Apple event may bring new MacBook Air, glimpses of next OS X

In case you missed this story amid the hustle and bustle of last week’s news, Apple has scheduled a keynote event for Wednesday, October 20 at 10:00 AM Pacific. According to the Mac rumor mill, that 11.6" MacBook Air we’ve been hearing about is sure to make an appearance.

AppleInsider first wrote about the event last Wednesday, but it posted another story on Friday afternoon with unofficial confirmation of the 11.6" MacBook Air’s imminent arrival. Quoting "several independent sources," the site says the new Air has been in production for "at least a week now." The machine has reportedly been redesigned from scratch with a more "wedge-shaped" chassis and solid-state storage as standard. AppleInsider also talks of a "more attractive entry-level price point"—that would be long overdue, since the current Air is just a wee bit overpriced at $1,499.

Apple might have other goodies up its sleeve on Wednesday. The official invite for the event shows a metallic Apple logo rotated slightly to reveal what looks like a lion. Considering Apple’s propensity for naming OS X releases after wild cats, and the title of the event—"Back to the Mac"—AppleInsider and other sources are expecting to catch a glimpse of Mac OS X 10.7.

Comments closed
    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    wow… apple earnings are out. Another stellar quarter. Mac and iPad numbers are fine, but the iPhone number is a massive blowout, particularly given that they are still somewhat supply constrained.

    Conference call was interesting, but I’m surprised that nobody asked about Windows Phone 7. Jobs even made comments that would lead one to ask about WP7 when he pointed out that unlike Windows, Android is very fragmented. If I were an analyst on the call, I’d have used that as an opportunity to ask about his take on WP7.

      • lex-ington
      • 9 years ago

      I doubt he’s really worried about WP7 as he is about Android.

      This is a classic battle between closed vs. open systems.

      BB is their own system and WP7 is late to the party really. As nice as it seams, MS will have to do something spectacular. They have the money, do they have the patience not to rush things?

    • RhysAndrews
    • 9 years ago

    One new feature will be the touch screen interface for their touch screen iMacs.

    • Thresher
    • 9 years ago

    I would not be surprised if the transition to Lion, or whatever it’s called, is done soon. If I recall, the transition to Snow Leopard took about a year from the announcement. I would be surprised if it took it that long this time.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 9 years ago

    I’d be very interested in seeing what are the capacities of their custom SSD solution and at what price points. Even an entry level laptop has got to have at least 128GB of storage space, with 256MB being preferable. Certainly if anyone has the leverage to negotiate aggressive flash memory prices it’s Apple. If it’s $999 for an entry level 11.6″ MBA with 128GB of flash memory, 4GB of RAM, and a Core i5 UM processor, I might be tempted to sell my new Acer 1810T for it, if Apple can also push the boundaries of battery life as they usually do. 10hr battery life on a single charge with a Core i UM processor would definitely hit the mark.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 9 years ago

      11.6″ MBA price confirmed!

      $999*

      *excludes $500 Apple Tax

      • BlackStar
      • 9 years ago

      I somehow doubt Apple is going to ship 256GB flash, i5 and 4GB for less than $2500 right now.

      • muyuubyou
      • 9 years ago

      I’d bite if it came with more than 1 USB slot… It’s not the only thing I’d change but it’s the only show-stopper.

      I can see that change happening, but the price won’t drop that much. They would sell like hot cakes anyway.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Very curious to see Lion. Many people are hoping for a new filesystem, but I doubt that will happen. I bet the whole 3-d interface thing does happen though (whatever that means). Beyond that I have no idea what to expect. I just hope it lives up to it’s name.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      Squirtle!!!! -> Wartortle!!! -> YOU!!!!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      yeah after they pulled ZFS from Snow Leopard, I kind of lost all hope in a new file system.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    psssh. the next osx will be less of an upgrade than 7 was from vista. They’re still going to be using 32 bit code for half the OS. it’s just going to be a new wallpaper, end of story.

      • grug
      • 9 years ago

      I hate to respond to such an obvious troll, but almost everything in 10.6 is 64-bit except DVD Player, Front Row, Grapher and iTunes.

        • dashbarron
        • 9 years ago

        Sweatshop, a troll??

          • ImSpartacus
          • 9 years ago

          It’s more common than you think.

            • trackerben
            • 9 years ago

            You mean trolls are more common on TR, or that sweatshopking is more commonly a troll?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            He’s more of a joker than a troll. Most of the ‘trolls’ he posts are pretty funny.

            • bthylafh
            • 9 years ago

            Except when they’re merely tiresome.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            fair enough, it’s been getting rather repeated. I can agree with you there. I’ll see if I can mix it up a bit.

            • 5150
            • 9 years ago

            Yawn, wake me when it’s 128-bit.

            • Grigory
            • 9 years ago

            Speaking of Yawn, where is he?

            • bthylafh
            • 9 years ago

            Actually, most of your output (and the other trolls’) is tiresome.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            thanks man. You suck too.

            • glynor
            • 9 years ago

            ITT: Trolls trolling trolls.

            • trackerben
            • 9 years ago

            Ah, ok. I do remember posts of his which made sense.

            • TaBoVilla
            • 9 years ago

            the wallpaper part is true. I bet jellyfish this time around.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        exactly, the most used programs are still x86. it’s long overdue to update.

        I personally am not expecting much in regards to big changes from snow leopard, but i’m sure there’ll be something. Probably just better graphics API’s and maybe an update to the launcher or something. They’ll probably include some kind of win 7 jumplist standard for osx. It’s a perfectly good (gpu usage aside) os, and I think this will be even more incremental than the last. I’m sure touch support will rear it’s ugly head too.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 9 years ago

      Are you talking about the low level sub systems, kernel or the included consumer apps?

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        “While Mac OS X version 10.6 ships with a number of 64-bit native applications, the kernel itself defaults to 32-bit, unless the user holds down the “6” and “4” keys during boot time, at which point the 64-bit kernel is loaded. Only Apple’s X-Serve products, using Snow Leopard Server, boot into a 64-bit kernel by default.”

        some apps are too. really it’s a mess that will hopefully be cleaned up with lion.

          • grug
          • 9 years ago

          Except that OS X runs 64-bit apps on top of a 32-bit kernel. All apps can take advantage of 64-bit regardless of what kernel you’ve loaded.

          Only Xserves boot into 64-bit mode by default for compatibility reasons (since they’re unlikely to have the 3rd party utilities+applications that desktops+laptops commonly run, which may require kernel extensions.

          • StashTheVampede
          • 9 years ago

          So your original statement isn’t true and should be edited and fixed, right?

          The default running kernel is 32bit for MOST machines (Mac Pro and Xserve have been defaulting to 64bit, fyi) and can be overridden by an end user if they want. My two iMacs both boot into 64bit (edited the plist file) by default and there isn’t any difference (visibly or applications) between booting into 32bit or 64bit mode.

          99.999% of the end users shouldn’t know and shouldn’t care which kernel they are using, unless it’s a specific application that they can’t run.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            well, No. it is still 32 bit. and running a 32 bit kernel is stupid when all your apps are 64 bit. it should natively boot if they want to say they’re selling a 64 bit OS. requiring a certain combination of keys (6+4?? why not something like a 1 button solution?) to perform what it should do anyway is ridiculous. You wanna buy a car that tells you it performs a certain way, only to include in the fine print that you have to push the clutch 3 times, and hold the wiper a certain way to get it?

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            This is your statement I’m referring to:
            “They’re still going to be using 32 bit code for half the OS”

            What do you constitute an OS? The current shipping Mac OSX is completely runnable in 32bit and 64bit versions. Most end users are running 32bit version, but why should it matter? No applications or services are crippled in any way by either booting method. OSX’s entire build system is equal on 32bit and 64bit versions, all sub systems work fine on either. Try running 64bit SQL server on 32big Windows 2008 server and tell me how well that goes.

            Apple hasn’t stepped up their game for 64bit versions of anything in the consumer space. I’m sure a “refresh” of these apps are coming (along with OpenCL support), but it is silly that the consumer facing apps haven’t YET received any real update to use any of the tech that Snow Leopard brings.

            Booting 32bit by default will eventually go away (sooner than MS dropping 32bit versions of their OSes, I’m sure) — it’s relic of the first x86-32bit Macs that shipped. You can edit a file to boot to 64bit by default and lots users do this with no ill effect.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I would say that I HOPE it’s not. I don’t know though. As for Windows x86 vs OSX, with windows you install which one you want, knowing which one you’re installing, and THEN YOU GET IT. No hack required.

            A 64-bit Kernel can load only 64-bit kexts, and a 32 only 32. 64 is a big part of the advantage of the new os. Yes, it’s an advantage for drivers, but why would i want my kernel limited to 32 bit? Apple controls all the drivers they use, why not do it right?

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            YOU would know which version of Windows you have (32/64), but most people don’t know and don’t care.

            The ones it has bitten are the end users that have tried installing XYZ software on their 4GB laptops to find that it won’t install or doesn’t work. My friend has this specific issue and it was very painful for a few months while her accounting package needed an update and printer drivers weren’t available on her 64bit OS (Vista, right near release date).

            Can you show me a link to an application that doesn’t run on Mac OSX 64bit? How about an external device that doesn’t work with a specific kernel version of OSX? My point is simple: it makes no difference to the end user which version you are running because all applications will work fine on either running kernel of Mac OSX.

            In the Windows world, the same cannot be said.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            VMware fusion didn’t run on 64 bit osx. I’m not sure if it’s fixed or not. seems not though.

            §[<http://blogs.vmware.com/teamfusion/2009/08/vmware-fusion-2-and-max-os-x-snow-leopard-even-better.html<]§ To argue that microsoft didn't do the best job ever with the vista deployment is old news. That being said, microsoft's job is a lot harder, and dependent upon 100000 vendors. Companies knew what was coming, and didn't bother in many cases. OSX doesn't have the same excuse (to the same extent anyway), and their solution was: rather than running a full 64 bit os (like windows) we'll run a 32 bit, so some stuff works, and use some 64 bit apps. Comparing OSX and vista/7 is comparing apples to oranges. OSX might be a smoother implementation, but it's an implementation that isn't resolved yet, Unlike my 7 box (it is beating my ubuntu x64 build though....).

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            This article lists issues with VMWare’s implementation of the emulation that supports an install of a guest OS of OSX in 64bit mode (Ubuntu and Win7 were fine, btw). This isn’t an article about VMWare not installing (or not running) on 64bit OSX, it’s about how the emulated 64bit support is hacky because of how OSX treated the default runnable setup.

            “rather than running a full 64 bit os (like windows) we’ll run a 32 bit, so some stuff works, and use some 64 bit apps”. Apple is able to provide something that Microsoft couldn’t do: create a seamless run that the end user doesn’t care about which OS are/aren’t running.

            Apple’s is shipping both kernels/OS support OOTB and end users don’t know the diff. For the few that have edited the plist file or hold 6+4 on boot, everything is fine. The sooner Apple stops shipping C2D chips, the sooner 64bit by default becomes a reality.

            • ClickClick5
            • 9 years ago

            My 64bit is different than /[

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            “OSX might be a smoother implementation, but it’s an implementation that isn’t resolved yet” I agree for the end consumer, it might be easier. but it still isn’t a full 64 bit osx, regardless of anything else, it’s different than windows, and SHOULD be fully x64. PAE is handy, however, it’s not the same thing as 64 bit. otherwise, we’d all be x86 with PAE.

            • glynor
            • 9 years ago

            Why should it be?

            People seem to love 64-bit code with no idea of what real end-user benefit it provides. For most user-space applications, going 64-bit does NOTHING other than bloat the code.

            And, btw, to the earlier poster, C2D chips run in 64-bit mode just fine. It was the original Core Duo chips (Yonah) that didn’t support the AMD-like 64-bit extensions.

            • ltcommander.data
            • 9 years ago

            The major concern at the time was probably printer drivers which Apple doesn’t have control over.

            I don’t see how not booting to the 64-bit kernel by default is a major concern for consumers, which is Apple’s major focus. 32-bit OS X does not have a 4GB limitation in max RAM due to support for PAE so 32-bit OS X can support up to 32GB of RAM. 64-bit apps are fully supported on the 32-bit kernel. What’s more because Apple doesn’t split the address space between the kernel and applications, even 32-bit applications have always had access to the full 4GB of RAM unlike 32-bit Windows where they are limited to 2GB. Apple already mandates SSE2 being the the minimum compilation target for 32-bit applications, which was something added for 64-bit Windows. You might be missing the performance benefits of the extra registers, but that is partially offset by support for macro-op fusion on Core 2 processors in 32-bit mode which is disabled in 64-bit mode.

            64-bit apps on a 32-bit kernel may be unwieldy on a technical level, but on the customer facing level it does “just work” in providing 64-bit app support, greater than 4GB of RAM support in computers, while avoiding all the driver compatibility hassles. As a transition step in 10.6 it makes sense and works. Certainly, I’d expect 10.7 to go 64-bit kernel by default.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            it surely was printer drivers. It will still be an issue. you guys seem to think that i’m arguing that the implementation was a bad move. I’m not. I’m merely saying that lion should support full x64 (probably 10.6 should have…), and that YES, IT DOES MAKE IT EASIER FOR CONSUMERS, BUT IT STILL ISNT 64 BIT.

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            “I’m merely saying that lion should support full x64”.
            10.6 already supports 64bit and users can run this mythical beast. Not like it matters which version you run, it’s identical to end users.

            “YES, IT DOES MAKE IT EASIER FOR CONSUMERS, BUT IT STILL ISNT 64 BIT”
            Lion isn’t out yet and why would it matter if the default boot is 32bit IF all the apps can run fine on either kernel?

            What do you constitute an OS? Does the GUI have to be 64bit? How about user mode?

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            for a complete 64 bit os, it must be complete. all of it.

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            Windows7 ships with 32bit iexplore.exe. Is it not a complete 64bit OS?

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            With Windows7:
            – Run Task Manager
            – Watch all running processes
            – Run Device Manager
            – watch dllhost.exe (in 32bit version) run

            Windows7, 64bit isn’t a complete OS.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            fair enough. that’s valid. they’re all sucky Os’s. Hopefully we can agree on that. Well put sir, You make an excellent point!

            • RhysAndrews
            • 9 years ago

            This is such a tedious argument. Neither OS runs 100% in 64-bit as you’ve all made clear. Neither matter if they do.

            • stdRaichu
            • 9 years ago

            The important point is whether the kernel is 64bit or not, which is what stash and sweatshop keep getting close to, but missing 🙂

            A real 64bit kernel runs in x86-64’s 64bit “mode”; this is the funky one that allows programs to use extra registers – this often gives a sizeable speed increase in CPU-limited apps, which is good news for all you people who do video encoding; last time I benched it, x264 was 10-15% faster under 64bit than 32bit. I think there’s a particular openssl bench that gets a 70% increase from going 64bit.

            Running a 32bit kernel with PAE (i.e. support for >4GB RAM) is no comparison, since it can’t use the extra funky features of the x86-64 superset. And since a 64bit kernel can run an entirely 64bit and 32bit userland at no CPU penalty (it will need both copies on disc and loaded in RAM of course), the only thing holding it back *should* be the third-party fluff. If that’s really what’s holding Apple back they may need to “do a Vista” and break compatibility to get people to switch.

            Personally, I don’t make much of a distinction between a pure 64bit environment and a 64bit OS with a 32bit shell/applications, as if they’re implemented correctly the user won’t notice. It’s just nicer from a technical standpoint to have as “pure” a 64bit environment as possible to minimise the amount of 32bit stuff duplicated in memory and give the apps the best possible platform.

            • demani
            • 9 years ago

            But 10.6 /[

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