The rumors were right, Leopard has been delayed again. This time, until at least October. Apple’s official announcement says:
“The iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS® X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard’s features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones.”
You can definitely tell where Apple’s priorities are right now. Maybe that shift in focus came when Apple dropped “computer” from their name back in January. When Apple released their first quarter results in January, 48% of their sales came from the iPod alone. Add in iTunes sales, and the soon to be iPhone, and their computers will definitely be last on the totem pole.
Their focus tends to point towards potential new customers that they’ll scoop up in the future instead of an equal focus on both the past loyal customers who are just waiting for new software, and the new ones.
If you’ll recall, Leopard was originally supposed to ship before Vista, and then it got moved to right around when Vista was going to get released. After that didn’t happen, it was pushed to Spring 07’, and now at the earliest, it will be an October 07’ release.
What’s also ironic is that two weeks ago, rumor had it that Leopard was going to be pushed back to October 2007, but because of Vista. It was said that Apple wanted the new operating system to support Vista through an integrated version of Boot Camp. But then a week later, Boot Camp 1.2 was released to work with Vista. The rumor was at least half correct.
Or maybe there is more truth to that. Users are reporting problems with the new Boot Camp 1.2 software, even though it’s supposed to support Vista. It sounds to me like there’s a lot going on that Apple needs to iron out before Leopard will be ready for its grand entrance.
Also funny: Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet says that if she were Microsoft, she’d start a new campaign – “Cupertino, start your photocopiers!” This of course, mocks Apple’s previous campaign, “Redmond, start your photocopiers.”Their excuse is that they pulled their engineers from Leopard to the iPhone project, much like what caused the Vista delay when Microsoft pulled engineers to work on XP Service Pack 2. Their campaign would go something like, “Who’s copying who now, huh? We thought of the not-enough-engineers excuse way back in 2004!”