Apple slates June dates for WWDC, touts Snow Leopard, iPhone 3.0

New OSs for Macs and iPhones to play key role at conference; no word on Jobs' attendance

Apple Inc. announced today that its Worldwide Developers Conference will begin June 8, which had previously been pegged by reports as the most likely launch date for the company's next operating system, dubbed Snow Leopard.

WWDC, which will again be held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, will run from June 8-12, according to an invitation Apple sent out today and the conference's Web site, which went live this morning.

Those dates were predicted earlier this month by David Zeller, a writer for the The Baltimore Sun. Zeller based his guess on an opening marked only as a generic "corporate meeting" on the Moscone Center's online calendar. He also speculated that Apple would hold its keynote on June 8 and use that time to unveil Snow Leopard, a.k.a. Mac OS 10.6, a performance and stability upgrade that Apple promised last June would be available in about a year.

Apple has used the WWDC keynote as a platform to strut major news and new products. Last year, for example, CEO Steve Jobs revealed the new iPhone 3G, which Apple started selling in July.

It's not known whether Jobs will attend WWDC this year; when he announced in January that he was taking time off for health reasons, Jobs said his leave of absence would run through the end of June.

Although the WWDC Web site still lacks a schedule that details developer session topics, Snow Leopard will obviously play a central role. "WWDC's detailed technical sessions teach you how to take full advantage of new foundation technologies to ensure your application is ready and completely optimized for Mac OS X Snow Leopard," said the page dedicated to the new operating system.

"Turbocharge your application by using the new performance oriented frameworks, Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL, to efficiently tap the vast gigaflops of computing power in the CPU and GPU," the page continued, referring to some of the already-touted improvements to Mac OS X, including one that will let software "steal" computing power from the graphics processor.

Apple's also planning to highlight iPhone 3.0, the just-previewed smartphone upgrade, at WWDC. "See how to add new features such as in-app purchases, peer-to-peer connection via Bluetooth, communication with hardware accessories, and alerts using Apple Push Notification service," said the conference site.

WWDC admission is priced at $1,295 through April 24, at which point it will climb to $1,595.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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