Apple’s playing it quiet on Snow Leopard, revealing only that the upgrade is focused on ensuring a future for OS X, with the implication that rumours of a move away from PowerPC is now in the company’s sights.

Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering describes the new OS stating, "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.  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 will enhance the performance of OS X, set a new standard for quality and lay the foundation for future OS X innovation. Snow Leopard is optimised for multi-core processors, taps into the vast computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enables breakthrough amounts of RAM and features a 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.

Expectation is already building on the software, which is expected to ship next year. It’s thought it will offer support for 64-bit computing, speed and stability improvements, and a unified development engine for all Apple devices. A new technology called Grand Central is expected to help developers design more efficient multi-core programs for Macs, and to offer more support for exploiting the processor power of graphics processors for non-graphics apps. Well, that and support for 64-bit computing and 16TB of memory – and an improved version of QuickTime.

 

Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which optimises 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 per cent, making Web 2.0 applications feel more responsive.

For the first time, OS X includes native support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 in OS X applications Mail, iCal and Address Book, making it even easier to integrate Macs into organisations of any size.

 


About the Author