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Inside View on Apple WWDC Rumors 231

AppleLurker writes "In a recent interview with DVD newsroom an Apple employee talks WWDC rumors including the iPhone, Blu-ray, MacPro and the Apple Tablet. More realistic about what not to expect next week when Steve Jobs hits the stage." Apple's next move is always a hotbed of debate leading up to a product release and with all the rumors flying this year all bets are off until we see the checkered flag, so take with the requisite grain of salt.
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Inside View on Apple WWDC Rumors

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:44PM (#15852941)
    I'm an attendee and have noticed that the online schedule of sessions still has about 40% of the slots with "To Be Announced" as their descriptions. In the past Apple has done this when new technologies are to be announced; the session titles are filled in after the keynote is over.

    So perhaps there's going to be quite a bit of new software this time.
    • by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:19PM (#15853057) Homepage Journal
      Loepoard has had the longest development cycle of any Mac OS X release since 1.0. I'd guess there will be some interesting new capabilities coming, along with API so that developers can use them, too. Past examples of new API announced at WWDC and slotted into previously blank sessions include CoreData, CoreImage, CoreVideo, and WebKit. I see there are only two scheduled sessions and one Feedback Forum regarding WebObjects. Perhaps some of the unannounced sessions will bring good news for this product.
      • by monoqlith ( 610041 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:26PM (#15853078)
        I hope so. WebObjects is a great product that I don't feel is being marketed as well as it could be. I tried to get into it earlier this summer, but the documentation is sparse and there is no gold-standard beginner's book on the market(the most highly recommended one went out of print - is that the sign of a dying technology?).

          WebObjects would be very competitive placed head to head with Atlas and ASP.net, especially with a more refined Linux/BSD deployment support. Right now deploying to Linux is a bit difficult. I just wish Apple would get on that more aggressively.
        • WebObjects is a fantastic technology, but it's been ignored for so long that Django and Rails and even J2EE are now catching up to it. With the two major disadvantages of being closed source and having a questionable future, I couldn't recommend starting out with WO today.
      • Thread farming? (Score:4, Informative)

        by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @05:52PM (#15853470) Journal
        Back in April, the semi-reliable (rumor-wise and server-wise) Mac OS Rumors [macosrumors.com] claimed that Leopard would have some pretty cool "thread farming" technology. I'll quote the whole page because their server is often down:

        A critical component of not only Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard," but also the Cocoa/Carbon for Windows package (more details in linked article above) will be new code co-developed with Intel that helps break up tasks into multiple threads -- therefore achieving considerably better efficiency on the next generation of multi-core Intel processors. The results we've seen on systems with up to 16 cores of Intel's next-generation "Conroe" desktop CPU architecture were amazing....with 10.4.6 as-is, the first core bears the vast majority of the workload particularly when only one or two resource-intensive apps are running.

        Even when lots of different applications, many of them efficiently multi-threaded, are run on 10.4.5 or 10.4.6 only the first two CPUs are used efficiently while the third and fourth are getting plenty of work....but aren't quite living up to their full potential. Each added core after four seems to drop off in efficiency....not because OS X doesn't handle lots of processors properly, it does. In fact it's an industry leader in terms of being ready for the next generation of multicore, multiprocessor technology. It has been since day one and Apple has consistently kept it at the leading edge since then.

        The problem is, simply, getting all of those core to have the maximum possible positive effect on the performance of each application. When simulating the realistic workloads of almost every kind of user, more than four cores rapidly lost any effect because there just weren't enough threads, efficiently enough balanced, to make good use of more CPU's.

        Leopard changes this in every way that Apple and Intel have been able to devise. The techniques employed include tricks that both companies have been holding at ready for years, and some new things that have been developed in the past year or so to specifically address the way the "Core" (Yonah, Merom and Napa-Merom) and Codename 'Conroe' architectures work. Most of it goes beyond our technical competency; we're sure that the folks at Ars Technica will have a lot to say about this in the next few months as more details leak about the hardware and software involved in these enhancements.

        Some, but certainly not all, of these techniques will eventually make their way into Intel's optimized in-house compilers. Some will even become part of the GCC compilers that are critical to building OS X and indeed most Xcode applications, eventually. But right now they are by and large highly experimental, being part of an operating system codebase that is not even quite "alpha" in terms of usability.

        That said, it's a thing of beauty to see 16 cores used with bizarrely perfect symmetry even when performing relatively simple tasks that have nearly no application-level threading in their collective codebases. 32 cores work nearly as well, and somehow manage to make tasks that would normally only max out one or two cores and be unable to go beyond that point, spread out across nearly all the CPU's with a beautiful cascade effect created for just such a demonstration in the Leopard version of Activity Monitor (just wait until you see all the 3D OpenGL visualizations that have been whippped up....but that's another article entirely and bordering on embargoed territory to boot!).
        • Re:Thread farming? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jcr ( 53032 )
          Well, thread farming isn't that big a deal. All it really means is that in a multi-threaded process, you don't create and destroy threads, you keep a few of them around and idle in case you need them in the future. If Apple adds some explicit support for this in the frameworks, that's great, but you really can already do this today.

          If they go rather further and come up with some kind of auto-threading technology that spots opportunities for multithreading and spins off threads automagically, that would be
      • by buckhead_buddy ( 186384 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:46PM (#15853993)
        Gary W. Longsine wrote:
        Leopoard has had the longest development cycle of any Mac OS X release since 1.0.
        That's not quite true: Tiger was longer (so far). Here's a list of Mac OS X releases following 10.0 (released March 24, 2001):
        1. Puma -- Sep 29, 2001 ~6.3 months gestation
        2. Jaguar -- Aug 24, 2002 ~10.9 months gestation
        3. Panther -- Oct 24, 2003 ~14.2 months gestation
        4. Tiger -- Apr 29, 2005 ~ 18.4 months gestation

        Leopard has been incubating for a bit over 15 months from Tiger's release. If it takes the same amount of time as Tiger to release we'll see it go live at the start of November. If it follows the other trend of "prior release + 4 months" we'll see it go live at the start of March 2007. Both of these would fit in with the prediction that Steve made at the last WWDC that we'll see it at the end of 2006 or the start of 2007 "about the time Longhorn is released".

        No matter what technology is in the pipeline, the release date is more likely to be determined by when Apple wants to go head to head with the Microsoft PR machine. Apple hasn't made any public technology promises (other than a final version of Boot Camp) so it can delay any project that isn't quite ready until 10.6. If Apple wants to look like an "innovator" and come in "first" with what everyone will think of as the next generation successor to Windows 98, then it may aim for November. If it wants to ride the Microsoft PR wave (rather than appear overwhelmed by it) then it may wait until the same time or just after Windows Vista is declared by some as a steaming pile of poo.

        Setting any release date is risky, but I think Leopard's will have less to do with technology and everything to do with what date Apple thinks is the best day to take on Goliath.

      • As a user I wish they add more features and APIs but not breaking the older API compatability.

        Lets hope we won't see dedicated pages on versiontracker.com etc for "Leopard Compatibility" again.

        For example, I see Realplayer 10+ renders pages in its simple browser via Webkit. They should not have to release a update/bugfix(!) for that function work in Leopard. As a "haxie" etc user, I know you shouldn't expect system hacks to work right. I am speaking about ordinary applications.

        Remember dozens of developers
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:33PM (#15853100)
      If you are an attendee, you should organize your schedule at http://www.apple.com/wwdc [apple.com]. After entering your ADC user and password you will see all the available sessions. The page you mention has probably not been updated since WWDC was announced earlier this year. Oh, and before you rush to the site, let me tell you that you wont find any clues as to what will be announced on Monday by taking a look at the name of the sessions :-)
    • There are many more secret sessions than there were in any previous WWDC, I'm pretty sure. We only had about twenty for Tiger, and not even that many last year when the Intel transition was announced. This time around, Apple's had a bit more than a year (so far) with the 64-bit and Intel issues already out of the way, with Quartz 2D extreme pretty close to finished, most of the work for resolution independance in place, and Quartz Composer available for very easy integration into Cocoa apps.

      Upshot: I'm e
  • by abscissa ( 136568 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:45PM (#15852947)
    Maybe if they announce Windows Vista at the WWDC it might actually materialise?
  • by archeopterix ( 594938 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:48PM (#15852960) Journal
    "...all bets are off until we see the checkered flag, so take with the requisite grain of salt."

    I think that the author should take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

  • by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:49PM (#15852964)
    I'd love an Apple tablet with the same approximate specs as a MacBook (you could lose the optical drive, drop the camera, and use a slower processor and I wouldn't miss it). I'd happily pay the price for a base MacBook with these features, and I think even a small $50-100 price difference would be sufficient to keep sales high. Using MacBook parts (except for the touch display and enclosure) could help offset the high cost of a tablet.
    • If Apple is going to grow as a computer company, they're going to have to stop worrying about products competeing with each other and realize that every sale is a good one.
    • Nah.

      For some reason I wouldn't expect a Mac tablet. Cool as it may seem, I'm placing my bets firmly on an Intel Mac Desktop.

      Which Apple is sorely lacking.
      • That's 99% a given. I usually disdain rumor reporting, but this article was pretty realistic in terms of what we'll see on Monday, what we'll see in January, and the more iffy skunkworks stuff that might or might not ever see the light of day.

        Very little was said about software. Front row, iChat, a movie store (if you want to count that as software). Hard to tell if we'll see anything earth-shattering in these or other areas.

        Wifi for the iPod? Will Taco finally get his wish? I know lots of people want this,
    • Drop the optical drive? How will you install the OS?

      Use a slower processor? Who would buy it?

      The whole reason that Windows-based tablets are starting to sell better is that they are now more comparable in performance and features to regular laptops. They have the pen functionality as a bonus. You will notice that there are no major manufacturers making slate-type Tablet PCs anymore, because they were too expensive and lacked the performance capabilities of a convertible-type tablet. The niche is ju
      • Drop the optical drive? How will you install the OS?

        Use a prot replicator (for extra cash) or firewire - they key for me is portability; a jump drive would allow file transfer and conencting camera memory as needed.

        Use a slower processor? Who would buy it?

        Depends - I would not buy one to try to do video editing but would use one to run Office while I travel - battery life, weight and price are more important than raw speed; so a slower but low power intel chip would be fine. Add in wifi and and a PC-Card
        • Use a prot replicator (for extra cash) or firewire - they key for me is portability; a jump drive would allow file transfer and conencting camera memory as needed.

          Wasn't the point of not putting an optical drive in the machine to save money, in the original poster's estimation? Why not just buy a tablet with an optical drive in it? Of course, I know you can attach an external device, but that's not the point. If you spent more money the tablet could be another device altogether now couldn't it?

          And y
          • Use a port replicator (for extra cash) or firewire - they key for me is portability; a jump drive would allow file transfer and connecting camera memory as needed.

            Wasn't the point of not putting an optical drive in the machine to save money, in the original poster's estimation? Why not just buy a tablet with an optical drive in it? Of course, I know you can attach an external device, but that's not the point. If you spent more money the tablet could be another device altogether now couldn't it?

            And yes, som
          • No, actually the point was to save space and weight. I'd actually prefer a sliding keyboard to a clamshell notebook design, and Apple just might be the only company willing to go there.

            I still see no particular reason why Apple couldn't make a tablet AND the MacBook and have both sell well. The main issue is minimizing the "unique" parts of the tablet--by using as much stock componetry as possible from the MacBook, except for the unique display and case, and possibly a very slim Motorola RAZR style low
    • I'd love an Apple tablet

      Trouble is, you're rare enough that it's not worth doing. You can be sure that Apple is intensely aware of how the Tablet PCs are selling, and there just isn't that much demand for that form factor. It would take something compellingly different to make it fly, beyond just being a Mac without a keyboard. Now, if Samsung came up with a 300 DPI display or something to go with it, that might do the trick, but I'm not holding my breath for that.

      -jcr
      • I saw the first Tablet that would be compelling to me last week - one of the little Fujitsu units at ~$2k. If it had built-in (or internal accessory) EDGE/HSCD capability, I would seriously consider it. If it was a Mac, I'd buy it for fun.

        As the smart phones get more expensive and more (crippled) features, the market for an ultraportable tablet grows. WinCE just doesn't do it for my needs-- intrinsic limitations of battery, screen, and processor keep it from being a "laptop replacement."

        I won't hold my b
      • jcr wrote:

        Trouble is, you're rare enough that it's not worth doing. You can be sure that Apple is intensely aware of how the Tablet PCs are selling, and there just isn't that much demand for that form factor. It would take something compellingly different to make it fly, beyond just being a Mac without a keyboard. Now, if Samsung came up with a 300 DPI display or something to go with it, that might do the trick, but I'm not holding my breath for that.

        Despite the low numbers, Apple could be very intersete

        • A gynecologist friend of mine has a Windows Tablet PC and hates it because of the crashing and small resolution, but he carries it because he doesn't look like a "troll or jeweler hunched over a laptop". He'll write on paper before he'll use a conventional laptop when he's with a patient. Apple is very good at making form factors everyone drools over.

          I don't think anyone would want their gynecologist drooling at work ;)

  • by The One and Only ( 691315 ) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:58PM (#15852985) Homepage
    If you haven't bothered reading TFA, don't. It's sub-Mac-rumor-site rumors, complete with a (probably fictitious) phone conversation and cheesy backstory.
  • by PurifyYourMind ( 776223 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:59PM (#15852988) Homepage
    It's interesting to see the hype and everyone excited about upcoming products lately. For Microsoft, I think it's because they're a de facto "standard" in the desktop and office products spaces. For Apple, it is more like they are known for coming out with very sexy, sleek products that are also easy to use. Too bad some of the free and open source projects don't benefit from this kind of free publicity. I guess you could almost count Firefox as being among the hype machines, but I would bet most of that is user-generated -- people who are fans of Firefox -- as opposed to pundits, industry people, etc.
  • by HaloZero ( 610207 ) <protodeka@gma i l .com> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:13PM (#15853037) Homepage
    Let's assume the following givens:
    • Introduction of the Core 2 Duo to the iNtel Mac lineup;
      • Conroe will be featured in the iMac and the new PowerMac; Quad capability may or may not be present...
      • Merom will be featured in the MacMini, the MacBook, and the MacBook Pro [evidence of meromac [mac.com]]
      • Woodcrest MAY be present in the next revision of the XServe and XServe RAID
    • Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
      • Point releases are traditionally announced at WWDC.
      • Point releases usually accompany upgrades.
      • Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest bring x86_64 (EM64T) support, 10.5 should take advantage of it fully.
    • A bigger shift to the iMac line.
    • A shift to the iPod nano line (they've been killing off stock by giving the freaking things away with new Mac purchases).
    • Something less useless than the iPod Hi-Fi.
    Everything else is gravy. Don't count on an iPhone, Apple's not ready for that market. I think Motorola may be on hand to announce a sister to the ROKR and SLVR, something akin to the RAZR with a better capacity. And it will synch with iTunes via Bluetooth. We may also see a Bluetooth-enabled iPod. Stock TV Tuner support for the Mac Mini would also be expected, as would SLi/Crossfire for the MacPro.
    • Conroe will be featured in the iMac and the new PowerMac; Quad capability may or may not be present...

      Woodcrest could show up in the PowerMac replacement if Apple wants to make it a true workstation class system... and it would allow them to maintain a Quad core system. It comes down to price point and components costs. In the case of the iMac it would require no work for Apple to drop in a Merom, they may go with that in the short term (also Merom runs at nearly half the power consumption and heat output o

    • by ArbitraryConstant ( 763964 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @04:08PM (#15853197) Homepage
      Conroe will be featured in the iMac and the new PowerMac; Quad capability may or may not be present...

      I don't think it's safe to assume Conroe in PowerMacs/Mac Pros. I think it's much more likely they will use an all-Xeon lineup, using Woodcrest (the Xeon version of Core 2). I think this because I don't think they have any interest in inexpensive towers, and using Xeon chips is one of the things they'll have to do to justify towers starting at $2000.

      Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest bring x86_64 (EM64T) support, 10.5 should take advantage of it fully.

      64-bit support on x86 is a lot harder than on PowerPC. PowerPC allows the kernel to remain 32-bit even with 64-bit applications, while x86 does not. They'll essentially be porting the kernel to another architechture, and as a result drivers will be broken etc. Also, they'll have to provide a translation layer for the kernel to continue to run 32-bit applications, which isn't trivial either. They have also yet to provide support for 64-bit GUI applications, which is necessary for things like Photoshop to get useful 64-bit support (a 64-bit worker process doesn't cut it for things like Photoshop, they stuff to run in the same address space).

      Basically, it isn't possible for them to have a production-ready x86-64 OS without a significant period spent in beta to debug the new kernel and application support, and to allow hardware vendors to update their drivers. This would, by necessity, be too large to keep secret.

      It is entirely possible that they will announce 64-bit support, and they might even pretend it's production ready, but there is very little chance of this being true. My guess is a 64-bit interim release some time after 10.5 has been released, like they did with 10.2 when G5s were released.
    • I would expect that Apple would retain a Quad, otherwise it would be a regression in their product line.

      The current towers are pretty much workstation type systems, which usually means that the Xeon DP should be in some of the successors.

      If they go all-Conroe then a quad isn't possible unless they put it off until Kentsfield's release then that means the dual core PPC systems will have gone one year from the previous update, much longer yet for Xserve.

      I would expect at least one XServe system to have a Wood
    • What I can forsee is something for phones that lets you download songs from the ITMS over your phone internet link and then send the songs to a new bluetooth iPod over bluetooth.
      Perhaps the new iTunes phone will be one of the new 3G/GSM phones Motorola have debued recently...
  • by eganloo ( 195345 ) <eganlooNO@SPAManime.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:15PM (#15853043)
    • "Apple's next move is always a hotbed of debate leading up to a product release and with all the rumors flying this year all bets are off until we see the checkered flag, so take with the requisite grain of salt."
    Meanwhile, it's full speed ahead for mixed metaphors!
    • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @03:33PM (#15853103)
      Meanwhile, it's full speed ahead for mixed metaphors!

      Hey now, there's no need to be a wet blanket just because you're not ready to drink the Kool-ade. Some people are really revved up about the curtain being drawn back next week. I, for one, am on pins and needles while I'm holding my breath for the big fireworks.
  • "We're a silo. Apple employees find out about new products when they're being announced. Or online. Nobody knows anything."

    Frankly, I'd be concerned if I had a CEO that said "we will do this and that" and only then ask the developers who in the end will end up making them, if it is possible, how much it'll cost, etc.

    Also, just for a "side-comment", this is a common tactic in politics. They give a false informant to the press who leaks something out saying it's coming from a reliable source near the po
    • At that point my Apple Confidante's phone went dead. Shaking, I heard the dial tone. Fearing for her life, I called back, only to hear a busy signal.


      Well, if she was calling from an undisclosed location, my bet is that Dick Cheney needed to use the phone. In that case, the only remaining question is, did he shoot her in the face to get her to drop the phone?
  • When I think of a tablet, I think of a regular laptop + touchscreen capability. I'd expect it to cost at least as much as the other laptops. (And I REALLY WANT ONE, Apple!)

    But this aritcle presents something very different. A $599 target price point suggests that what they've been prototyping is less laptop and more PDA.

    Unless it's a typo and they meant $1599? That would make sense, why they would assume everyone would choose a macbook over it. Otherwise, I guess they think people would want the full fu

    • I think she means an Origami-type ultramobile PC device. $599 was Microsoft's target price for Origami, which none of the manufacturers has come close to. Although it would be a marketing coup if Apple could do it, I don't see how they could sell such a thing for less than the price of the Macbook.
  • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @04:22PM (#15853219)
    In a recent interview with DVD newsroom an ex-Apple employee talks WWDC rumors.
  • More likely... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mike Peel ( 885855 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @04:24PM (#15853227) Homepage
    More likely is that we'll see updated powermacs and xserves, such that apple completes the intel changeover (promised a year ago), and Leopard. Maybe a "one more thing", say 64-bit support. It's a /developer/ conference, not a consumer show, so expect new stuff that will directly impact developers rather than consumers.

    Of course, things like a tablet and iPhone would be nice, but I really doubt it (at least, not yet).
  • Now for the good bets.
    1. A new tower system. Apple needs to move the high end/high profit systems to Intel. My guess is that the G5 towers are not selling well.
    2. New XServer see above.
    Okay now the higher risk guesses.
    1. Media center. Everyone is still waiting for this one.
    2. Virtualization in the kernel. Yes run Windows in a window.
    3. Games. Apple has been trying to get game makers to support the Mac. Now they will announce some of them have.

  • I really want to see a remake of the Apple Newton with a more modern stylish design.

    Some notable feaures could be;

    Today's standard pda features.
    Wireless VOIP builtin.
    Map software with optional GPS.
    iTunes for PDA
    Bluetooth enabled.
    Built on OSX Kernel.
  • by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <kenshin@NosPam.lunarworks.ca> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @10:27PM (#15854078) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for "elevator photos". The keynote hype is not complete until then.

    (Anyone who follows these things will know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.)
  • by DittoBox ( 978894 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @12:47AM (#15854318) Homepage

    At the end of the article

    At that point my Apple Confidante's phone went dead. Shaking, I heard the dial tone.
    AFAIC, this article is a made-up bunch of dog crap. When the other party hangs up on a land-line you don't get a dial-tone afterwards, just a black line. The dial-tone only comes after you've hung-up and picked up the phone again. That's my experience on all phones I've ever used.
  • by Carpe PM ( 754778 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @02:13AM (#15854404)
    A realistic-looking accounting system. Enough to convince the SEC.

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