What's Cooking Revisited (and a bit on iTunes DRM)

by Oliver Breidenbach

A couple of days ago, I wrote in "What's Cooking?" about the lack of Apple news for the Mac. In the meantime, I've had time to ponder this with colleagues and friends and today I found a weblog post from early March by Thomas Fitzgerald with an interesting theory:

Apple isn't releasing new Mac stuff because they made it dependent on Leopard when they thought it would ship much earlier.

This sounds actually quite reasonable regarding software such as iLife and iWork. If it were true for hardware, it must be something really unique that depends on more than just a couple of new drivers.

Or maybe the integration is not so much about code as it is about design and Mr. J. does not want to spoil the effect with prematurely releasing brand new hardware designs without the software to match. Don't dismiss this idea too easily, after all this is the guy who just invented the update fee for songs that haven't changed in decades.

One thing is sure: since sales are reported to be better than ever, Apple doesn't have much pressure to come out with new hardware. And news such as the iTunes DRM announcement keep Mr. Jobs occupied anyways. Even if one cannot help to notice that, once again, as with all the recent announcements since AppleTV's surprise appearance in fall, it came an untypically long time before implementation. As if Apple tries to stretch the news out to spread over a gap...

UPDATE: Just a bit more than 18 hours later and Apple finally has some Mac news: the 8-core Mac Pro. Exciting? Kind of. If only CNET hadn't put the Xeon 5300 processors into their Mac Pro in November, just over 4 months ago, proving that it would not require any changes to neither hardware nor OS. Apart from the usual ramp up in production volume, what took so long?