Apple quietly published the initial release date of their forthcoming operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6, as the 28th of August which is the last Friday before Bank holiday on the 31st.
However, it seems that someone at Apple HQ decided to amend Apple's UK website which is currently showing September instead (without any dates). Interestingly, Apple's French and German websites have not been upgraded yet to reflect the product's launch.
Customers who have purchased a qualifying Mac or Xserve on or after June 8, 2009 but before the launch date, you can upgrade to Mac OS X Snow Leopard for £7.95 which includes the shipping and handling fee.
It brings a lot of "little touches and performance improvements that will make using your Mac even more enjoyable" according to Apple's website. Snow Leopard was announced last year at Apple's annual WWDC and focused on performance improvements and stability.
Apple previously said that its users would be able to upgrade their Mac for $29 and $49 for a five-user family pack license while the full package should fetch around $129.
Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard is also expected to be launched about the same period. It is expected that Mac OS X Snow Leopard will be released well before Windows 7 to give Apple the necessary leeway to counteract Microsoft's marketing machinery.
Mac OS X Leopard (aka v10.5) was released at the end of October 2007 which means that Apple might have pre-empted Windows 7 move. It will more than four years after OS X 10.4 Tiger was released.
It will be extremely interesting to find out how the battle between Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Windows 7 pans out. Microsoft will want to forget Windows Vista fairly soon and if first impressions matter, then Windows 7 is likely to be a very popular piece of software.