Looking Back at Last Year’s Leopard Rumors

by Devanshu Mehta Jul 12, 2007

This time last year, I wrote an article that went through the rumors about Leopard that were making the rounds. There were some obvious, some bold, and some simply impossible.

1. Bit Torrent
The rumor was that iTunes would use bit torrent as a distribution model and give “credits” to those who shared bandwidth. Seems like ages since this rumor showed its face anywhere, so either it was as fake as the fabled Apple iPhone (oh, wait…) or Mr. Jobs balked at the words “bit torrent” and the implications it would have for his financial relationship with his friends in media. And for his own self, as the largest shareholder in Disney. It hardly ever pays to piss off your allies, and it never pays to piss off yourself.

2. Virtualization
The benevolent Jobs chose not to kill Parallels (for now) by rolling virtualization in to the operating system. Boot Camp, on the other hand, is built-in. Parallels has Apple’s quiet endorsement and VMWare is lurking.

3. Windows API
Cringely was a big proponent of this. He proposed a brave new world where the masterstroke of Apple in the 21st century would be to turn Windows into just another operating system that ran Windows apps. No dice—Parallels, Boot Camp, and VMWare are all we have for now.

4. Geographical Mapping
I am not sure what all the fuss was about with this one, but I wouldn’t rule it out yet. Considering how chummy Apple and Google have been getting lately (sharing apps, board members, and such), some Google Maps tie-ins could be imminent, though unexciting.

5. Not Called Leopard
Ummm…yeah. About that rumor. I don’t know how to break this to you.

Turns out, it wasn’t true. Go figure.

6. Living Elements
I guess all the cool eye candy in Leopard is what they meant. How prescient of those soothsayers of yore (last year) to predict that a new Apple product would have nifty eye candy! Of course, the phrase “living elements” is lost and all we have is cover flow all over the place.

7. A New Finder
A completely true rumor! What a find. The Finder has been redone for Leopard with cover flow, better Spotlight, and Quick Look (which allows you to preview file contents).

8. Improved Dashboard
The Dashboard has always been a mixed bag. Few worship it, most are mildly amused, and some forget it exists (that would be me). While I hope it is faster in Leopard, the advertised improvements to Dashboard are the ability to roll your own widgets and the ability to sync widgets using .Mac. Oh, and you can buy movie tickets. Yeah, that’s what it was lacking.

As you can see, sarcasm is my strong suit.

9. Collaborative Documents
We don’t have concrete word of an iWork update, but Leopard Server has some fantastic collaboration services built-in. The Wiki Server that ships with Leopard Server is precisely what was described in the rumors last year.

Among the random rumors I listed at the end of my article, the ZFS support turned out to be partially true—Leopard will have read-only ZFS support. So, in all, that’s a pretty low hit ratio for the rumors 12 short months ago. Keep that in mind when rumors for Mac OS 10.6 Cheshire roll around next year.


  • The Windows API is an interesting one, Devanshu. Running Parallels in Coherence mode, you almost forget Windows itself is still running.

    And then there’s Crossover.

    I’m not sure what Apple’s plans are, but you gotta still sorta feel that sooner or later Apple is going to move into “check”.  That might be its own solution; a partnership with Parallels; buying out Parallels or Crossover; or whatever.

    Interesting times.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jul 14, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • I would love to see apple buy out Parallels! If it were absorbed into 10.6, then there would be windows compatibility at a much deeper level. This could only be a positive thing, especially if there were a sandboxed environment for windows (can you say sasser for mac?).

    John Reynolds had this to say on Jul 15, 2007 Posts: 2
  • The competition between Parallels and VMware is extremely healthy and is providing consumers with an excellent rate of innovation.

    Benji had this to say on Jul 18, 2007 Posts: 927
  • Totally agree with UrbanBard.

    aquaibm had this to say on Jul 22, 2007 Posts: 1
  • Quicklooks is awsome! I’ve been using it in the test version. WOW. Even reading files over a VNC/WAN it was great.

    iTunes however refused to install. So I can’t comment on the bittorent, but I’ve got little snitch running so that might be a PITA.

    The movie ticket widget… Sherlock…

    A few other niceties are the bubble text above the icon in the dock, faster boot time, faster installer too (it’s different), new Black Glass Apple icons, new bootup procedure… And on a flat boot it only is consuming 119mb of ram on a 1gb machine (PPC). Haven’t tested on an intel unit yet, only using it to test apps but everything looks better, core animation is faster in Leopard to boot.

    No apps I’ve been testing show any problems. Most Opensource and Filemaker apps. Things seem to run snappier even if on a 20gb partition. I’m gonna play with it tonight on a G3 iMac, Multilingual is showing G3 extensions installed, so it may run on a G3 machine. Of course it may only be because it’s a Devel edition.

    10.6 Rumor list? When’s that starting? I think we MAY see ZFS full support in that. But again it’s going to require a full backup, format, install, restore to work… Of course if your running Time Machine you’ve got the equipment don’t ya…

    xwiredtva had this to say on Jul 24, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Read review of Apple Mac OS X Leopard

    wyspa had this to say on Oct 29, 2007 Posts: 9
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