Apple finally releases 'Leopard'

After much delay and speculation, the latest version of the Mac OS X is finally launched.

SINGAPORE--Apple has finally launched the newest iterations of its Mac operating systems.

Dubbed Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard and Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard, the official launch comes after much speculation and an approximate six-month delay.

At 6 p.m. today, according to the local time of individual countries around the world, the operating systems will be available for purchase from Apple's online store or from the company's authorized resellers, Darren Sng, senior manager of software product marketing for Apple Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia at the Singapore launch held here today.

Prices for the Mac OS X Leopard are US$129 (S$238) for a single-user license and US$199 (S$369) for a single-residence, five-user license, while prices for the Leopard Server are US$499 (S$888) for a 10-client edition and US$999 (S$1788) for an unlimited-client edition.

Sng said that for customers who have purchased a Mac system from Apple's online store or from any of its authorized resellers on or after Oct. 1 this year, an upgrade software is available to them. They can contact Apple for the Standard Mac OS Up-To-Date upgrade package, for a shipping and handling fee of US$9.95 (S$16).

"Mac OS X 10 is Unix, it was based on Unix in the past, but today, it is fully Unix", Sng said, noting that the new operating system is also "a new desktop that goes beyond skin deep". One of its features, he noted, is the capability to back up and recover files via a "gorgeous interface".

In August this year, Apple unveiled new iMacs with aluminum and glass exteriors, and also updated its software for home Mac users, known as the iLife suite.

Sng declined to confirm rumors that Apple is planning to add ultra-portable notebooks to its line of products.

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