Today at Apple, fast on the heels of the announcement of a vastly
improved 3G iPhone came a preview of the new Apple
operating system Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). Apple hopes that Snow
Leopard "builds on the incredible success" of
its Leopard predecessor.
Apple touts that improvements coming in Snow Leopard will
include better support for multiple processors, better GPU support, better use
of large amounts of RAM, and support for Apple's new QuickTime® X
platform. The OS will ship in about a year and will come packaged with
support for Microsoft Exchange 2007.
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.”
Apple says that integral to its plans is the new technology “Grand
Central", which will help developers design more efficient multi-core
programs for Macs. The new OS will also allow use of Open Computing
Language (OpenCL) to use GPUs for non-graphics applications. And the sky's
the limit for memory with 16TB of RAM, theoretically, at the new operating
system's disposal (of course such levels are impossible with current chipsets
and DIMM densities).
Quick Time X is also a major new feature. It will draw from lessons
learned with the iPhone and will feature support for advanced video and audio
formats. Apple is also throwing in a new version of Safari, which it
increasing performance by 53 percent, making Web 2.0 applications feel more
With the addition of Microsoft Exchange, Apple should be able to better
interface with Windows computers in a business setting.
The new OS marks a continued push on Apple's part towards a longer more
Windows-like development cycle for Apple. Apple has often been criticized
for having too short a development cycle. The OS X family has seen the
production times slowly increase from an initial release-a-year pace.
DailyTech will follow Apple's progress in coming months as the OS
approaches its release and prepares to compete with the upcoming Windows OS,
codenamed Windows 7, due
out in about a year as well.