Date: Monday, August 24th, 2009, 07:00
Category: News, Software
On Monday, Apple announced that its Mac OS X 10.6 operating system would ship on Friday, August 28th. Per Macworld, the company had previously said that the update would ship in September, but speculation intensified that it would ship earlier than anticipated after a glitch on Apple’s Web site late last week.
The Mac OS X (“Snow Leopard”) update was first announced at Apple’s 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple later confirmed that the update would bring new technologies such as a transition to 64-bit applications; Grand Central Dispatch, which lets multicore machines take better advantage of those capabilities; and OpenCL, a system that allows Macs to use graphic processors for improved performance.
Snow Leopard will also include built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 in Mail, Address Book, and iCal, allowing users to seamlessly take advantage of those services in their e-mail, calendaring, and contact management.
The update’s focus on under-the-hood improvements boost performance as well. Apple has cited faster times for everything from installation to waking from sleep to system shutdown. Snow Leopard is also said to contain a smaller, reducing the size of its installation by around 6GB.
Additional features include a new version of Exposé, which now offers a more organized overview of windows, as well as the ability to view all of an application’s windows via the Dock; Stacks are now scrollable and allow you to navigate through sub-folders; and the Services menu has been revamped to be friendlier and more usable.
Other new bells and whistles include a new Date & Time preference pane which allows you to set your time zone automatically based on your Mac’s location, and Preview now allows users to easily select text from a single column in a PDF. QuickTime Player has received perhaps the most attention, getting an interface facelift that features a black control overlay that fades out when not in use, and new video editing and sharing features.
Snow Leopard will be available at the price of US$29 for those customers upgrading from Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”); a family pack of five licenses is available for US$49. Users upgrading from earlier versions can buy the US$169 Mac Box Set which also includes iLife ’09 and iWork ’09 or the five-user family pack for US$229. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac on or after June 8, 2009 can take advantage of Apple’s $10 Snow Leopard Up-to-Date Program. All versions of Mac OS X Snow Leopard require an Intel processor, 1GB of memory, and 5GB of free disk space to install and run.