Microsoft's Windows 7 has stolen the hearts of the tech community. Drawing glowing reviews, Microsoft's dedication to making a polished functional product has impressed many critics. However, many forget that it will face competition in the next-generation OS race -- Apple has been hard at work cooking up Snow Leopard, which is shaping up to be a significant release.
Apple has released new builds in recent weeks of the OS -- Mac OS X 10.6 -- to its developers. Build 10A335 was released April 23, just three weeks after the previous test release. Apple is looking to release the OS in the summer months, possibly at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), June 8-12 in San Francisco.
However, in the mean time, OS X users have something else to look forward to -- Apple has released Build 9J56 of Mac OS 10.5.7, an incremental update to OS X 10.5, similar to Service Packs for Microsoft OS's. The new release brings Bluetooth and "stability fixes". The incremental update will replace OS X 10.5.6, which was released in December 2008.
Apple also released the latest server version of Leopard. While Apple's server products are even more of a niche business than its computer products, the company is hoping to gain ground over Microsoft's Exchange Server with the new release.
One interesting thing about the new server product is that it will include an exclusive interface with the iPhone. Apple's WWDC agenda describes, "The Mobile Access Server provides a path through a corporate firewall for IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, and CalDAV without using VPN. Learn about the features of, and deployment tips for, this powerful new service in Snow Leopard Server."
While some IT administrators might find such open access to the iPhone alarming, as it could provide a route of intrusion, others might welcome the decrease in hassle it would bring. The move is an obvious attempt by Apple to capitalize on its iPhone's popularity and growing interest in the business community. Apple hopes to leverage that interest to spur the adoption of its server software.
And Apple insists that the new service is very secure. Apple Insider writes, referencing company sources, "Users will be able to access internal network resources from their iPhone or iPod touch with the same level of security that banks and online merchants use to provide SSL-encrypted website access. And because Apple designs both the server and the mobile client software, it can make the setup and configuration for using Mobile Access secured resources nearly invisible to end users."
Along with Snow Leopard, Apple is also set to release the QuickTime X Player. The player is reported to bring screen recording features to Snow Leopard.
quote: However, many forget that it will face competition in the next-generation OS race -- Apple has been hard at work cooking up Snow Leopard, which is shaping up to be a significant release .
quote: Taking a break from adding new features, Snow Leopard — scheduled to ship in about a year — builds on Leopard’s enormous innovations by delivering a new generation of core software technologies that will streamline Mac OS X, enhance its performance, and set new standards for quality.
quote: Isn't Windows 7 also only mostly performance optimizations? Therefore are you also saying Windows 7 is not a significant release?
quote: Do you mean BESIDES the completely re-done windowing and taskbar interface?
quote: Or do you mean the integrated Windows XP virtual machine? (Regarding the latter feature, is DT going to post an article on this feature? It was announced last Friday, and IMO is one of the most interesting and compelling features so far for Windows 7.)
quote: Apple claiming '15% performance increase'
quote: Would you mind defining that? What makes it significant?
quote: the first commercial OS with full native support for GPGPU/CUDA/OpenCL type technolog
quote: which is shaping up to be a significant release .
quote: 1. I see these releases (10.4, 10.5, 10.6, etc.) like Windows service packs when you think about what is included in them.
quote: 2. If you purchase a Windows or Linux system, you can choose which parts that you want. This means that you can get the latest and greatest (at a reasonable price) or you can get a good deal on some slightly older parts. On the other hand if you buy a Mac system, you are severely restricted on which parts you can get. The parts that you can get are typically way overpriced and sometimes a couple generations old. I know this allows for greater stability and reliability for a system, but I think it hampers competition and progress, not to mention that Apple is taking advantage of people who are computer illiterate.
quote: 1. I see these releases (10.4, 10.5, 10.6, etc.) like Windows service packs
quote: 2. If you purchase a Windows or Linux system, you can choose which parts that you want.
quote: 3. I hate it how people keep saying that Mac OS X is immune to viruses and worms.
quote: I'd rant about the limited software for Macs
quote: Sure, it's not "immune", but if you're doing normal stuff on it and installing updates, the chances of getting infected is pretty much zero.
quote: If you ask Apple OS X is better than anything else out there anyway :).
quote: And Apple insists that the new service is very secure.
quote: Charlie: Yes, I took down the Mac in under a minute each time. However, this doesn't show the fact that I spent many days doing research and writing the exploit before the day of the competition. It only looks Hollywood because you don't see the hard work in the preparation. If you set me down in front of an application I've never seen before and told me I have 2 minutes to hack it, as is often the case in movies, I'd have no more luck than your grandma at accomplishing it. Well, maybe a little more of a chance, but not much!
quote: Alan: So, if you had to make a recommendation, Mac, PC, or Linux? Or do you find them to be equally (in)secure?Charlie: I'll leave Linux out of the equation since I know my grandma couldn't run it. Between Mac and PC, I'd say that Macs are less secure for the reasons we've discussed here (lack of anti-exploitation technologies) but are more safe because there simply isn't much malware out there. For now, I'd still recommend Macs for typical users as the odds of something targeting them are so low that they might go years without seeing any malware, even though if an attacker cared to target them it would be easier for them.
quote: This will let MS finally strip out all of that compatibility code that makes Windows so huge.
quote: available to anyone with Windows 7 professional, ultimate or enterprise, so its not enterprise versions only
quote: But those three versions above are "the enterprise versions" so to say.
quote: How is MS going to deal with old code removal if XPM is not available on all versions? Say XPM took care of old code removal on enterprice versions, and old code was removed on those. What about consumer versions? XPM is not available for those, then how can MS do old code removal for them then? I don't get the logic here.
quote: I thought that if you want to do OS cleanup you include emulation/VM layer in ALL versions and THEN do a cleanup. How can you do cleanup just for selected few versions of an OS?? Please explain.
quote: 80+% of their sales
quote: from a business perspective, which OS gives you more assurance for future releases? Especially if you deal with lots of in house software?
quote: Business users stayed with XP for almost a decade
quote: many businesses have only just recently switched from Win2K to XP over the past couple of years
quote: most companies didn't upgrade to Windows 2K until a few years after it came out
quote: What's the problem in staying with previous version of the OS if necessary? Business users stayed with XP for almost a decade and were happy, OS X is no different.
quote: Apple can remove all the legacy code or whatnot and business users will just stay with previous version of OS X.
quote: The moment there's serious demand for legacy layer in OS X - the VMs for that will pop up like mushrooms after rain, including MS ones, you can bet on that.
quote: MS doesn't like that because they want everything, but I don't see the problem with highly focused attitude of Apple who clearly doesn't want everything.
quote: Its called support. XP has already ended, and security support will end very soon
quote: it is one thing for some software not being able to work because of the additions/removals of certain API's etc, it is entirely another to completely remove support for all legacy programs
quote: Apple decides to backwards engineer windows API
quote: Apple has clearly found themselves a target market, and it is not the business sector