NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL) October surprise is half out of the bag.

The scorching-hot Cupertino, Calif. gadget shop said it is hosting a press show to unveil its latest Mac operating system on Oct. 20.

This now explains why one analyst heard directly from an Apple source last month that its engineers were grounded for the month of October.
Apple

The tidbit of information seemed important, but until now it didn't match up with any obvious product announcements. The iPhone launched this summer, the iPad was under full sail, Apple TV had its own event last month.

The release of a new big-cat themed Mac OS makes perfect sense. Not only is it heavily engineered, but it has been more than a year since the last version -- Snow Leopard -- was released.

Now to solve the second half of the puzzle: What new ground will the next OS cover?

Educated guessers offered two prime suggestions: Cloud computing and Mac apps. Apple's mobile operating system, called iOS of course, has always been application driven and is an increasingly cloud-friendly platform. So it would follow that the Mac OS has caught on with those trends.

One example of a cloud or Internet-based feature could be music storage and streaming. Apple killed LaLa, its music streaming service acquisition, earlier this year, creating expectations that the service would be reintroduced as part of a new version of iTunes, allowing users to listen to their music on any Apple device at any time.

As far as apps go, put it this way: why should iPhone and iPad users be the only ones who get to use the iBook e-reader?

Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments section below.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

Editor's note: "Tech Edge" is a blog written and compiled by Scott Moritz, TheStreet's senior tech correspondent. The blog explores behind-the-scenes tech news, rumors and reports that Wall Street folks are talking about.

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