Apple may have just dealt us the bad news about Leopard, but already reactions are pouring in from across the web and even on our own comment thread. This announcement is huge, and it'll take a while to unpack it all, but I've had some early thoughts and reactions on what this all means, and I wanted to respond to some comments left at our original post of the news. There is quite a bit to deal with, but here are some ideas in no particular order:
1) I agree with sentiments that some sort of OS upgrade time frame would be a great idea, especially since October is way too late for the EDU sales rush. Microsoft did it, and Apple makes their money from hardware sales, not boxes of Mac OS X. It would speak volumes and make - or break - a lot of customer loyalty. No word on whether Apple might actually do this - AFAIK, they never have before. Then again, they've never been this popular, and I don't think such a highly anticipated product has been delayed in light of another even more anticipated product before, either.
2) I also agree that I would rather have it this way than a craptastic release in June that's full of more holes than swiss cheese. Tiger is a damn fine piece of software and I'm happy to keep using it for a few more months.
3) We have to face that fact that the iPhone is likely going to sell more units than Mac OS X. In all likelihood, many more units. Mobile handsets sell in the billions each year; last year I think Apple sold around 6-10 million Macs. They sold double that in iPods over the 2006 winter holiday season alone. The iPhone is likely to be big - even bigger than we feel Mac OS X is.
4) With #3 out of the way: don't worry about the future of Macs or Mac OS X. Product launches like the iPhone are a tremendous effort for any company, but they typically herald in a period where many of that products resources can go back to their regularly scheduled focus. This certainly isn't always the case, but what I'm trying to say is that, in all likelihood, most of the engineers Apple said they had to commandeer from the Leopard wing at Cupertino for the iPhone will go back to Mac OS X development and, for the most part, stay there. The Mac isn't going anywhere.
5) In a few days, maybe a week or two, John C. Dvorak is probably going to pen part 2 of his 'Apple to trash Mac OS X for Windows' article, a concept which he loves to push our buttons with. I recommend you don't bother reading it, and highly recommend that you don't submit it to us as a tip. We're not linking to good ol' Johnny until he shows us some TUAW love for once first.