Contrary to rumors that Apple would drop PowerPC architecture support with its newest OS, a tipster and possible Apple insider was able to get his hands on the most recent build of the yet-to-be released 10.6, and found some evidence that Cupertino might be keeping the chip alive.
The tipster, who asked to stay anonymous lest he incur the wrath of Jobs, found a WWDC seed release labeled 10.6. After poking around a bit, here's what he got:
• Work has definitely been done on PPC-native drivers, which means that PPC is unlikely to be dropped.
• A number of drivers didn't load on a Core 2 Duo MacBook, because it was using a 64-bit kernel and the drivers were only 32. The kernel was not only 64-bit though.
• "uname -a" reports: Darwin localhost 10.0.0d1 Darwin Kernel Version 10.0.0d1: Thu May XX XX:XX:XX XDT 2008; root:xnu-1286~1/RELEASE_I386 i386
• Googling that kernel reveals that there might actually be SnowLeopard releases out in the wild already, processing Rosetta@Home protein folding clients.
If the tipoff is true, then it looks like Apple's not quite ready to let go and hand over chip building to a third party. Perhaps we'll have to wait for a few more builds before we get to a completely Intel-only Mac OS X.