Earlier this month, we reported that The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s as well as Ars Technica’s sources said that Apple was working on the next version of Mac OS X, dubbed Snow Leopard. The news was that the new release wouldn’t focus on new features, but on performance. During yesterday’s WWDC 2008 keynote, Steve Jobs confirmed this rumour, and now Apple has published a preview page.The preview page is quite clear: Apple is going to streamline Mac OS X and increase its performance.
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. Snow Leopard dramatically reduces 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.
Apple lists 5 important points of interest in Snow Leopard:
- Microsoft Exchange Support: Mail, Address Book, and iCal will receive built-in, out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007.
- Multicore: “Grand Central” is a set of new technologies built into Mac OS X that allows developers to take advantage of multicore processors. In addition, the OS itself will become fully aware of multicore processors.
- 64bit: Mac OS X Snow Leopard will support up to 16TB of RAM, but sadly, no word yet on whether or not 64bit Intel processors will be required, as the rumours said.
- OpenCL: Open Computer Library allows developers to take full advantage of the processing power available on GPUs.
Nothing too exciting for average home users.
I can understand their energy to start focusing more on the business users, but unless Snow Leopard has some convincing features home users won’t bother to upgrade. Although this could be their strategy anyway, to skip a user friendly release and focus more on business and engineering user types.
I’m still happily running on OS X Tiger and have no intention on upgrading, until I buy a Intel mac in the next 18 months.