yosemiteApple may release a public beta for OS X Yosemite as early as next week, according to an online report. Citing "sources briefed on the plans," 9to5Mac asserted that Apple plans to ship the public beta of Yosemite -- prosaically named OS X 10.10 -- later this month. At the company's annual developers conference last month, Apple said the public would be allowed to try out early versions of the Yosemite operating system, the first time since 2000 that the company has let large numbers of outsiders get an early look at an upcoming Mac operating system. Apple did not disclose a release date for the beta, saying then only that it would be "available for you to install soon." Because Apple has not offered a broad beta in 14 years, there are no past practices to use as a guide for predicting a ship date.

But some doubt that the public beta will appear as soon as “9to5Mac” claimed. "It's not even remotely close to being ready," said a commenter on the 9to5Mac story, which implied that the latest developer preview was still shaky. Apple released the fourth Yosemite developer preview on Monday. That update, and the three prior were available only to registered developers, who pay $99 annually for access to pre-release Apple software for the Mac, including OS X, so they can begin crafting or modifying their own applications. Apple has also declined to set a launch date for the final, polished version of Yosemite. If Apple uses the same timetable as last year, it will ship Yosemite on Oct. 15 or Oct. 22.