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Snow Leopard, next OS, due in about a year

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.

Snow Leopard also features QuickTime X, which optimizes support for modern audio and video formats "resulting in extremely efficient media playback." Snow Leopard also includes Safari with the fastest implementation of JavaScript ever, increasing performance by 53 percent, making Web 2.0 applications feel more responsive, the company claimed.

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My wishlist...

    ...would include finding a way to access more than 2GB ram on my core duo macbook pro...

    For those looking for an X-Grid 'for the rest of us' you might try pooch

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: My wishlist...

    It's a hardware limitation, not software. Core Duos and even some Core 2 Duos are limited to 2GB and 3GB, respectively.

  1. gskibum3

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Those are features that have caught my attention.

    In about a year? Maybe by then the current Leopard won't suck.

  1. docbop

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Update != Upgrade

    Sounds like what should be a maintenance update will charged for like an upgrade. No new features, its not upgrade.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wonder

    What will the retail price for 16 TB of RAM be a year from now? I bet if you can afford that, you can afford to spring for OS upgrade to use it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    more importantly, what's the deal with PPC support. Will it have it? Will it not? Is it a "Hey, let's 'upgrade' the OS by removing support for computers we'd prefer not to support anymore".

    Of course, with the track record of the g5 PPC towers, there may not be too many of them actually working when Snow Leopard is released, anyway.

    And how much different, programming wise, is multi-core systems vs. multi-processor systems?

  1. nazzdeq

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This better be free....

    ...because if there aren't any visible new features, who's going to pay for it?

    They are just re-architecting some stuff and bug fixing. This is a yawn.

  1. GoMacMan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple has announced it will take another full year to fix all the problems in Leopard? "The world's most advanced operating system" now limps across the finish line.

    Apple has quite a racket...with fanboys paying $129 a hit to try out their betaware. Ever since Apple went OS X, it's been like Linux..a neverending parade of maintenance releases. Why can't they get it right? Where is the polish? The refinement?

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    GoMac, what system so you use? The alpha code that is Windows? Dude, history is clear, you are barking up the wrong tree. This will most likely be 10.6 and it will probably cost, all the whining, stay with 10.4 it runs fine. Apple I guess is finally ready to have the system be a peer level AD client, that alone is worth the upgrade and now the enterprise is ripe. Soon M$ will simply be Office, unless Apple wises up and makes Pages open and save different formats more easily.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos."

    cool maybe i can use one of these "dinky" new SSD 64 gig drives??

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