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OS X 10.9 to Bring Enhancements to Finder, Safari, Multiple Monitor Support, and Multitasking

9to5Mac shares some details on Apple's upcoming OS X 10.9 operating system, noting that the update will focus in large part on "power-user" features while also incorporating a few more concepts from the company's iOS operating system. Among the enhancements said to be included in OS X 10.9, codenamed "Cabernet":

- New tabbed browsing and tags in Finder
- Redesigned backend for Safari to bring "improved page loading, speed, and efficiency"
- Ability to keep a dedicated Space or full-screen app open on a single monitor within a multiple monitor setup

On the user interface side, the report suggests that there will be some changes, but that they "will not be drastic ones". As part of a management shakeup late last year, Apple's hardware design chief Jonathan Ive also took on responsibility for the Human Interface group on the software side, and it seems to be unclear how widely any changes resulting from his vision will show up in OS X 10.9.

Today's report also indicates that Apple has been working on new ideas for multitasking that could be included in OS X 10.9, drawing some inspiration from iOS.
According to one source, Apple has been testing a new multi-tasking system for OS X that is similar to the quick-app-switcher function on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The multitasking feature will be functional for applications in the background, according to this person. Additionally, Apple could use app-pausing technologies from iOS to pause background application processes in OS X. This is significant as full performance could be given to foreground apps, which could help optimize battery life on Apple's notebook computers.
Finally, the report draws into question previous claims of Siri integration in OS X 10.9, suggesting that changes to Apple's management structure have led to a complete reexamination of feature plans, and thus it is now unclear to what extent Siri will be integrated into OS X 10.9.

Apple will be showing off its next versions of both OS X and iOS and its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for June 10-14 in San Francisco. Last week, tickets for the conference sold out in two minutes.

Original iPhone Will Soon Be 'Obsolete' In Apple Retail Stores

The original iPhone will soon be considered obsolete in Apple Retail Stores according to an internal Apple document shared by 9to5Mac. Products considered 'obsolete' are ineligible for service parts and documentation at retail stores and cannot be repaired at mail-in AppleCare Repair Centers.

Apple typically makes products 'obsolete' or 'vintage' five years after they are discontinued, though there are some exceptions where required by law. The original iPhone went on sale in June 2007 and was discontinued in July 2008 when the iPhone 3G was released.

Other Apple products that will be considered 'vintage' as of June 11, 2013 include the mid-2007 models of the iMac, the late 2006 model Xserve, and the original Mac Pro. 9to5Mac has the list of newly minted vintage and obsolete products, while Apple maintains a list of all products named vintage or obsolete going back to the Apple II.

Apple Talking With Investors About $15-16 Billion Bond Offering

apple_apr13_bondsFollowing up on yesterday's initial filing from Apple addressing the company's efforts to issue a bond offering to raise cash in support of its stock buyback program, the company today filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlining its general plans, which include six different chunks of debt with staggered maturities. The Wall Street Journal has more on Apple's prospectus and other details being revealed in one-on-one meetings with potential investors:
The Apple deal comprises six chunks of debt, according to a regulatory filing from the company. Four tranches of fixed-rate debt are being offered in the form of three-, five-, 10- and 30-year paper. Rounding out the deal are two tranches of floating-rate debt, comprised of three- and five-year notes.
The Wall Street Journal indicates that Apple has not yet announced exactly how much money it intends to raise with today's offering, but that Apple is expected to offer "more than $10 billion" worth of bonds. Reuters cites a higher figure of $15-16 billion, which would rank the deal as one of the largest investment-grade bond offerings in history.

While Apple holds approximately $145 billion in cash and investments, roughly two-thirds of that money is currently held in foreign countries and would be subject to significant taxes if it were to be returned to the United States. As a result, Apple has elected to keep that money offshore and instead rely on relatively cheap debt to fund its capital return program, which consists primarily of a major stock buyback program and a quarterly dividend. Apple's current plan involves spending $100 billion to return capital to investors by the end of 2015.

Update: Reuters reports that the order book for Apple's bond offerings has now topped $40 billion, meaning that investors have offered bids for more than twice the amount of debt Apple is expected to issue. The oversubscription gives Apple flexibility in finalizing interest rates and amounts to be raised and indicates very strong interest in Apple's offering.