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TECHNOLOGY / SOFTWARE

Apple Unveils Snow Leopard OS

By Mendelson Tiu | Monday | 08/06/2009

The battle of the operating systems has intensified as Apple will be launching its new Snow Leopard operating system a month before Microsoft rolls out Windows 7.


Click to enlarge

According to Apple, this new operating system is faster, packed with more features, and even comes with support for Microsoft Exchange.

Users will notice a more responsive Finder; Mail that loads messages 85 percent faster and conducts searches up to 90 percent faster; Time Machine with up to 50 percent faster initial backup; a Dock with Exposé integration; and a 64-bit version of Safari 4 that is resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins.

This new OS also includes an all new QuickTime X, with a redesigned player that allows users to easily view, record, trim and share video to YouTube, MobileMe or iTunes. Snow Leopard is half the size of the previous version and frees up to 6GB of drive space once installed.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Bertrand Serlet said, "We've built on the success of Leopard and created an even better experience for our users from installation to shutdown. Apple engineers have made hundreds of improvements so with Snow Leopard your system is going to feel faster, more responsive and even more reliable than before."

In addition, system applications including Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat and Safari are 64-bit and Snow Leopard's support for 64-bit processors makes use of large amounts of RAM, increases performance, and improves security while remaining compatible with 32-bit applications.

The Snow Leopard builds support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 right into Mac OS X Mail, Address Book and iCal so you can use these applications to send and receive email, create and respond to meeting invitations, and search and manage your contacts with global address lists.

Exchange information works seamlessly within Snow Leopard so users can take advantage of OS X only features such as fast Spotlight searches and Quick Look previews. Snow Leopard is the only desktop operating system with out of the box support for Exchange 2007 and businesses of any size will find it easier to integrate Macs into their organisation.

Finally, Apple's Multi-Touch trackpad is now integrated with the VoiceOver screen reader so users can hear and navigate different parts of a window or the desktop by moving a single finger around the trackpad as if it were the screen. Snow Leopard also introduces built-in support for wireless bluetooth braille displays and the connection of multiple braille displays simultaneously to one Mac.

Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard in September 2009 through the Apple Store (www.apple.com/au), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers. For Tiger users with an Intel-based Mac, the Mac Box Set includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife '09 and iWork '09.

Details of pricing will be available at launch.

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