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Apple releases OS X 10.9, dubbed Mavericks

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October 7, 2013

Apple has released the Golden Master (GM) version of its upcoming OS X 10.9 operating system, dubbed Mavericks, along with the GM version 5.0.1 of its integrated development environment, Xcode.

A Golden Master, for those of you in the Microsoft camp who are used to the term Release to Manufacturing (RTM), should be the final version of the operating system, ready to be released to developers.

There was an unsubstantiated, feebly sourced rumor that Apple may hold an event on October 15 to announce new iPads and iMacs, but the new iMacs were released last week, and nothing has yet been heard from Apple about an event on the 15th.

There's also the possibility that Apple will repeat what it did for Mountain Lion and its predecessor, Lion, and announce the release during its conference call following the posting of its fiscal third-quarter results.

That date hasn't yet been announced but last year's Q3 result were posted on October 25, and the previous years' on October 18.

Mavericks was announced at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference this June, and is essentially an under-the-hood tune-up of Mountain Lion, including such battery-saving improvements as timer coalescing, App Nap, Safari Power Saver, and better iTunes HD power efficiency.

Also onboard will be compressed memory, which not only saves power but should also increase performance if the compression algorithm is sufficiently fast.

More information about Mavericks's core technologies can be found in a white paper from Apple entitled "OS X Mavericks: Core Technologies Overview".

But don't expect any major user-interface tweaks in Mavericks since this is the first iteration of OS X that isn't graced with a feline name.

In other operating system news

City of Munich employees using Windows XP are now being offered free upgrades to the open-source Ubuntu operating system ahead of the definite termination of Microsoft support for the OS sometime in the second quarter of 2014.

The city's system admins have distributed no less than 2,000 CDs carrying Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (long term support) to libraries across Munich, for users to borrow, download and install the Linux OS. But this isn't new, the city of Munich had been pondering the idea for a while now.

The Ubuntu operating system is also being made available for download, with a link to the website. The CDs are targeted at those members of the Munich citizenry who are unable or not skilled enough to install Ubuntu via a download, the city said.

The city stressed it would not be supporting converts, though, and you’re on your own once you switch. Munich said it wanted to support customers of Microsoft who’d be affected by the end-of-support deadline for Windows XP next April.

If the pattern of Windows XP’s utilization in Munich reflects the rest of the world, then that would mean about a third of desktop machines are still on Microsoft’s dated operating system.

Windows XP is the world’s second most popular OS after Windows 7, with users showing little sign of budging – despite the fact there will be no more security updates from Microsoft after April 8, 2014.

Tempting users to Ubuntu would throw a wrench in the works of Microsoft's ultimate plans for Windows XP users to adopt Windows 8.1.

In general, the city of Munich is something of an advocate of Linux and open systems. The city has spent several years migrating 15,000 PCs in twenty-two departments at fifty-one locations from Microsoft’s Windows and Office.

The city is installing its own brand of Linux, a Ubuntu and Debian flavor it's calling LiMux, and has moved from Office to OpenOffice. The project began more than 6 1/2 years ago and was due for completion sometime later this year.

The city officially parted ways with Microsoft ten years ago, with a council vote to switch platforms. The vote was at the height of Microsoft’s war with Linux and industry battle over document formats, with the rise of ODF suddenly challenging the utilization of Office’s closed file extensions.

The transition towards open source began among some governments and local authorities in Germany, charged with spending tax-payers' money and suddenly concerned about maintaining open systems.

Munich elected to end its use of Microsoft to stop its reliance on a single company for its technology needs, which it called a "monopoly-like position".

Microsoft fought as hard as it could to retain Munich, offering deals and discounts and with chief executive Steve Ballmer interrupting a skiing holiday in Switzerland to pop across the border and personally lobby for the German city to stay in the Windows camp, but to no avail.

Source: Apple.

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