Snow Leopard to be a “Refinement”

Apple is set to release their new version of OSX, the operating system known as Snow Leopard, in September. They have said that the 10.6 version of the OS is not so much a replacement for 10.5 (Leopard) as it is a refinement.

Well, if you’re already a Mac fan like me, you might want to know what there is to refine. Thankfully, I’m not the one designing the software, because Jobs and his crew have done some major work under the hood, making an already innovative OS much sleeker.

The first thing we will notice about Snow Leopard is the price, at US $29. An upgrade would be very reasonable, but then I never was above paying for decent software. Also, if you have purchased a new Mac running Leopard on or after 8 June 2009, Apple will send you a Snow Leopard upgrade for 7.95 EU.

A lot of people will want to upgrade for the extended support for Microsoft products. Improved MS Exchange Server support has been built into Mail, iCal, and the Address Book in Snow Leopard. This means that all your email, contacts and to-do lists from Outlook will be viewable on your Mac. Add extra features to this like drag and drop contact lists and alerts for conflicting meetings, and Leopard becomes a shoe-in for Outlook lovers.

I might also mention here that MS has said they will replace Extourage in the Mac Office Suite with Outlook for Mac. It will still be different from the Windows version of the program, but it will add support for a lot more Exchange features.

As far as other changes go, Leopard is going to be faster and lighter than its predecessor. Among other improvements, the new OS will install up to 45 percent faster, have faster boot times, quicker shutdowns, faster Time Machine backups, and a smother process when hooking up to wireless networks. Apple also touts that when you install the new Snow Leopard, you will notice that it frees up about 6GB of space. What did they do with the rest of it? Only Apple knows.

Other changes will include an updated and slicker Quicktime, Expose integration with dock icons, and the new version of Safari, which was released in June.

All in all, it seems that Snow Leopard is going to be a must have for all Intel-Mac users. Sorry PPC, the new OSX is a no go for you.

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