Apple is said to be planning to install Mac OS X as the default operating system on new Macs from next March.

Macs are currently equipped with both Mac OS X and Classic, with OS 9.2 as the default start-up system.

The move will come a year after the release of the non-preview version of OS X. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said he sees Apple as being "half way through the transition to OS X" – and the March default OS X move fits that schedule.

Industry insiders say the decision is prompted by the burgeoning developer support for OS X, with only QuarkXPress and Photoshop left as the two "killer" apps lacking an OS X migration schedule. Apple has issued frequent OS X updates, and a much-improved software developer's kit (SDK) and Developer's Tools. Some device-support improvements are also expected soon.

The Register claims Apple's VP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, has gone on the record about the company's default OS X plans, but doesn't state a source for the story.

Apple UK was unavailable for comment.