The day that Mac fans the world over have been waiting for is almost here - this Friday (August 28th) Apple will begin shipping it's new operating system - Mac OS X 10.6, codenamed Snow Leopard. So, what's new?
OK, first off, Apple is shipping Snow Leopard early. OK, not that early, but Apple has initially told everyone to pen September into their diaries as the month that the new OS would be unveiled. The two month's head start on Microsoft and Windows 7 (due to be released October 22nd) should help Apple bag a few extra sales.
So, what's new in Snow Leopard? Well, to begin with the system applications such as Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat and Safari have all been converted to 64-bit. The OS itself also makes use of 64-bit processes, allowing it to tap into increased memory.
Then there are a whole raft of improvements. In Snow Leopard there's a great deal of emphasis being placed on speed and reliability. Here's a snippet from the press release:
To create Snow Leopard, Apple engineers refined 90 percent of the more than 1,000 projects that make up Mac OS X. Users will notice refinements including a more responsive Finder™; Mail that loads messages up to twice as fast;* Time Machine® with an up to 80 percent faster initial backup;* a Dock with Exposé® integration; QuickTime® X with a redesigned player that allows users to easily view, record, trim and share video; and a 64-bit version of Safari® 4 that is up to 50 percent** faster and resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins. Snow Leopard is half the size of the previous version and frees up to 7GB of drive space once installed.
But the real news in relation to Snow Leopard is the price. Existing Mac OS X Leopard users get to upgrade to the new OS for $29. The catch? Well, the only real catch is that you much have an Intel-based Mac and not the older Power-PC based systems.
So, if you've been saving your pennies for a new Mac, you have a few more days to stuff the piggy bank before heading off to the Apple Store.
Who here is patiently awaiting the release of Snow Leopard?