Apple surprised many today when it announced it would be previewing the next version of the operating system that runs on its Mac line of desktops and notebooks, Mac OS X 10.6, aka "Snow Leopard". Despite questionable name choice, in its early stages it shows a lot of potential as an even more stable operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, featuring better 64-bit computing (a theoretical 16 TB, yes terabyte, of RAM is to be supported), full Microsoft Exchange support in its Address Book and Mail applications, improved multicore support through what Apple calls "Grand Central", and a technology called OpenCL that puts more processing to the graphics processing unit. Apple also promises an improved media experience through QuickTime X.
"We have delivered more than a thousand new features to OS X in just seven years and Snow Leopard lays the foundation for thousands more," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world's most advanced operating system."
View: Snow Leopard promotional page
We don't really know a whole lot about Snow Leopard yet, however it is also in its very early stages. Many are expecting a kind of "super service pack" that will improve stability, performance, and security drastically, while others are still hoping for a full consumer release with a plethora of features like Mac OS X Leopard. In addition, while Apple has not set an official price, many feel that it will not be as expensive. Completely on speculation, we believe that it will be in the $60 range.
According to Apple, Snow Leopard will ship in "about a year", which could mean anything in the current tech industry. We will keep you up to date on Snow Leopard as more information comes in, but for now all we have is the most basic of information from Apple and pure speculation and rumors.