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Mac OS X 10.5 delayed to ensure Vista compatibility?

No good reason for Apple to do so

Application security programs and practises

Analysis Has Apple delayed Mac OS X 10.5 - aka Leopard - to October? That's certainly what some unnamed industry sources have claimed, suggesting the delay has been made to allow the company's coders to get the OS' Boot Camp utility compatible with Windows Vista.

That claim was made today by Taiwanese newssite DigiTimes. Interestingly, it comes in the same week that US website Ars Technica published a rationale for why Leopard won't be released in April, two years after the last major Mac OS X update, Tiger.

Apple's only indication so far has been that Leopard will ship in "Spring 2007", which is usually shorthand for a year's second quarter. The company's Worldwide Developers Conference takes place in June, well within Q2, and Leopard is expected to feature prominently.

But would Apple really delay Leopard at least three months to allow it to support Vista? Boot Camp is just one small part of Leopard, and while allowing Macs to boot into Windows or Mac OS X may well be attractive to businesses - as DigiTimes' source maintains - it's hard to see a lack of immediate Vista support being a deal breaker.

As Intel revealed not so long ago, it's not upgrading to Vista until Service Pack 1 ships, and it's not hard to imagine plenty of other businesses large and small wanting to wait until Microsoft has patched some of the most irritating glitches.

Those folk who do want to run Vista on an Intel-based Mac have other options than Boot Camp, and since they're all of them are inherently likely to purchase Leopard anyway, there's little incentive for Apple to delay the OS' release to ensure users chose Leopard and Boot Camp over, say, Parallels Desktop.

Finally, Boot Camp has been out for the best part of a year now, so even if Leopard ships with an XP-only version of the utility, Apple will surely have a pre-release Vista version out soon afterward if it needs to - assuming, of course, that a Q2-released Leopard doesn't support Vista from the word go. But to delay such a major OS release just to ensure Vista compatibility seems just plain daft.

Unless there's some other, deeper reason...

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