Apple's Snow Leopard Leaping Forward At Lighting Speed

The Snow Leopard Operating System's video was taken down from YoutTube by Apple preventing folks like us getting an advance peek under the hood. However, since this new operating system is being premiered at Apple's WWDC June 8-12 in San Francisco, we were able to retrieve some first-hand reports from the Confab and surface a video by APPLEBuzz. The insights I uncovered will show you what makes Apple's new OS purr like a domestic kitten and race like a wild cat.

While the new Snow Leopard concentrates on improving the underlying technologies of this operating system,the most significant new offering according to Apple is "dramatically reducing the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos."

64-bit technology64-bit technologyWith the reduced footprint comes heightened speed. To accommodate the enormous amounts of memory being added to the advanced hardware, Snow Leopard extends the 64-bit technology in Mac OS X to support breakthrough amounts of RAM — up to a theoretical 16TB, or 500 times more than what is possible today. More RAM makes applications run faster, because more of their data can be kept in the very fast physical RAM instead of on the much slower hard disk."

Quicktime XQuicktime XThe QuickTime upgrade is a value-add that most users are going to enjoy as well. With the popularity of editing software like iMovie and Final Cut, it appears that the Snow Leopard will enhance Quicktime with editing features. Originally offered with QuickTime Pro only, now the new version of QuickTime, dubbed QuickTime X will allow you to trim videos almost instantaneously in addition to being able to share your vids with your iPhone friends. This coupled with the fact that the hardware acceleration will speed up performance, automatically correct colors, and improve web streaming will make QuickTime much more nimble than experienced in the past.

Snow Leopard will be available in September, although  no specific drop date was given at the Apple Confab. For updates on delivery dates interested parties can register their email addresses on Apple's Snow Leopard landing page. Existing Leopard users and new buyers will be pleasantly surprised at the pricing. For the first time with OS X, Apple will offer an upgrade pricing scheme along with the normal full retail versions.

  • Upgrade from Leopard: $29
  • Upgrade from Leopard Family Pack to Snow Leopard Family Pack: $49
  • Full retail Snow Leopard: $129

If Apple makes its September ship date, it will beat rival Microsoft to market. Recently Microsoft Windows 7Windows 7announced that it would have Windows 7 on sale Oct. 22. Microsoft has not yet revealed prices for Windows 7, but recent analysis by Computerworld noted that if the company cuts prices by the same percentages it did for Vista more than a year ago, some editions of Windows 7 could run about $100.

Let's see if the Snow Leopard lives up to its hype of being "faster, lighter, and smarter" than the competition, while purring like like a domestic kitten and racing like a wild cat.