updated 08:05 pm EDT, Mon June 9, 2008
Apple touts Snow Leopard
Apple on Monday previewed Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the successor to Mac OS X Leopard; the next major version Apple's operating system focuses primarily on new features to enhance performance of OS X, set a new standard for quality and lay the foundation for future OS X innovation, Apple said. Snow Leopard is optimized for multi-core processors, taps into the computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enables "breakthrough" amounts of RAM and features the company's new modern media platform with QuickTime X. Snow Leopard includes out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and is scheduled to "ship in about a year."
"We have delivered more than a thousand new features to OS X in just seven years and Snow Leopard lays the foundation for thousands more," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world's most advanced operating system."
Snow Leopard, the company said, will deliver support for multi-core processors with a new technology code-named "Grand Central," making it easy for developers to create programs that take full advantage of the power of multi-core Macs. Snow Leopard will also feature Open Computing Language (OpenCL), which lets any application tap the GPU computing power (previously available only to graphics applications). OpenCL is based on the C programming language and has been proposed as an open-standard. Furthering OS X's lead in 64-bit technology, Snow Leopard raises the software limit on system memory up to a theoretical 16TB of RAM.
For the first time, OS X will include native support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 in OS X applications Mail, iCal and Address Book, making it even easier to integrate Macs into organizations of any size.