Wall Street Journal technology correspondent, Walt Mossberg, is claiming that Snow Leopard will install on Macs running the previous Tiger OS without requiring installation of Leopard, contrary to Apple’s previous claims.

“For owners of Intel-based Macs who are still using the older Tiger version of the Mac OS, Apple is officially making Mac OS X Snow Leopard available only in a “boxed set” that includes other software and costs $169,” Mossberg explains.

“The reasoning is that these folks never paid the $129 back in 2007 to upgrade to Leopard. But here’s a tip: Apple concedes that the $29 Mac OS X Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140.”

If this is true – and we’re interested to test the claim – then Apple will likely attract a deluge of sales from Mac users who have until now been laid back in moving to the latest upgrade.

Snow Leopard ships tomorrow and the first batch of delighted reviews are coming in, reviews which pit the new OS firmly ahead of Microsoft’s latest attempt at an OS, Windows 7 .

The software sits at the top of the Amazon sales charts at this time, with pre-orders through all retailers at an all time high. Analysts now expect Apple to sell five million copies of the new OS within the year. We think sales are going to be far higher.

Mossberg notes a few hidden gems inside the upgrade:

– “Substitutions,” which is like the auto-correct feature in Microsoft Word, but extends the concept to Apple’s email and other programs;
– the ability for Snow Leopard to automatically reset the time zone on the Mac’s clock based on your location while traveling;
– and a new built-in function in QuickTime that allows you to record videos of actions you take on the Mac’s screen.”

Microsoft’s attempt to regain control of the OS market seems on shaky ground, with the company’s channel partners recently confessing just how impressed they are with Apple’s incremental – yet powerful – new OS.

Order yourself a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard hereand support 9to5Mac. Or take a look at thishand-picked selection of guides to the new OS, boost your knowledge.

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