The strange saga of getting OS X to market seems to be drawing nearer to an end. Very few people at this point actually believe that OS X 1.0 will be available at MACWORLD San Francisco, and justifiably so. A more realistic, and commonly referenced date, seems to be Mayis World Wide Developer Conference. However, ZDNet is reporting that Apple is burning the midnight oil and might be ready to release OS X 1.0 at a special Apple Event at the end of February.
The ZDNet article indicates that Apple had truly held out hope to have the final product ready for Januaryis MWSF, but that proved to be impossible. However, in light of recent negative Apple news, Apple is even more pressed to get OS X 1.0 to market. The sooner the product is available, the sooner Mac diehards will update those aging machines to more efficiently run the new OS.
At this stage of the game, it seems as if Apple is hoping that OS X gives the company the same revitalizing shot in the arm that the original iMac gave it a few years back. Getting the product in a position for public consumption in February, rather than May, buys the company a couple extra months of marketing and sales.
The ZDNet article also claims that Apple is readying a major advertising campaign to stir interest in the OS. Not coincedentally, the Grand Daddy of all advertising forums, the Super Bowl, will fall less than one month before ZDNetis reported release. According to the ZDNet article:
Either at OS Xis launch or at the January announcement, Apple will begin a "massive" marketing push for the operating system, sources reported. The push will be similar to the campaign Apple ran to promote Mac OS 8 in 1997. As part of this promotion, sources said, Apple is considering offering free OS X updates to those who purchase Mac systems at Januaryis Macworld Expo or after.
Even though there will be a huge amount of excitement and hype surrounding the initial OS X 1.0 release, slated for February 24th, work on the new OS will continue. ZDNet said we can expect an update, "... code-named iOrient,i within 3 to 12 months of the 1.0 release."
You can find the full article at the ZDNet web site.