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Monday, October 18, 2010

Predictions for Wednesday

Apple has a Mac press event coming up on the 20th of October. Usually, I don't do this but I thought I'd take a stab at some predictions for the event. So, without further ado, here's what I think we'll see.

Sneak Peek of Mac OS X 10.7

The invitation that was sent out to the press for the event includes a picture of a lion peeking out from behind an Apple logo. Given that all releases of Mac OS X are named after large cats it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. Clearly a new version of the operating system will be previewed, and its name will be Lion.

The last release, Snow Leopard, was mostly about the plumbing. Lion will need to have more user facing features. I'm willing to bet we're going to see some better integration between the Mac and Apple's portable devices: iPad, iPhone and iPod. The new OS will probably include over-the-air syncing with mobile devices and some new APIs to support it. As for other features, I don't have a clue.

I don't think the new OS will be released at the event. Apple seeds a few releases to the developers before shipping it publicly. This will be a preview only, the developers will probably get their copies within a few weeks and the new OS will ship around WWDC '11 next year.

iWork and iLife

The last release of both iLife and iWork was in 2009. Usually Apple likes to release new versions of its productivity software at the beginning of the year, but seeing as the last release is almost 2 years old it could use an update. Plus, with Microsoft due to release Office 2010 soon it makes sense for Apple to release its competitive software around the same time, hopefully to knock the wind out of Microsoft's sails in the consumer market.

New MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Portables

According to the buyer's guide all of the portables have been out for about 6 months. In the case of the MacBook Air much longer than that. I'm guessing we'll see speed bumps across the board, SSDs becoming a standard component and USB 3.0. With Apple supporting high-def video through rentals and purchases in the iTunes Store I don't see Apple including a Blueray player.

No iPad

I don't think we're going to see an update to the iPad. iPad was first announced late January 2010 and didn't start shipping until March. That means the 1st generation iPad hasn't been shipping for a full calendar year yet. With the holiday season coming soon and a well oiled supply line on the device it doesn't make sense for Apple to announce a new one and canabalize its holiday sales.

This is the first time I've ever done a predictions entry, and usually I don't pay much attention to what's going on. So don't quote me!