Updated Apple CEO Steve Jobs has just confirmed the next major upgrade to Mac OS X, 10.1, will not ship until September, as expected.
Many users hoped the update, codenamed Puma, would ship this week at Macworld Expo New York. However, sources suggested it wouldn't make the show, and indeed, it won't arrive for at least a month and a half.
Jobs said the release of 10.1 would mark the mid-way point through Apple's transition to OS X from the classic Mac OS. There's clearly some delay here, since the bell curve outlined at Macworld Expo San Francisco last January peaked not in September but now, at the New York show.
Of course, that's still within Apple's broad summer timeframe for OS X's coming of age, but it's certainly not what almost all users were hoping for, and given that Apple is now shipping the OS with all Macs capable of running it, something of a disappointment - doubly so since DVD users will have to wait until September for disc playback.
To make up for that, Apple will release the update free of charge, as it has with the various point updates released since Mac OS X's debut last March. However, since Apple will be shipping the upgrade on CD, expect it to be a very large download.
As expected, the new features in 10.1 include a Dock you can move around the screen - it'll go down the right and left-hand side of the screen. Jobs also showed a new minimise effect, but in fact that's already in 10.0, hidden by Apple but accessible through interface tweakers like TinkerTool.
A neat new touch is the ability to put Docklings into the menu bar. So is a better organised System Preferences panel. And finally filenames are rendered in full and not truncated. OS X can also be set to hide filename extensions, such as .pdf and .jpg.
Apple claims OS X 10.1 will launch apps twice as quickly as the current release which, given how slow it is now, isn't quite as good as it sounds. Apple engineers also seem to spent some time optimising Quartz, OS X's 2D graphics engine. They have also improved the OS' networking features and AppleScripted even more core apps and utilities. ®