Things are looking surprisingly neck-and-neck as Apple and Microsoft race towards the OS finish line, but it might not even matter who gets there first...
Now that Apple and Microsoft are using their advertising campaigns to directly target
one other, October 2009 could the stuff of dreams.
That’s the month when Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 7, approximately eight weeks after the widely-praised successor to Windows Vista hits the RTM milestone
and is dispatched to PC buildings and DVD duplication centres.
October could also be the month when Apple releases OS X 10.6 ‘Snow Leopard’. The OS has already reached Beta 2
in late April and will make a limited public debut through a preview edition
handed out to attendees at next month’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
Apple has yet to name the date for OS X 10.6, although when Snow Leopard was announced at last year’s WWDC held on June 9th 2008, Steve Jobs said the software would ship “about a year” after. There’s certainly no doubt that it will be out well before Christmas. Apple could even release Snow Leopard from its cage in August-September.
But apart from bragging rights it really won’t matter if Apple or Microsoft is first to cross the finish line in this OS marathon.
The media are well aware that both of these next-gen operating systems are in the home stretch, so any mainstream coverage of one is likely to flag the imminent arrival of its competitor. Publications will relish the chance to run head-to-head comparisons of Windows 7 and OS X 10.6.
In turn, prospective buyers will quickly find themselves in a position to compare both operating systems and the new wave of hardware they’ll run on. And Apple and Microsoft will be quick to unleash a new salvo of advertising to show why their
new OS is better.