Top Secret features in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

Top Secret features in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

Summary: Steve Jobs' keynote address at WWDC 2006 was a little out of the ordinary. Rather than trumpeting all of the big new features coming to Mac OS 10.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple
16

wwdc-top-secret.pngSteve Jobs' keynote address at WWDC 2006 was a little out of the ordinary. Rather than trumpeting all of the big new features coming to Mac OS 10.5 Leopard (due Spring 2007) Jobs specifically kept some of its major features "top secret." A stark contrast to the showman Jobs who usually whips attendees into a frenzy.

Jobs justified the secrecy by saying that he didn't want "our friends to have to start their photocopiers any sooner than they have to." A dig against Microsoft and a reference to banners hung at last year's WWDC conference.

Apple took a few friendly shots at Microsoft by hanging banners in Moscone West that taunted "Introducing Vista 2.0" and "Hasta la Vista. Vista." But it was Jobs' short and sweet Leopard demo that showed that Apple is taking its forthcoming battle with Vista very seriously.

WWDC is all about developers and developers are all about the operating system. Although Apple announced speedy Intel Mac Pros and Xserves yesterday, developers are mostly at the San Francisco confab to see the new cat. Mac OS 10.5 Leopard will go toe-to-toe with first major operating system update to come out of Redmond in five years - Vista.

The Mac OS 10.5 features that Jobs showed are impressive. Time Machine, Spaces and VoiceOver (part of the Universal Access control panel) look amazing and the much-needed improvements to Mail, iCal, iChat, Dashboard and Spotlight will breathe new life into the OS. QuickTime demos of the key Leopard features are on Apple's Sneak Peek page.

Some things that weren't mentioned in the Leopard demo include: Safari 3.0, P2P Software Update, multi-user iCal, Yahoo/MSN compatibility and VOIP in iChat, changes to Automator and more Dashboard integration. I posted part of a rumored 10.5 feature set document that was sent to the PowerPage on Friday. I suspect that Apple's Leopard team will probably wait until after Vista's feature set has been frozen before announcing some of the key new features of 10.5.

Although Apple says that Leopard will ship in 'Spring 2006' I think that it's more likely that Apple will release Leopard in January 2007 alongside iLife and iWork '07 at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

What feature do you hope that Apple is hiding in Leopard?

Topic: Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

16 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Underpromising is a good strategy

    I think it's a way for Apple to differentiate themselves further from MS--MS has gotten a lot of grief in the press for promising feature after feature, only to see them get yanked out of Vista. By not promising any feature that's not 100% sure to be in, Apple looks more reliable and trustworthy.
    tic swayback
    • It's a developers conference

      The features shown were those important for developers to think
      about how they can be included in their software products.
      Richard Flude
    • not 100% sure t

      http://www.analogstereo.com/dodge_avenger_owners_manual.htm
      us_forums@...
  • Hoped-for features

    More creative, 3D-style layout options
    alphasun2
  • Date for release

    I suspect that since... "spring 2006" is already over.. you are
    probably right on with an announcement date of Jan with release in
    March. If VIsta releases in March Apple may not want to compete
    with advertizing space at that time... but my bets are that they go
    head to head.
    aplman
  • Apple: delivering ahead of time

    "[i]Although Apple says that Leopard will ship in 'Spring 2007' I think that it's more likely that Apple will release Leopard in January 2007 alongside iLife and iWork '07 at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.[/i]"

    Apple is pretty much the ANTI-MS : they keep their new features secret and they will most likely release the OS BEFORE their "official" release date.

    All the while, MS has been burning 100s of millions in their PR machine in the last FIVE YEARS screaming about all the "new features" which are NOT MAKING IT ( :-) :-) ) in their new os... and the delays which are getting longer and longer


    It is funny that punny Apple also designs their OWN h/w AND DO the OS AND the APPs. Imagine if MS had to do the SAME.... they would had NEVER LEFT MS-DOS ;-) Super-pathetic ....
    michael_t
    • Apple will deliver when it's ready - just like MS

      The difference is that Apple will probably have far fewer battles
      getting it to market. I think MWSF is probably a very reasonable
      goal - demo the full version with the "top secret" bits thrown in
      and ship before the end of March - probably sooner.

      As far as the top secret parts, keeping them secret allows Apple
      to keep them from MS and also gives them a chance to pull any
      part they are not happy with. Those bits can be added to 10.5.x
      or saved for 10.6 if there is a significant amount of work still to
      be done.

      Apple is also ahead of MS in development because they do not
      have that albatross called "backward compatibility" handing
      around their neck. That is a huge burden for MS and one they
      are going to need to walk away from at some point in the future.
      Ken_z
      • Backward Compatability... an Albatross?

        [b]Apple is also ahead of MS in development because they do not have that albatross called "backward compatibility" handing around their neck. That is a huge burden for MS and one they are going to need to walk away from at some point in the future.[/b]

        Given that 85 to 90% of the world runs on Microsoft OSs, backward compatability is a GOOD thing. NOT having to buy an upgrade to your OS, and having to spend the other arm, leg and so forth on upgrading your other 3rd party software is a very, very good thing. Makes selling upgrades less painful.

        Geeze... People, make up your minds! On one hand, backward compatability is a thing to be avoided, and yet, on the other hand, you guys accuse MS of locking people in, cramming upgrades down people's throats, and just being nasty greedy corporate bastards.

        And exactly how is Apple any different? Just because they put out those cutesy yet sickeningly condescending "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ads doesn't mean they're NOT out to lock people in, cramming their upgrades (at the tune of $129 per year) and aren't greedy in their own right.
        Wolfie2K3
        • Limited timeframe

          1) You never HAVE to upgrade. You can always stay where you are if you are happy. Many firms and people do.
          2) Yep, you're right that Apple are driven to release OS updates to make money, and that it is getting a bit cheeky. I think you should at least get the next version free or substantially discounted, given that the extra functionality is often new APIs (MS may not have updated Windows substantially but there has been a lot of progress in .NET and Direct X in the last 5 years).

          3) It's always surprised me anyone has seen Apple as more 'open' than MS, but that's because they've done very well out of being seen as 'the opposition' - a position fast being taken over by Linux. Apple will increasingly have to trade on what they can offer, rather than to people who will always 'think different'. They do actually have a lot they can trade on, as many Unix people who have come to OS X will testify - they just seem really averse to actually marketing that side.

          4) However, I think there is still an advantage in Apple's model - they typically keep a 'compatibility window' of about 7 years - 'Classic' mode helped the migration to OS X, which has tied with the Intel move, but then there is Rosetta to enable that, which I suspect will also die at some point in the future.

          MS should really do something similar - create a new OS that runs Windows in a sandbox a la Classic, rather than trying to do it piecemeal, replacing a few components each version.
          JulesLt
        • Actually...

          "[B]Given that 85 to 90% of the world runs on Microsoft OSs, backward compatability is a GOOD thing. NOT having to buy an upgrade to your OS, and having to spend the other arm, leg and so forth on upgrading your other 3rd party software is a very, very good thing. Makes selling upgrades less painful.[/B]"

          It's the reason security in Microsoft has been taking a pounding. If they would just bite the bullet like Apple did and create a secure from line 1 OS, then... then the additional albatross of poor quality and inability to be secure can ALSO be taken from their neck.
          Linux User 147560
      • IF MS waits until Vista is ready they will NEVER deliver ... :-)

        It is too mentally taxing to try to BOTH DESIGN and BUILD something like everybody else. They just have to accumulate heaps of code made by different losely cooperating teams, stich them together in an unstable whole and then slap a sexy/sleazy exterior to bind everything together.

        They THEN WANT TO start correcting piece by piece their Frankenstein ;-)
        michael_t
  • What feature do I hope is hiding in Leopard?

    The best thing that Apple could do for Leopard is to rip Mach out of the core of OS X, and bring Darwin the rest of the way up to the standard of modern BSD as a top notch server as well as desktop OS.

    Fully implement Jails, give us standard device I/O, overlay file systems, and make UFS a fully paid up member of the suite... right now XServe has no traction because half the tools you need for a server just aren't there.

    For the client side... a networked window system based on Core Image would kick Terminal Server's bitmapped butt.
    Resuna
    • Acually...

      "The best thing that Apple could do for Leopard is to rip Mach out
      of the core of OS X, and bring Darwin the rest of the way up to the
      standard of modern BSD as a top notch server as well as desktop
      OS."
      acually. Mac OS X uses the Mach 2.5 Kernel, which is a hybrid
      kernel, so it is vastly superior to the darwin.
      Graham Fluet
  • iChat MSN and Yahoo intergration

    I'm please to read that iChat is likely to have msn/yahoo
    intergration. I have been a mac user for about 10 years now and
    have been very disapointed with Microsofts feeble offerings of
    it's messenger app for apple. The lack of webcam intergration
    and limited functionality for Mac users is an adolescent attempt
    at trying to poke the mac community in the eye. 'Exhilirate your
    inner penpal' - pah! Here in the UK the preffered messenger of
    choice is MSN so you either use it or you lose-out as chatters
    here tend to stick to with Microsoft.

    The features I'm hoping for are, as mentioned MSN and yahoo
    intergration into ichat with full ichat functionality, i.e. the use of
    isight and webcam, voice and intergration with all the main
    players (much like a multi-messenger such as adium) including
    services such as SKYPE and other VOIP services. I think that it
    would also be good to have a service wherby you can have
    multi-client group messaging. For instance a video conference
    across services, i.e. one user on SKYPE, another on Yahoo and
    another on MSN and yourself as an iChatter being the jovial
    host!
    scallydandan-20970470325579501151018510585569
    • MSN

      You don't have to use MS's client for MSN. You can use Adium, which is free and covers iChat, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, etc.

      http://www.adiumx.com/index.php
      gslusher
      • Adium

        I already use Adium, the point I was making was I would like to be
        able to use MSN messenger with the same functionality that is
        given to Windows users but not afforded to Mac users. e.g. webcam
        and voice intergration. And whilst adium is a great app, it would be
        nice to have them built into the OS, much like Windows has.
        scallydandan-20970470325579501151018510585569