|[2:25 PM] WWDC News: Mac OS X Delayed, PR 4 Released, Public Beta Due Later this Summer
Apple today released its fourth developer preview of Mac OS X to the 4,000 developers attending its annual Worldwide Developer Conference. The company also announced that a public beta would be released this summer. The original schedule had called for a final release of the product this summer with all shipping Macs coming preloaded with Mac OS X by The beginning of 2001. According to Apple:
This preview version of Apple's next generation operating system includes the final API specifications required by developers to complete upgrades of their applications to take full advantage of Mac OS X's new capabilities. Mac OS X Developer Preview 4 also includes a special Mac OS X version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 as well as support for the Java 2 Platform.
"With this Preview release, developers now have everything they need to make killer applications for Mac OS X," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We are incredibly pleased at the support we are getting from many of the world's best software developers for Mac OS X, the future of the Mac platform."
Mac OS X supports the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) featuring the HotSpot client virtual machine. Mac OS X, a completely new implementation of the Macintosh operating system, will be the only high-volume personal computer operating system with out-of-the-box Java 2 integration. Java applications running on Mac OS X will realize the benefits of the Aqua user interface, a major advancement in personal computer user interfaces.
A public beta of Mac OS X will be available this summer enabling customers to experience Apple's next generation operating system firsthand. The final version 1.0 of Mac OS X will be available in January 2001, some 6 months late. Mac OS X is designed to run on all Macintosh computers using PowerPC G3 and G4 processor chips, and requires a minimum of 64 MB of memory.
Apple stock has plunged some 5% on this news. As of this writing, Apple is trading at 101 7/8, down 5.34% from Friday's close. CNBC has attributed this specifically to the delay of Mac OS X.
The Mac Observer Spin: It seems the rumors about the new Preview Release were true, of course, but the addition of Java 2 support is a fantastic development for the new OS. However, seeing the release date pushed back from this summer to January, 2001 is not encouraging. While it's of paramount importance that the product be stable upon it's release, investors never like to see things like this pushed back. We'll have to take a "wait-and-see" attitude and will be sure to give you more information as the public beta hits the streets later this summer.