Word around the tech world is Apple has shipped "Gold master" copies of Mac OS X 10.5 to manufacturers and the employees have been given the operating system documentation, with which they can prepare for user questions on Leopard's new features. Wired reports:
For the curious, it looks like Leopard build 9A559, which was distributed to developers and beta testers last month, is the same build that was upgraded to final release candidate status. Whether or not that's the same build which was released to manufacturing (presuming Apple has actually released anything to manufacturers, as details are sketchy) is still up for debate.
Regardless, Leopard is slated for release this month, according to Apple's Web site. Wired bloggers project the release date will be Oct. 26 or Oct. 30.