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OMG, OS X soon available for non-Apple hardware!!!!

Or not.
Okay, so there really should be question marks, not exclamation points, at the end of that headline, but if you’re trying to start a Mac rumor, you just can’t go with question marks. It’s all about projecting the confidence. ;-)
John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes that Apple had dropped the “Mac” from the name of their operating system. Evidence is this photo of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2008 hall, all geared up for next week’s conference. It pretty clearly shows banners that say only “OS X Leopard” and “OS X iPhone” — no “Mac” branding to be found anywhere.
That’s a contrast to the last two WWDCs where all the branding was “Mac OS X Leopard.” You can bet that Apple’s marketing team doesn’t make big glaring mistakes like “Oops, we left out a major part of the brand from all the conference signage,” so it’s a safe bet this is a new branding strategy. The question is why?
The easy and most expedient answer is given by the other banner in the photo, the one for OS X iPhone. Now that OS X is the underpinning for the desktop OS and the mobile OS, calling it Mac OS X is a bit bizarre since, well, the iPhone isn’t a Mac.
However, they could just as easily have left “Mac OS X” as “Mac OS X” and called the iPhone flavor “iPhone OS X” or (better, IMHO) “Mobile OS X.” No real pressing need to drop the Mac from the OS X brand.
The other factoid contributing to my rumor-mongering is the rumor that broke two days ago that Apple will announce OS X 10.6 (code named “Snow Leopard”) at WWDC and that OS X 10.6 will be the first Intel-only release of OS X, i.e. the first version that does not support the now-legacy PowerPC processors.
Dropping the Mac-specific branding from OS X plus announcing the first Intel-only version OS X — seems like things are nicely set up to allow for licensing of OS X to third-party hardware vendors.
OMG, OS X soon available for non-Apple hardware!!!! Extra bonus exclamation points: !!!!!

Greg Apple

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