Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6, finally announced

This evening at Apple's WWDC the finer points of the OSX upgrade named 'Snow Leopard' have been announced.

The finer points of the operating system have been announced which include its Microsoft Exchange compatibility.

However what we've all been waiting for are prices and dates and I'm happy to tell you now that both of these thingsh ave been revealed. Upon wrapping up the Snow Leopard commentary Apple state: "So that's Snow Leopard." Available on intel Macs "past and present."

Moving onto pricing they conclude that they'd like to offer it for $129 but they won't.

"How should we price Snow Leopard? We won't price it at $129, because we want all Leopard users to upgrade. SO we are pricing Snow Leopard at the incredible price of $29".

Apple are also offering a family pack for $49. Apple state that this operating system will be available in September with a developer preview available today. This ties in nicely with the official release of Windows 7, expected in October.

There has been a range of new Snow Leopard features introduced today, also, which we will go through below.

Over 90% of the Leopard operating system has been refined, according to Apple; additionally to this, Finder has been rewritten in Cocoa, which means a lot of new features can be available to the end user. Apple's Exposé feature is now built into the dock, also; this means that you can click and hold an app icon, and all of the open windows for it appear as you would expect them to.

Preview is now twice as fast, as well as featuring better text selection in .pdf files, and it also support improved Chinese characters (you draw them on your notebook touchpad). Apple's Mail application is now 2.3X faster, and Safari 4 has some improvements too. According to MacRumors, "Safari is 7.8X faster at javascript than IE8 (Chrome is only 5X faster). Passes Acid3 test; IE8 only gets 21%. Safari 4 is included with Snow Leopard -- with some added features. Crash resistance (sandboxes plugins), 50% faster JS thanks to 64-bit, new and faster Quicktime (hardware accelerated, new streaming method that works with any webserver)."

Stacks has been improved to handle content better than it used to, including scrolling and drilling down into different levels of folders, which we already knew. You can now drag a file icon to the dock, and the appropriate application will open (or become focused) so it's easier to work with them. Spotlight can also now search browser history, for those who are interested in that. 64-bit is a big part of this new software, so Apple has been showing that off quite a bit; as you all know, it allows for massive amounts of RAM, and has other benefits too. Lastly, we've got full Exchange support, which is relatively self-explanatory.

Neowin reporter Sam Symons contributed to this report.

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91 Comments

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all there responses here are The CLASSICAL apple bashing,
Windows trolls really does not, calm down (don't know whats driving them mad, maybe their non-satisfaction with what they are defending? maybe apple is too threatening ? maybe Microsoft inability to keep up ?
maybe because they are used to afford junk (not all pcs) and believe that they had the best quality until apple came along?! and now thats too pricy for you?! guess what, thats what quality costs!.. even if they are more expensive than the standard high quality margin would be,... its worth it..

the IDEA.. is not that narrow minded to the point that you see it just the same PC components in a shiny overpriced package!! (I won't explain it.. because if you really care to know you would research that honestly yourself than just bashing!..

Macs works, entirely different that what PCs approach is. from a hardware point (as you can easily connect your harddrive to someone else's mac and boot it without installing drivers.. even if the specifications of the two systems are different or has different Peripherals or components cards!, excluding some Mac Pro third Party Expansion cards that require driver installations).. thats of-course regardless of that every piece of software or whatever are completely supported and compatible and trouble free, as if you had a game console and buying games and peripherals for it.., you are sure that games will work and won't be slow.. and its perfect for the console, and that would be it for any upcoming game that will be released for that console.. try imaging that with macs as they are consoles and its software and peripherals are like its games.. (of course excluding the ppc, and any big transition that could come up in the future)

as from an OS point of view, I cannot really compare OSX to windows. it would be unfair for both of them
bit i can say (and i've been using both from a long time) that OSX beats windows hands down when it comes to convenience!! ( there is alot to say here,.. but you can find that out yourself if you care)
also you cannot get that good feeling and sense of joy while using OSX from windows..
as for windows its has its strong points too, as for example being..duh. WINDOWS, and its wide software availability and some other business and professional usage domain strong points..

But as a blind fact, i see OSX as an innovative OS when it comes to how OSX works!..
I can't imagine how are you guys living with yourselves that easily when you are just denying apple innovation, or being innovative!
all you see that their products are garbage, pricy, etc... Don't you ever have something new to say? because I sense that the way here is just bashing.. and no valid arguments..
it looks like the classic arguments when atheists try to deny the existence of god, although they know that GOD is there!
so calm down..

AND I INVITE EVRY Mac USER TO STOP RESPONDING OR WRITING COMMENTS ON NEOWIN... because if thats the way windows trolls's gonna be, then lets leave them talking to themselves!

I don't say that all windows users here are that way though,.. so I hope i've not offended everyone!..
thanks.

For me speed and stability are the most impotent features.So it would a worthy upgrade in just 29$.
Lets see how Microsoft compete in pricing for its service pack windows 7.

excalpius said,
It isn't, which is why Snow Leopard is what 99% of the computer using world calls a SERVICE PACK.

What do you mean it isn't? 90% of the codebase was rewritten.

Rewritten is tricky terminology. I rather suspect that 90% of the codebase was recompiled as a 64-bit binary, and not actually made again from scratch. If it were indeed a complete rewrite of the OS I would think they would be selling it as a full OS that could be installed from scratch and not a $29 update.

Darrian said,
Rewritten is tricky terminology. I rather suspect that 90% of the codebase was recompiled as a 64-bit binary, and not actually made again from scratch. If it were indeed a complete rewrite of the OS I would think they would be selling it as a full OS that could be installed from scratch and not a $29 update.

You can't take primarily Carbon applications such as the Finder and simply recompile them as Cocoa. (64-bit)

No, it was very explicit that the Finder was completely rewritten. That one component is nowhere near 90% of the OS. Their big claim is apparently that every app is now 64-bit. That's great news, but hardly a difficult achievement, and frankly something I'd expected from both Microsoft and Apple 3-4 years ago.

Darrian said,
No, it was very explicit that the Finder was completely rewritten. That one component is nowhere near 90% of the OS. Their big claim is apparently that every app is now 64-bit. That's great news, but hardly a difficult achievement, and frankly something I'd expected from both Microsoft and Apple 3-4 years ago.

Ok, well if you're talking about completely rewritten from "scratch"--then yes that would be incorrect. But that doesn't leave out the fact that 90% of the codebase was rewritten (again, not necessarily from scratch) and refined with optimizations. (barring just a simple 64-bit recompile)

I wish I could take a look under the hood as to the specific changes, but sadly I don't have the developer seed.

To Everyone claiming that SL is a servicepack- please turn your attention to Grand Central, OpenCL, the complete rewrite of finder, Quicktime X, Exchange support, and then all the minor refinements to features such as Stacks and Quicklook. Of course, when there is a service pack released that features a complete rewrite of explorer, improves 90% of the OS in someway or another and halves the windows install size all for "awesome service pack free-ness", be sure to tell me so that I can confirm that hell has frozen over. There's no need to be douches about it...

Brendando said,
To Everyone claiming that SL is a servicepack- please turn your attention to Grand Central, OpenCL, the complete rewrite of finder, Quicktime X, Exchange support, and then all the minor refinements to features such as Stacks and Quicklook. Of course, when there is a service pack released that features a complete rewrite of explorer, improves 90% of the OS in someway or another and halves the windows install size all for "awesome service pack free-ness", be sure to tell me so that I can confirm that hell has frozen over. There's no need to be douches about it...

Valid points. You don't often see them in these kinds of discussions. Most of this one has nothing to do with the 10.6 announcement, but thread crapping. It's something I've come to expect with the Apple news.

For most people, the Exchange support is EASILY worth the $30. Compare that to the hundreds of dollars it costs to get the Standard edition of Mac Office so you can use connect to an Exchange server on a Mac.

EASILY WORTH THE DOUGH!

Why are apple only releasing snow leopard as an upgrade disc/disk?
At a very low price. Most people are saying service pack on here and i have to agree.

£30 for a service pack? i'd rather nail my foreskin to a wooden cross than pay for a service pack.
And why did Apple repeat them selves over and over, re-explaining everything they did back in the iPhone keynote they did a while back? time filling? yeah...spot on!

Yet again, another keynote has past and another round of things that didn't send a chill of excitement up my spine.

I'm more excited about widnows 7 to be honest and thats Microsoft for god-sakes

And why can't Apple just sticvk to one modal of the iPhone and update it? why keep releasing newer versions and don't give me all this **** about new hardware, thats ********!!

Tommy DW said,
And why can't Apple just sticvk to one modal of the iPhone and update it? why keep releasing newer versions and don't give me all this **** about new hardware, thats ********!!

they only can do it to make themselves look good. But they hit the wall of innovation. Other than same old OSX, iphone, ipod. What else they can created? Look at microsoft, in one year they have done so much things like project natal, surface computing, win 7 etc..... They created many new name and concepts

All those who are comparing this to a "Service Pack" clearly haven't spent more than 3 minutes looking into the new features. xD

It is being referred to as a "Servcie Pack" because (shock) that's what it is. In comparison, Windows includes new features in their Service Packs as well but they come without a price tag.

hotdog963al said,
All those who are comparing this to a "Service Pack" clearly haven't spent more than 3 minutes looking into the new features. xD


So by that same quote, anyone that claims Windows 7 is a service pack for vista.......

C_Guy said,
It is being referred to as a "Servcie Pack" because (shock) that's what it is. In comparison, Windows includes new features in their Service Packs as well but they come without a price tag.

Woah, I was pretty shocked right there.

hotdog963al said,
All those who are comparing this to a "Service Pack" clearly haven't spent more than 3 minutes looking into the new features. xD

Same things goes for people, or APPLE, who have not used Win7. Hypocrite much?

I wish MS would give away W7 for free. Whereby they increase market share and issue an apology for their disgraceful Vista.

TonyLock said,
I wish MS would give away W7 for free. Whereby they increase market share and issue an apology for their disgraceful Vista.


MS would probably be sued somehow for being anti-competative doing that

You better stand in line for Windows Mojave. That's what Microsoft is offering those who struggled with Vista.

And it is FREE for Vista customers.

- Did Jobs say anything about his product? No.
- Did he bash Microsoft? Yes.

So summarizing: he goes on stage, bashes Microsoft with an argumentation that is the main weakness of his product too, then announces a $29 update which wouldn't be so low if the OS was worth more than that or if he wasn't scared, he just didn't give a full Retail price, but nontheless he got everyone excited about it!

That's how Apple works, isn't it?

thartist said,
- Did Jobs say anything about his product? No.
- Did he bash Microsoft? Yes.

So summarizing: he goes on stage, bashes Microsoft with an argumentation that is the main weakness of his product too, then announces a $29 update which wouldn't be so low if the OS was worth more than that or if he wasn't scared, he just didn't give a full Retail price, but nontheless he got everyone excited about it!

That's how Apple works, isn't it?

Plenty was said about their product. Weren't you watching?

Faisal Islam said,
apple is just scared of Microsoft...

I wouldn't see why. There's a lot to look forward to with Windows 7, especially if you must use it in the workplace. I look forward to installing it on my bootcamp partition. But, will it sway me away from Leopard or even Snow Leopard? Not a chance. Neither OS is going to sway existing users.

Faisal Islam said,
apple is just scared of Microsoft...

Naw, they are not scared really. They are just wanting to improve their market share and the only way they know how to do it is negative campaigning. They cannot increase their share without it.

Blank DVDs are something like $1, and packaging around a similar mark. Apple are not making $70 on each shuffle as the total cost of parts is not their only expense. You also have to factor in marketing, R&D etc...

$29 is what people are expecting, and its a very sweet price. I see people are already complaining... Whingers. It could be free and you'd still moan.

That's right, it's like a Service Pack.

How about the changes and new features? I haven't read any info on this yet.

Oh, so you use it and have problems with it? Or do you know widespread complaints about it? Well, I'll tell you my experience as someone who uses it daily - 10.5 isn't broken. The real reason why they want all Leopard users to upgrade is so that developers won't feel hindered by releasing updated/new programs to make use of the fully 64-bit architecture. That's pretty clever, and a nice way to prevent your OS environment from getting too mired in the past.

But that works both for and against Apple. On one hand, it keeps almost everyone using the latest OS, with all of the features that it supports. On the other hand, it almost guarantees that if you fall too far behind on the OS upgrade track that you'll begin to have problems with newer programs.

The REAL reason they want every Leopard user to upgrade is so they can cash in on the service pack. Economics 101.

Oh sure, C_Guy, that makes wonderful sense. I'm sure that's also why they're charging $29 for it instead of the $129 that they normally would, or even a discounted $100. No Apple basher has ever called a major point upgrade anything other than a glorified service pack anyway, right? And Apple users have always been so stupid that they'd pay the full $129 anyway, right? Why stop with that rhetoric and line of thinking now?

Ledgem said,
Oh sure, C_Guy, that makes wonderful sense. I'm sure that's also why they're charging $29 for it instead of the $129 that they normally would, or even a discounted $100. No Apple basher has ever called a major point upgrade anything other than a glorified service pack anyway, right? And Apple users have always been so stupid that they'd pay the full $129 anyway, right? Why stop with that rhetoric and line of thinking now?

The only way they wouldn't make money if it it was free, so that part of his comment stands. They want everyone to upgrade, else they'd be a pretty stupid business.

I would suggest a size guide of largeness:

Windows Service Pack < Snow Leopard update < normal OS X update < normal Windows update. Win7 is probably closer to a normal OS X update, but still larger.

Now, the point here is that since none of the above are on a level, it's just silly to call an OSX update a service pack, or Win7 as being like the Snow Leopard update.

Ledgem said,
Oh, so you use it and have problems with it? Or do you know widespread complaints about it? Well, I'll tell you my experience as someone who uses it daily - 10.5 isn't broken. The real reason why they want all Leopard users to upgrade is so that developers won't feel hindered by releasing updated/new programs to make use of the fully 64-bit architecture. That's pretty clever, and a nice way to prevent your OS environment from getting too mired in the past.

But that works both for and against Apple. On one hand, it keeps almost everyone using the latest OS, with all of the features that it supports. On the other hand, it almost guarantees that if you fall too far behind on the OS upgrade track that you'll begin to have problems with newer programs.

Exactly... I have been using 10.5 since Nov. of 2007 when it came on my new MBP I have never had a problem with it unlike my windows computers which require a OS reinstall every 6-10 months in order to keep speed up and size down.

A $29 upgrade is a smart price for Apple, especially in the wake of the leaked Best Buy memo with Win7 upgrade pricing (a leak that looks suspiciously timed now, come to think of it).

I wish Apple well with this. It looks promising.

This is ridiculous...Snow Leopard is not just a glorified SP. If you are going to say that then you might as well say thats exactly what 7 is. IMO neither of them are a SP

Hurmoth said,
Yay! Gotta love anti-Apple M$ fanboys.

Windows 7 = the same thing with an updated UI. Thanks for playing :)

You are clueless and obviously have not used Win7. Win7 has a lot of improvements and things that are different. So thank you for playing. And until Apple lowers their HW prices for their products, then there is nothing to woohoo about. Until Apple can run a non bashing/negative ad campaign and instead tell the consumers about their products, there is nothing to woohoo about.

If Snow Leopard was the same as a full upgrade, Apple would have called in Version XI.

It's not, and it's sad to see the Apple faithful joyous about have to pay for something that should be free, just because they've been gouged $129 for the point release/service packs in the past two years.

$29 is very nice price...(good competition here with MS on upgrade charges though it wont help PC based user much...)but very nice price

But now i realize that charging $29 for a service pack is not good!!

Vista -> 7 is breathtaking...while leopard to snowleopard is not as vista to 7 right!?

Snow Leopard is like those decieving magicians that do some little tricks while they pick-pocket your wallet. That's my take on it. I enjoy free service packs.