When Will We See OS X Beta?  Not At Seybold

MacUser UK is reporting that we may have to wait a bit longer for OS X Beta, after all. A MacUser source has said that Apple does not plan to release the long-awaited Beta version of their future OS at the Seybold Conference next week, but will rather make a quiet, understated announcement later in September. According to the MacUser article:

Apple is planning a low-key roll out of Mac OS X beta, with continuing fears about negative reaction from users pushing back the roll out of its next generation operating system to late September. The final version is now not likely to debut until March 2001.

The article also states that bugs and stability are not problems, the hang up is being caused by efforts to get the Cocoa environment and the Aqua interface behaving how they should. Due to the beta nature of the release, and the fact that there will be very few native OS X applications available for some time, getting the Classic environment working optimally has been a priority.

There is little doubt those working on OS X know the importance of a good and stable beta. iClassic has to be the most stable,i a highly impeccable source inside Apple, who asked not to be identified, told MacUser. iI think we are there already and we were there a long time ago. Itis the Aqua and Cocoa parts that need the extra time.i

This would indeed be good news for those longing to get their hands on Appleis next OS offering. Also rumored is that while Classic applications will not be able to take advantage of modern OS X features, Classic itself is going to run as an application. Thus, if a Classic app brings that part of the system down, the OS X protected memory scheme will kick in and simply shut down Classic, while not forcing a reboot. If Classic is indeed implemented in that manner, users will benefit from OS X immediately, even without a wide array of Carbonized or Cocoa applications.

The MacUser article did confirm a long running suspicion: users will be required to pay for Beta. While the fee may only exist to cover the cost of the disk itself and shipping, the OS will not be made available for download but will rather be sent to users on a first come first serve basis.

Our source said Apple was close to pressing OS X beta CDs but that its release will not be at any upcoming Apple-attended convention, but through a simple press release with details on how to obtain the beta. iI think it is simply going to be said that itis now available and here is a phone number or Web site address were you can order it for a nominal fee,i the source said.

Early reports have said right along that users would be required to boot from the OS X disk in order to successfully install the software.

The final release of OS X Final will be, in large part, based on the success of Beta. Apple originally planned a six month test period, and if that time-table holds true, OS X Final will not be available until at least March. However, it is unlikely that Apple will take any type of low-key approach to announcing the final product, pointing to the World Wide Developeris Conference in early May as a likely forum for the "official" release of OS X. The six-month test period was also confirmed in the MacUser article.

iThey might announce OS X and show its final features at the Expo in January, but as for actual availability, I just donit see it until March,i the source said. iThey need time to incorporate the feedback after the beta comes out. They need at least six months.i

The OS X saga continues. However, it appears that we are less than two months away from having some sort of functioning product. Stay tuned. You can find the full report at the MacUser web site.

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