Wearing his trademark turtleneck top and jeans with sneakers, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a preview of the new Mac OSX 10.5 operating system to the public at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Francisco this week.

Many commentators and the public have been less than enthused with the new features Apple outlined in the keynote address. It certainly doesn’t look like OSX 10.5, code-named Leopard, will ship with as many new features and enhancements than Apple’s Tiger release did over a year ago.

However, Jobs did mention many new features were still “top secret”. Top secret to even the developers who attended the event? Let’s hope not. Apple have come under critisism by the developer community in the past for not being open enough with developers who build software for the Mac platforms.

There may, however, be a good reason why Apple have decided not to show all of its cards for Leopard just yet — Microsoft’s Vista operating system is due to be released to the public early next year at the very earliest.

Now I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist and laughed at Apple’s Tiger launch a few years ago when they held up banners at their 2004 developer conference saying “Redmond, start your photocopiers”, and “This should keep Redmond busy”. It made for cheap laughs at the time because the Longhorn beta in 2003 and 2004 looked nothing like Tiger. However, Vista has since been delayed numerous times and has morphed to include many features that to me look very similar to those included in Tiger.

So is it that Jobs and Apple are holding their aces closer to the release date of Leopard this time around or are they running out of new ideas to enhance desktop computing?