Panther 32-bit

MacMinute notes a Register report that Apple has confirmed Mac OS X 10.3 Panther will be a 32-bit OS, but with 64-bit libraries to support the new Power Mac G5 and beyond.
Is this really a big surprise? Maybe I just hang out online with, and read, more technically-minded folks, but I thought this was a foregone conclusion.
From my daily use of Panther (no, I didn’t dump the WWDC beta for Jaguar this past weekend like I said; rather, I have begun a much more rigid backup procedure), it is already an evolutionary step forward from Jaguar. Faster on the same hardware; the Aqua GUI is a bit more subdued, though I have mixed feelings over the new Finder. Quite simply, I like it, even in beta form, the same way I liked Jaguar over 10.1, and 10.1 over the original release. The OS simply keeps getting better, and at a much faster pace than what the competition offers.
Expect a 64-bit OS somewhere around 10.4, maybe even 10.5. There’s a lot of work that has to be done for that to happen, and developers have to be brought on board as well. A 64-bit OS will be something more revolutionary, and revolutions–at least ones that will matter in the long term–do not happen overnight.