Apple to Preview Leopard at Developer Conference

"Leopard," the next major upgrade of Mac OS X, will make its first public appearance when Apple Computer convenes its annual World Wide Developers conference in August. Mac fans are predicting that Apple will also announce new Intel-based desk

Apple Computer will provide the first public preview of "Leopard," the next major version of Mac OS X, when its annual World Wide Developers Conference convenes Aug. 7 in San Francisco.

As usual, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will present the opening WWDC keynote. Joining Jobs will be Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing; Bertrand Serlet, who was recently promoted to the post of senior vice president of Software Engineering; and Scott Forstall, vice president of Platform Experience.

The annual WWDC conference is open to Mac hardware and software developers and offers five days of closed-to-the-public technical sessions.

In past years, especially as the company scaled back its presence at the summer Macworld Expo in New York City, Apple has used the WWDC keynote to make major announcements, including hardware debuts.

In 2005, Jobs unveiled the companys move to Intel processors. The previous year, he offered the first public peek at the "Tiger" Mac OS X 10.4 operating system.

There is also speculation that Apple might announce new, Intel-based versions of its professional Power Mac line and Xserve server products, which are the only Mac models that have not yet migrated to Intel processors.

This has been stirred by recent news that Intels Woodcrest processor, which is designed for use in servers and perhaps professional workstations, will be released on June 26.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read the details about Intels "Woodcrest" Xeon server processor.

In fact, the wait for Woodcrest may have been behind the move of WWDC to August from its traditional June time frame.

Think Secret, a Mac-centric site that has in the past published insider knowledge of Apple product announcements, has said that the company is "on track" to deliver Woodcrest-based Xserves "around July."

Other sources have told eWEEK that Apple has been finalizing work on a Mac that can boot in under 10 seconds.

Given that the top-performing Intel-based Mac today boots in approximately 20 seconds, this information implies that a new, professional-powered Intel-based Mac is nearing release.

Think Secret also stated that the Power Mac line will move to Intels Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Duo Extreme (formerly known by its code name, Conroe) processors, and that these computers will debut around or at WWDC.

These new desktop chips will differ from the existing Core Duo processors, which run Apples Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro and iMac families, in that they will be built with a 65-nanometer process. Core 2 Duo chips will debut at clock speeds up to 2.66GHz.

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