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Apple sets Snow Leopard release dev con dates

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Apple announced on Thursday that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held on June 8 through 12, as expected.

As it has been since 2003, WWDC will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center and will feature educational opportunities covering Mac and iPhone development and IT-related integration and technologies.

The Mac track will focus on how to take advantage of the "64-Bit From Top to Bottom" nature of Mac OS X version 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard) while remaining compatible with previous Mac OS X versions; using the CPU-to-GPU offloading capabilities of OpenCL and the multicore assistance of Grand Central; and learning how to modify code to comply with the new APIs of the new version of Apple's ubiquitous QuickTime media technology, QuickTime X.

Although Apple's announcement doesn't specifically say whether a shipping Snow Leopard will debut at WWDC, the focus on specific features such as OpenCL, Grand Central, and QuickTime X raises our hopes.

The iPhone track will - no surprise - focus on the SDK for the now-beta iPhone OS 3.0. The IT track will - again, no surprise - cover Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard, but it will also focus on iPhone OS integration in an IT context as well as new and enhanced features such as Wiki Server 2, Podcast Producer 2, Push Notification Server, Mobile Access Server, and the new CardDAV-based Address Book Server.

WWDC is not a casual investment. First, you need to be member of the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) to attend, and then you'll need to pony up $1,295 (£895) - and that's only if you register before April 24th. If you procrastinate past that date, it'll cost you an additional $300 (£207). And then there's the non-trivial expense of staying in "The Cool, Grey City of Love" for a week. San Francisco is a lovely town, but "affordable" is not a word that's often used to describe it.

If you're a student, however, you might catch a break. A WWDC 2009 Student Scholarship program was also announced, available to ADC Student Members, as well as student Team Members of the iPhone Developer University Program. If you're a student interested in a free WWDC ride, check out the rules to see if you qualify - 400 scholarships are available - then fill out the online application. But don't dawdle - the application period closes on April 14th.

And no, Apple did not announce whether Steve Jobs will be presenting the WWDC keynote this year. ®

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