Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Apple Delays Leopard

It has been all over the net, and every one seems determined to speculate wildly as usual. On Apple's top news site they report that the next OS X release (code-named Leopard) will be delayed until October. They state that the reason is because "we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team" to ship the iPhone on schedule. The net is speculating wildly about this, and it even deserved mention on This Week in Tech. A lot of people think that Apple is just using the iPhone as an excuse to delay Leopard.

I've never worked at Apple, but I worked at Microsoft for years. Apple's line makes perfect sense to me. On TWiT, they quipped that Apples explanation must be bogus because that would imply that apple is so small that moving a few people would impact the release so significantly. I think the TWiT folk are missing an honest understanding of how software development for products like Leopard and the iPhone really works. A few key developer can really have that much impact.

Jobs claimed that the iPhone was running a version of OS X, and that it includes a version of Safari. There have also been nasty rumors that the iPhone prototypes have horrid battery-life. That implies to me that they probably had to pull (A) kernel developers and (B) top/senior performance developers. Those are some of the rarest resources at a development company. Maybe 1 in 100... Maybe.

If they needed to pull testing resources, they probably needed to pull their top testing talent. The ones that have experience building test frameworks, and can handle a new, unfinished platform. Again, they are picking the cream of the crop.

Obviously, not everyone they pulled is upper echelon, but I be they pulled a lot of senior experience onto this project. That will have serious consequences for the teams that lost those people. 4 months delay isn't really that long in software development, especially when it includes August (or December) which is notorious for being when everyone takes their traditional family vacation.

Besides... The only Apple customers that really need Leopard are those lucky few with the new 8-core Mac Pro. The shipping version of OS X already puts Vista to shame. There is nothing in Leopard that motivates me to want it now. I can wait and laugh maniacally while I try and get Win XP and Vista to function near the level of elegance that my (now old) PowerBook had out-of-the-box.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dare you profane Vista! Ballmer's minions will be at your door presently, and you should look forward to some time at a re-education camp.


Seriously, it's good to hear an honest (that is, not marketing driven) comparison between the operating systems.

7:34 AM  

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