Shortly after releasing OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple announced that their next new Operating System was under development. Titled Snow Leopard, the next version of OS X would not be focused on adding a ton of new features to the Operating System but would focus more on increasing its core services, reducing its size, and increasing its speed.
After over a year of development, Apple announced that Snow Leopard was coming to market. Soon to be available to Apple computer owners will be the 10.6 version of their Operating System. And while the new OS appears to meet the goals set out for the upgrade, it seems that the most impressive part is the Price for the OS.
Snow Leopard Pricing
Previous versions of Apple’s OS X often cost near a hundred dollars for a single license with a five license option being priced around $129. Apple has broken that model with Snow Leopard and are offering the OS at a much cheaper price.
For just $29 Intel Mac owners can purchase a license of Snow Leopard and upgrade their Operating System. Apple does offer a “Snow Leopard Up-To-Date Program” that allows some Mac owners to get the latest OS for even less. The price to upgrade for recent purchasers of Mac computers (Those who purchased a computer after June 8, 2009) is just $9.99.
For just $49.99 a 5 license Family Pack upgrade to OS X Snow Leopard is available.
While Apple is offering the Upgrade price at a low level, users who currently have the older 10.4 version of the OS will have to pay a higher price. Apple isn’t offering option to upgrade from 10.4 to 10.6 directly. Instead OS X 10.4 owners will have to purchase the Mac Box Set that includes Snow Leopard, iLife 09, and iWork 09.
What’s New in OS X Snow Leopard
While the focus of OS X Snow Leopard wasn’t on new features, Apple didn’t walk away from the opportunity to improve the functionality of their operating system.
New features include an upgrade to Expose and the Dock. Allowing you to easily switch from active applications, windows, and tasks to get more done faster on your Mac.
Additionally, Apple has speed up the backup process with Time Machine. This makes it easier to backup your system for the first time and worry less about the process consuming system resources moving forward.
QuickTime also received a significant upgrade. QuickTime X is now the power behind audio and video in Snow Leopard. This next-gen upgrade to QuickTime allows OS X to continue to push forward in media related capabilities. One powerful and desired upgrade to Quicktime is the capability to quick and easily share videos either through MobileMe or Youtube.
iChat received an upgrade and now includes higher resolution chats. The best feature of the upgrades to iChat is that you now need less bandwidth to carry on a conversation with your friends and familiy.
Snow Leopard also includes Microsoft Exchange Support. This new feature makes your Mac even more ready for the business environment. Mail, iCal, and Address Book will all now come with the capability to sync with your Microsoft Exchange servers and sync your latest business emails, calendars, and business contacts.
One of the less hyped, but full necessary upgrade to the operating system, is the improvement to disk eject capabilities. Too often, the ability to eject DVDs or other media did not work in previous versions of OS X. Snow Leopard looks to correct that and the reliability of disk eject.
Snow Leopard Security
Like previous versions of OS X, Snow Leopard comes with some of the best security features including the OS X Firewall. While Macs aren’t virus free, they don’t get the same viruses your friends and family worry about on their Windows computers. Additionally, Apple has implemented a number of security methods into their OS to ensure the computer stays free from computer programs that look to take over or hard your computing experience.
OS X Snow Leopard stays up to date automatically. It periodically prompts you when system updates are made available for all of the core features of the OS as well as a number of upgrades to other programs including those in iLife.
Parental Control features on your Mac are also available in Snow Leopard that can help you control the computer experience of your children. The features included in Snow Leopard Parental Controls are similar to previous OS versions.
System Requirements for Snow Leopard
As mentioned earlier, Snow Leopard is for Intel based Mac users. The latest OS will not work on PPC versions of Mac computers.
Additional system requirements include:
- 1gb of Memory
- 5GB disk space
- DVD drive
- Internet Connection
Overall, the upgrade looks to considerable improve the speed and core functionality of the Apple OS. Faster Boot speeds, quicker to open applications, as well as the ability to gain back some of the disk space your hard drive was taken up makes Snow Leopard a viable OS upgrade for all Mac users.
Be sure to head over to your Apple store and pick up your copy of Snow Leopard on August 28th, or feel free to pre-order Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard on Amazon.