There’s been talk the past couple of days that the latest developer build of OS X Snow Leopard, 10A432, has been designated the “Golden Master” version, meaning it’s ready for prime time. Multiple sources are now stating it is. So now the question is: When will it be released?
Amazon put Snow Leopard up for pre-order a few weeks ago with the following note: “Please note: Official release date has not been announced by Apple, though they have indicated this product will be released sometime in September.” September is also the timetable that Apple gave at its WWDC event in early June. But with the GM version already out there, there are whispers that Apple may have beaten that goal. Friday, August 28 is the day Daring Fireball’s John Gruber is hearing, and he has a very good track record of being right about such things.
As we noted last week, OS X 10.5.8 was likely to be the last update before OS X 10.6 dropped. But an August ship date would certainly be a welcomed surprise. That would also mean nearly a full 2 month head start over Windows 7, which is scheduled to ship October 22. August 28 is also just two weeks from this Friday, so if Apple is really going to launch it then, expect some kind of press release in the next few days.
Earlier today, AppleInsider gave some details about the Snow Leopard installation process, which apparently has quite a few differences from the OS X Leopard install.
OS X Snow Leopard is going to sell for only $29.99, as Apple is considering it mostly a performance upgrade over OS X Leopard. But the performance improvements are expected to be significant, and the footprint of the install has been significantly reduced (due mostly to the fact that it’s Intel-only).