the company said in a statement, 
"Life often presents trade-offs, and in this case we're sure we've made 
the right ones."

In the release, Apple stated that it now planned to give Macintosh 
software developers a test version of the program when they attend the 
company's Worldwide Developers Conference in early June and that the 
final software would ship in October.

In its statement, Apple cited the need to divert its team of programmers 
to the challenge of introducing the iPhone, which it said was still on 
track for shipment in "late June."

Apple's chief executive, Steven Jobs, has been promoting new features 
expected to be introduced in Leopard since the program was first 
announced at the company's World Wide Developer Conference last June.

Leopard is expected to have a series of consumer-oriented features, 
including sophisticated data backup, improved graphics and a series of 
new user control abilities.

Jobs also said the program had "secret" features that would be unveiled 
closer to the program's commercial introduction.

"This throws a little bit of water on their parade," said David Smith, 
an analyst who tracks operating systems at Gartner Inc., a market 
research firm. But he noted that large software projects were frequently 
late and said that the slip would not prove damaging to Apple over the 
long run.

In the past, Apple under Jobs's leadership has executed several earlier 
technology transitions relatively flawlessly, including the introduction 
of the conversion of his Next operating system to Macintosh and the 
shift from Power PC to Intel microprocessors.

The operating system delay is the second slip for Apple this year.

The company had said that it would ship its AppleTV video system in 
February, but it was not available until March 21.


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