This just in: Steve Jobs will kick off Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference on June 11 by previewing a feature-complete version of the new Mac OS X, codenamed Leopard. Attendees will then get to take a beta home with them.
Jobs has long hinted about additional features not yet announced in Mac OS X Leopard, leading many (including me) to speculate that the operating system will support the multitouch interface that's used by the iPhone. This could herald a new generation of touch-screen macs, be they new iMacs or ultraportable, flash-based laptops. Hell, a man's gotta dream.
What's significant about this keynote is that it could mean Apple is once again pre-announcing products that we won't be able to get our hands on for some time (see also: Apple TV, iPhone). This marks a significant shift from the previous strategy of announcing a new product as it ships, maximising the sales potential of a widely-reported announcement.
Is it a sign that Apple is struggling to keep up with the demands for innovation that are placed upon it? Is success leading it to a world where, like Microsoft, it'll pre-announce products only to hit delay after delay?
I hope not. But I also hope that the new version of the Mac OS has some groundbreaking features that haven't been announced yet. Unfortunately, I can't persuade my publisher to pay the £1,595 it costs to attend the WWDC so I guess, like you, I'll just have to wait to find out...