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Newsletter #376 Preview: The Leopard Report: Should You Put Off Buying a New Mac?

One thing is certain: Practically nobody outside Apple really knows when Leopard will be released. Even there, I suspect the shipping dates are still fluid, depending on how quickly everything comes together. Sure, you’ll hear lots and lots of speculation, but that doesn’t count for much when it comes to predicting what Apple is up to.

Certainly, Apple would probably like to get Leopard out as quickly as possible, and still get in all the planned features and deliver a secure, robust, reliable product. Their developers surely have all sorts of internal timetables as to when things need to be completed to make their deadlines. It’s very likely that some features — ones you don’t know about yet — may even have to be discarded to make it to the finish line without undue delays. You see, unlike certain other software companies you and I know about, Apple takes its schedules and promises seriously.

Now that ought to be it, except that some folks out there are suggesting that you should put off buying a new Mac until Leopard is out. Why? Well, you won’t have to pay for the upgrade, since it’ll come free with Macs that ship shortly after Leopard is released — or should, because a new product may sit in a box for a few weeks or months before it’s actually sold.

In that case, though, it’s likely Apple will have some sort of cheap upgrade program for such people, so you won’t be caught short because your new Mac shipped too soon to make the cut.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.