Apple's WWDC: What's coming, what's rumored

Will next week's event bring more than a preview of the next Mac OS X?

Apple Computer Inc.'s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which begins Monday, is one of the year's most anticipated Macintosh-related events. Usually held in the late spring, the annual developers' conference offers Mac professionals of all stripes a chance to hear about Apple's product road map, get updates on the latest Mac development tools and techniques, grow their skill sets with the aid of all manner of Apple trainers and experts, and get to know one another in a weeklong event that is as much about networking as it is about learning. Every year, Apple offers program tracks for software and hardware developers, systems and network administrators, design and support professionals, and more.

This year, it will also offer a keynote address by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in which he'll outline the company's next operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, code-named Leopard.

Although WWDC is primarily aimed at helping developers and technology professionals learn new skills, it is no stranger to media attention. Many major Apple announcements have come out of past WWDC keynote addresses. Apple's strategy for Mac OS X, the transition to Intel Corp. processors (announced at last year's event) and the original iMac were all originally unveiled at past WWDCs. Likewise, previews of upcoming technologies and the initial seeding of developer kits and beta software have taken place at WWDC. In fact, Apple stressed that this year's conference is the best place to get a solid look at the company's future endeavors.

There have been years when media attention at WWDC has been minimal because there was no expectation of any big announcements. This is not such a year. Apple has already announced that Jobs' Monday keynote address will feature the first preview of Leopard. Speculation about what the new operating system, due out by early next year, will look like or contain is already running rampant on the Web, with fake screenshots making the rounds of many Mac sites. Beyond the Leopard preview are any number of rumored announcements, with the speculation about them running at fever pitch -- no doubt due in part to Apple's secretive nature.

Though Apple doesn't talk about upcoming products, whether hardware or software, that doesn't stop people from making various predictions, including the following:

New Intel-Based Desktop Macs

It seems a foregone conclusion that the successor to the Power Mac G5 will be unveiled at WWDC. It is widely assumed that the new line of desktop Macs (expected to be called the Mac Pro) will feature Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, which Intel began shipping last week. Given the switch to new processors, there are expectations that the Mac Pro will sport a newly designed enclosure and will be single-processor machines (albeit with two cores). Intel has not announced shipment of dual-socket Core 2 Duo processors. If Apple unveils a revised case for its new desktop machine, it would mark the first time the Intel transition has yielded a new look. Despite the move to Intel processors across Apple's line of laptops iMacs and Mac Minis, none of those computers has seen any substantial redesigns.

1 2 3 4 Page 1
Page 1 of 4
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon