Apple Has Already Started Work on Mac OS X 10.8

hardwareApple has already begun work on the next major revision to Mac OS X which is being labeled as version 10.8.

Apple only just released the final version of OS X 10.7 (Lion) to customers in July. OS X Lion was the first version of Mac OS X to be distributed through the Mac App Store and it included a number of new features for the Mac. These included an iOS-like application launch screen known as Launchpad, full-screen apps, a new combined interface for Dashboard, Expose, and Spaces known as Mission Control, enhanced Multi-Touch gestures, and improvements to a number of core applications such as Mail.

While Apple has yet to announce plans for the next major version of OS X, evidence of 10.8 first began appearing in our web logs in August, and have since accelerated. This graph shows an increasing number of web visits from Mac OS X 10.8 users over the past several months.

macos1081
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8) AppleWebKit/535.6.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.2 Safari/535.6.2

While it is trivial to falsify these records, the requests originated from Apple, Inc. IP addresses and surrounding areas. Also, the overall clustering is consistent with limited internal testing. We saw a very similar pattern for the early OS X 10.7 requests which began in October, 2009:

macos1072

Note that the first appearance of 10.7 was almost a full year before the first developer preview, and nearly 20 months before the public release.

So far, there have been no hints as to what we might expect to see in Mac OS X 10.8. Historically, Apple's major OS X releases are released every other year: 10.3 in 2003, 10.4 in 2005, 10.5 in 2007, 10.6 in 2009, and 10.7 in 2011. Based on this pattern, we expect Apple to preview Mac OS X 10.8 sometime in 2012, with the final public release happening in 2013.

Another question is what Apple will call OS X 10.8. Apple has been naming their major OS X releases after feline animals such as Tiger and Leopard. "Lion" naturally seems like it may be the end of the line for those names. While Apple had previously trademarked the names "Lynx" and "Cougar", the company has since abandoned those trademarks. It should be noted that Lion hadn't been trademarked until after their first public announcement, so the choice of name could still be wide open.

Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
132 months ago
It's interesting to see metrics like this but it shouldn't come as any surprise.

Sure, perhaps better title would have been. "Apple Employees Should be Working on OS X 10.8 But Instead Are Browsing MacRumors.com." :)

arn
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
132 months ago
OS X Lion S :D
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jamisonbaines Avatar
132 months ago
Mountain Lion
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
132 months ago
Bit of a no duh really. They have probably been working on it for a while
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
X5-452 Avatar
132 months ago
Mac OS X 10.8: LOLCAT
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Broph Avatar
132 months ago
Lion's the end of the line?! YOU'VE MISSED OUT THE BEST

OS X 10.8 - KEYBOARD CAT
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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