Someone at CNET has a theeeoooorrry! You see, Snow Leopard, Apple's "under-the-hood" update to Mac OS X, actually has plenty of over-the-hood enhancements, most of which are suspiciously finger friendly. I think you can guess where this is going.
The thesis flags more or less every cosmetic and UI change in Snow Leopard as a move towards touch (and by extension, tablet) friendliness: the new Expose removes the keyboard and mouse from the equation, and empowers the big-buttoned dock; Stacks are now much more useful, negating the need to dive into Finder for many tasks; Quicktime controls (and editing) are poke-able; the tech behind the new (and oddly touted) Asian character input support could be extended to more drawing capabilities; and Safari 4's new Cover Flow integration is more useful as a touch interface than a traditional one.
I'll add a few more to that: Finder's new preview functions reduce clicks, and Snow Leopard's general speediness and space-savings would suit the presumably scaled-back hardware of a tablet.
It's miles from conclusive, and CNET's certainty and enthusiasm are easy to mock, but I like this. Jesus sees Apple's tablet as a bigger, more powerful iPod Touch, running some variant of iPhone OS—an solid theory, since you could argue that iPhone OS is Apple's touch version of OS X—but I've previously fingered OS X as the device's software, based on Apple patents that describe Snow Leopard-esque interface modifications to accommodate finger input. On top of that, OS X is already a decent touch OS—Cover Flow is everywhere, and the dock is a thumb-friendly natural.
And at minimum this story gives us one more website to commiserate with when Apple finally announces their plans to never, ever make a tablet. Thanks! [CNET]