Snow Leopard arriving earlier than expected?

There are rumblings that the forthcoming update of OS X, Snow Leopard, will be arriving ahead of schedule - perhaps within the next fortnight. Originally due in September, some analysts predict it could show up on 28 August instead.

Apple's secrecy around new products is notorious, but sources are claiming that the latest developer build of the OS - 10A432 - has been labelled the "Golden Master", which means that it's the lucky one that will be shipped out on shiny plastic discs across the world.

That means that the software is ready to go, so when will it arrive? Apple said at its WWDC event in June that it'd be out in September, and that's the month that Amazon's quoting on its pre-order page, but given that the OS is ready, people suggest it could be out sooner - giving it an all-important two-month head start over Microsoft's Windows 7.

There's no official UK pricing, though a £19 seems reasonable, given the $29 US cost of the software. It's cheap because Snow Leopard is mainly just a performance upgrade, without many new features.

We'll keep you posted of anything else we hear about Snow Leopard's release into the wild.