One nifty little bonus during the Steve 'n' Fred Financial Variety Hour yesterday was the unveiling of some interesting facts pertaining to everyone's favorite candy-coated but as-yet-unfinished operating system, the Mac OS X public beta. Mac OS X is clearly the horse upon which Apple is betting its future growth, so there's a lot riding on its success. Luckily, so far things are apparently looking pretty darn good.
First of all, there's the number of copies of the beta sold so far. Today's life lesson: don't believe everything you read. You may recall that mere days after the beta was officially unveiled, citing a "source close to OS X distribution," MacCentral reported that Apple had already sold 80,000 copies and, on continued average sales of 12,000 copies per day, expected to break 100,000 just a few days later. Unfortunately, the truth, while still positive, isn't nearly as mind-blowing. Steve announced that as of yesterday (more than a month since its release), the beta had actually racked up 60,000 purchases total, with ongoing sales of about 500 copies per day. (Now, admit it; if you hadn't seen MacCentral's numbers first, you'd be pretty impressed.)
Even better is the news that the beta testers are, in fact, beta testing. Steve reports that Apple has received over 45,000 separate and distinct feedback reports so far. We're guessing that 44,000 of those are about the Dock-- or maybe not, since Steve calls the overall response from those feedback reports "overwhelmingly positive" and says that things are "looking very, very good." In any case, with 45,000 opinions, bug reports, criticisms, and feature requests to dig through, we're increasingly sure of our gut feeling that Mac OS X's "early 2001" release will obey the letter of the deadline if not the spirit, and will surface sometime in May. But hey, we're willing to wait. After all, we've waited this long; you want it done fast, or done right?