5, 4, 3, 2, 1…


Leopard delayed until October and the Macalope eagerly awaits the jackassery that will surely follow!

Bring it on!

While this is isn’t the end of the world many will make it into, it certainly is a very poor showing on Apple’s part.

  • Nima:

    Jackassery such as,


    Five bucks says George Ou is the first one to get there.

  • Tim:

    “Leopard delayed in anticipation of Vista SP1 integration”
    “Leopard delay: Why Can’t Apple Get Its Act Together?”
    “20 percent chance for another Leopard delay”
    “Dvorak: Apple should pull the plug on Leopard!”
    “Enderle: Why There Will Be No Leopard in 2007”
    “Thurrott: Leopard delayed to copy Vista!”
    “Leopard 2008. Fire the leadership now!”

  • Bill Coleman:

    One historical note. This is the first missed operating system release date in a long, long time for Apple. They have an impressive track record for getting out on-time releases.

    Unlike Microsoft, this is likely to be a one-time adjustment, and is somewhat understandable given the far-reaching nature of Leopard versus previous several releases. With a longer project timeframe because of a larger project scope, the risk of such an adjustment increases.

    I’ll be worried only if Leopard slips again.

  • Development time:
    Mac OS 10.4 Leopard = 30 months
    Windows Vista = 63 months

    Want to guess who will have the more impressive OS in less than half the time?

  • Splashman:

    I’ll be the first to admit I trash-talked the negative nellies who predicted the delay. I still think they were guessing in order to sell a story, but hey, I’m not about to deny them their moment in the sun. Have at it, frigtards.

    With a four-month delay, Leopard better be pretty darn stable. I’d hate for this to be 10.0 redux.

    For me, the worst part of the delay is having to wait to find out what the “secret features” are. I’m going to assume we’ll get a sneak peak at WWDC, because it’s hard to imagine SJ announcing new features in October, at the same time 10.5 ships.

  • Rich:

    Unfreaking believable. First, before I get called a Mac hater…. I have four Macs. I have helped get Macs into our enterprise. So the first fanboy who accusses me of being a hater, go take a flying leap.

    How can you justify the delay of an operating system on a freaking phone? Where are the priorities? How do I justify buying 100 Xserves when the OS that we’ve been waiting years for was delayed by a freaking phone? I would have been fine if they just came out said it was taking longer than they thought it would be… but to say that a phone is draining resources from completing an OS?

    This is a company with 17,787 full-time employees. How anyone can flippantly justify this as being a good thing is mind-boggling.

    They were really right when they removed “Computer” from the name of the company.

    Apple Faithful – 1.

  • Splashman:

    Christian: gotta get used to writing 10.5, dude!

    As long as we’re comparing to the craptacular Vista, I’m guessing most of us Mac users won’t have to purchase a whole new system just to run Leopard.

  • Splashman:

    You’re not a Mac hater, Rich — just a little worked up and not seeing things from Apple’s perspective.

    Remember that graph that His Steveness showed in the January keynote? The one showing the comparative size of markets for computers, game consoles and cell phones?

    That’s your answer. I know you don’t like it, and I’m sure you have many more reasons to be ticked off than I do at the delay, but if you can’t understand Apple’s position, there’s not much more to be said.

    Except this: You’ve been waiting “years” for Leopard? Really? You mean, like, since before Tiger was released? Care to explain why?

  • reinharden:

    I guess that makes it clear that the Apple iPhone (and the AppleTV) really are running MacOS X.

    ’cause we burned our developer’s time simultaneously porting OS X to two new embedded platforms and instead delayed shipping what is supposed to be one of the most important MacOS releases ever.

    If I were cynical, I’d guess that they needed to price this year’s options grant, so they needed to get some bad news out for tomorrow. This way the employees will be quite happy next week when Apple hopefully blows away earnings expectations and they find themselves instantly $10+ in the money on their new options.

    Waah! I want my pony *now*. Foot stomp!


  • Charlie Bing:

    If you’ve been reading between the lines, this shouldn’t be a total surprise, given what various developers have been saying about the list of “outstanding issues” in Leopard. I’m not even sure it’s such a poor showing on Apple’s part… stuff happens, but at least they have bitten the bullet and been up front about it.

    Having said that, I do hope they give us a glimpse at WWDC of how Leopard is progressing: it would be good to get something more than the word “Top Secret”.

  • It’s not the amount of time. It’s the fact that they said June and have had to push it back. Is 2 and 1/2 years a long time to wait for a significant operating system update? It’s on the long side, but not obscene. The problem is mismanaging expectations.

  • Splashman: indeed, I did mean 10.5. My bad. I keep writing 10.4 on all my checks.

  • Daniel:

    Another possible futur Jackassery: “Another Copland in the horizon?”

  • Watts:

    Rich, I’m not sure I see why “We’re delaying Leopard until October” with no explanation is more reassuring in some fashion than “We’re delaying Leopard until October because we’ve had engineering resources assigned to the iPhone project.”

    I’m disappointed, too, although there’s a certain irony in that — it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that (some) Mac users were complaining about how often paid upgrades for Mac OS X were coming out. (10.2 came less than a year after 10.1, 10.3 barely more than a year after 10.2.) Two and a half years between releases is quite long compared to our previous waits, yes, but it’s not earth-shaterringly terrible, either.

  • Blain:

    And I’ve been advising people to wait until Leopard before getting a new mac. D’oh! My main concern is that it does mean Apple will miss out on shipping during Back-To-School season.

    Mind you, this won’t be the first time Apple’s shipped in October (Panther, ’03) and Puma was late Sept. And it’s not as bad as slightly missing Christmas. Still. What’s more worrisome is, as Watts mentioned, the ship dates are getting further and further apart.

  • John Muir:

    Oh Apple. couldn’t you have at least made it September? Or November even!

    Guess maybe they don’t read the rumour / jackass press…

    Anyway, as someone who expected a mini-Osbourne dive in 2005 before the first Intels shipped — only to discover that it was a record sales period — I have learned my lesson. I’m not foretelling any drop in sales this time. Just a few smug buggers, a flutter of bad news where the masses don’t read it, and the real Mac heads like myself going “doh!” as the thought strikes them that we won’t have our new cat to play with until bloomin’ October.

    Oh yeah. Doh!

  • Peter:

    “Two and a half years between releases is quite long compared to our previous waits, yes, but it’s not earth-shaterringly terrible”

    Yeah, remember when releases were changed to an 18 month timeframe with 10.4 because Apple said they didn’t have the resources? Well, I guess they really don’t.

    I sort-of agree with Rich. Everybody was jumping up and down about how Apple will be making it’s way into the enterprise market and this happens? Their latest enterprise product, Mac OS X Leopard Server, will be delayed because they needed the resources that would have been assigned to it for a consumer device.

    By the way, for many companies, October also means “next fiscal year.” So much for budgets and such. Oops.

    As a Mac user, I’m used to being treated as a second-class citizen. But now Apple is doing it to Mac users so they can release a phone?

  • Splashman:

    Ah, yes. “How dare Apple force their downtrodden, long-suffering customers to use a 3rd-rate, completely unusable product such as 10.4 for an additional 4 months, just because they’re got some piddly little paradigm-shift phone in the works?”


    Naive me thought the gloating from the Windows crowd would be the worst of it.

  • WH:

    Well, I wonder when we will see

  • Rick:

    This is interesting to me because I’m expecting iPhone to rock. I also expect Leopard to rock– largely because Steve has hyped it so. Considering Vista’s recent release, the products need to be spectacular, even in Apple metrics. I’ll wait another few months for that (impatiently).

  • Rauser:

    So 10.5 is delayed… big deal! The only people that this really affects substantially are the very visible (and vocal) independent Mac software development community. Those folks have a good deal of their livelihood tied up with their software releases that are dependent upon 10.5. As for the rest of you whiners, you are not out and $$ and you might get a little crow from the PC crowd, but you’re not going to worry about keeping the roof over your head (or ceiling over your parent’s basement, as the case may be). So shut up and move on, eh?

    The average iPod/MacTv/iMac consumer has no idea what Leopard is, and they are buying in quantities that it just doesn’t matter anymore.

  • Dang. For six more months I have to plod along using the most stable operating system on the planet on a four-year old computer. Okay, so my applications open quickly, and I can have nine or ten of them open and running at once. So what if I can work in Photoshop while I’m downloading shareware, running 15 widgets, and listening to iTunes. Big frigging deal. I want Leopard NOW.

    The Windows guys should pick on us. What a bunch of spoiled babies we are.

  • subvoice:

    oh c’mon guys, why are you suprised at that? apple is in it for the money and
    the iphone just promises a better revenue than leopard. since when does
    his steveness care about the consumers needs?!

    anyways, just tells me that stevie found out that an iphone needs a bit more
    than just eye-candy.

  • Nick:

    Paul Thurrott:

    “In case there was any remaining doubts about the priorities at Apple, they have little to do with Mac OS X”


    WTF does he think the iPhone is running – Symbian?

    It’s not as if the version of OS X the iPhone is running and the full version of the operating system that Macs run are completely different. And its not as if there won’t be integration between the two. I’d expect good synch support for the iPhone in Leopard’s version of iTunes. Apple haven’t got two completely different products living on separate islands – unlike Microsoft

    I know which I want. I’m looking forward to Leopard, and I’ll definitely buy it. I’ll be interested to to find out what the iPhone is like when it comes out, but I probably shan’t buy it. But I know which product is new and making an entrance into an important new market for Apple. Consequently, I can see which needed the resources more right now.

    Thurrott concludes:

    “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Apple is two companies. One makes iPods. The other makes Macs. The iPod company is more important to management and more relevant to the future of the company.”

    I’m sure you have, Paul. I wonder why.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the iPhone is not an iPod. I, the innocent reader, am supposed to read that and think “iPhone = some kind of iPod” and “Mac = computer”. Ergo, Apple no longer cares enough about computers to make me a good one. It’s a false dichotomy. The iPhone *is* a computer, albeit a small one used for a range of specialized functions. Moreover, Apple’s expertise in hardware and software feeds into the iPhone and what they do with it will feed back into other products.

    Alan Kay said, “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”.

    Someone who spends his life puffing a company that makes commodity software for other people’s hardware can’t throw stones at Apple when it comes to seriousness about software.

    This man Thurrott consistently and deliberately misrepresents Apple and Apple products, and it’s clear whose interest he is doing it in. Everyone knows he’s doing it. It’s so obvious that Leo Laporte, who uses him for radio shows and podcasts, has taken to regularly saying Thurrot is not doing it in order not to lose credibility for employing him. The Leo doth protest too much, methinks.

  • Chris:

    Paul Thurrott:

    “Apple delays Leopard. Again.” – Huh?

    I can’t remember Apple delaying Leopard before. As far as I know, this is the first delay, isn’t it?

  • Andy:

    The iPhone is a totally new platform for Apple. It is, in many ways, the future. It’s the product that will carry Apple through the next five years, like the iPod carried them through the last five.

    Mac OS X remains incredibly important to Apple – more than ever, I’d argue. Mac OS X runs the AppleTV don’t forget, and by all accounts the iPhone too.

    So, yes it’s important they get the iPhone out on time. Yes, it’s not good to slip. No, this is not the end of the world, and Mac OS X 10.5 will be out this year.

  • Rich:

    To be honest, I don’t really care much about the delay. I care about the reasoning. I care about the apparent change in focus at Apple — which I disagree with vehemently and basically makes me look like an idiot to my management for pushing Apple in the enteprise. I’m sorry, the OS and hardware company we use can’t deliver because they are focusing their resources on a phone.

    And Splashman. I went WWDC last year. I spent 98% of my time attending sessions which are still completley useless in a production environment because they require an OS that is not available. By the way – Apple hasn’t made the October date yet.

  • If you have worked on large software projects, you know that there are two ways to handle scheduling. Either you hold fast to your estimated dates (and thus deliver variable quality every time), or you ship the product when it has reached a certain level of quality, and the dates are variable. Given that Apple is pursuing the latter tack instead of the former, everyone should be pleased.

  • Bergamot:

    “In case there was any remaining doubts about the priorities at Apple, they have little to do with Mac OS X”

    Then why work on Leopard at all? Why not just say “Mac OS X is functionally complete, so from now on we’re just going to focus on app updates and bug fixes.”?

    “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Apple is two companies. One makes iPods. The other makes Macs.”

    Wouldn’t the fact that they’re able and willing to move developers from one project to the other suggest that they’re *not* “two companies”?

    A three month Leopard delay annoys a few people, and is a moderately undesirable PR move. A three month iPhone delay is an utter disaster. Do we really need to cook up conspiracy theories to explain why Apple chose the former?

  • Bill Coleman:

    Re: Paul Thurrott — I don’t see the “Again” part here. When Leopard was announced, it was announced for 1H2007. We hoped it might be earlier, but it didn’t happen.

    Like I said before — I’d start worrying if Apple delayed it more than once. (You know, like Microsoft always does…. )

  • Quix:

    Leopard: I can wait.

    iWork/iLife updates: I can’t wait. And where’s my Excel killer?

    Sad, Apple, At least give us some inkling about the status of iWork/iLife.

  • Brian:


    It’s not being delayed for a phone. It’s being delayed due to the development needs of the version of Mac OS X that runs on the phone.

    The equation is not:

    iPhone > Mac OS X

    But rather:

    Completely new version of OS X > Replacing existing, stable, working version of OS X

    From my perspective, that’s not really a problem.

  • Nick:

    Here’s another delightful piece of FUD emanating from another Redmond mouthpiece.

    Brad Smith of Microsoft has apparently said that Apple’s trying to persuade the record labels to drop DRM is all a fiendish plot. Apparently, dropping DRM will result in more downloads, which will be good for iPod sales.

    You don’t say! Quite true, Smith. And this is just why the claims of various people that Jobs didn’t mean what he said about dropping DRM were so patently absurd.

    However, Smith implies that this will somehow be a bad thing for the labels.

    “In a curious twist to the fight between Microsoft and Apple in the digital device market, Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president Brad Smith told reporters that Apple shouldn’t blame the record labels, suggesting that Apple’s push to get the labels to drop their desire for DRM restrictions on digital downloads is really an effort to gain more market share for iPod. The implication being that said effort would be coming at the labels’ expense.”


    This is at odds with previous Microsoft claims:

    “The EMI announcement is not exclusive to Apple,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “Consumers have made it clear that unprotected music is something they want. We plan on offering it to them as soon as our label partners are comfortable with it.”


    The truth is quite plain. Microsoft doesn’t want DRM-free music and sees DRM-free music as a way in which wicked Apple, and other stores not associated with Microsoft, can tempt the labels to release people from being tied in to subscription services from Microsoft’s “partners” that use Microsoft DRM.

    In other words, never mind what “consumers have made clear”. They really *ought* to be forced to take what would be good for Microsoft.

    Steve Jobs may not be an angel, but he does listen to customers – what Microsoft just referred to as “consumers” (and that was when they were being smarmy) – and doesn’t seem to wish only to screw them. Even better, there’s a good fit between Apple’s interests and the interests of end users.

  • It’s not the end of the world, to be sure, but in addition to Leopard-only developers, the other community hurting in this announcement is education.

    An October release means there’s no hope of sneaking the upgrade into the 07 budget or getting it installed for student labs for the fall. The upgrade will have to wait until the 08-09 school year for most edu buyers. (Ironically, when most are planning to be forced into a Vista move on the Windows side.)

  • Splashman:

    Rich, you’re giving Chicken Little a run for his money.

    OSX and Macs are absolutely central to Apple’s strategy. Without both, they couldn’t have iPods, iPhones, AppleTVs, or any of the gadgets which you are so insistently hyperventilating about.

    If you want to argue that the delay due to the iPhone is proof of Apple’s supposed change in priorities, you’ll also have to argue that since I spend one week a year hunting with my buddies, I no longer love my wife and kids. This delay is proof of nothing more than the fact that Apple does not have unlimited human resources. Shocking.

    Seriously: step back from the brink. If “management” is going to think you’re an idiot, it will be for other reasons than Apple.

  • Splashman:

    Quix: Geez, I hadn’t even thought about the ramifications to iLife/iWork. I agree with you: the delay to Leopard doesn’t bother me, but I was *really* looking forward to seeing the iApps in June.

    Interesting — same sort of problem that MS ran into. Delay to Vista meant delay to Office update. Seems like this will have some serious ripple effects in Apple’s revenue stream, albeit only for four months. I wonder if it will affect any pro app updates.

    I suppose it’s possible for Apple to surprise us and release the iApp updates in June, but I doubt it. Seems like the Leopard tie-in is almost inevitable.

  • artMonster:

    I don’t doubt that Apple has had to divert resources from the OS X side of things. I think there are a number of new devices (of course unannounced) that will flow from where Apple has gone with the iPhone.

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