Release Timeline for Snow Leopard Leaked

snowleopardIn case you were getting excited about Snow Leopard coming out anytime soon, or maybe holding off on a hardware purchase in anticipation of a WWDC ’09 release, you might be disappointed by the news that it likely won’t make it into the hands of consumers by that early June date. AppleInsider is reporting that the release schedule of the new Mac OS has many stages, the last of which won’t take place until two months after the Developer’s Conference.
What we will see June 8, if AppleInsider’s source is to be believed, is a major developer update to Snow Leopard that will be the first release to be “feature complete,” including all interface changes and functionality additions withheld from prior builds. In other words, they’ll be able to show off a product at WWDC that will look pretty much like what consumers will be getting two months later.
Between now and then, there should be one more build, which will bring “major updates” to what we’ve already seen. Then, after the release at WWDC, we should see one more release prior to the Gold Master build in order to work out any remaining kinks.
All of this means you won’t be able to get your hands on Snow Leopard until late summer or fall of 2009, when Apple (s aapl) generally releases hardware updates. Which in turn means that if you’re waiting to pull the trigger on a new computer purchase, you have to be willing to wait almost 6 months. It also means that Snow Leopard will drop much closer to the projected release date of Windows 7, so we could be in for quite the OS grudge match.