Online glitch may point to early Snow Leopard launch

Yesterday, several news sites reported that Mac OS X 10.6 was listed for a short while as shipping within 24 hours on the Apple Store online. This glitch follows reports from several Apple rumor sites that Snow Leopard is due to launch as early as this month. Apple has still not announced a ship date for Snow Leopard and Apple officials were quick to say this was simply a mistake.

This also follows a report from MacRumors which received what is supposedly box art for the new operating system. The images depict what would be the Portuguese version of Snow Leopard.

As previously reported, Mac OS X 10.6 represents a series of refinements "from installation to shut down." Snow Leopard is faster and more efficient while taking up a smaller footprint. Improvements include native 64-bit applications, a faster and smaller install and native Exchange support. Leopard owners can purchase the 10.6 upgrade for only $29, Tiger owners will need to buy the entire Mac Box Set including iLife and iWork for $169. Family Packs for each version are also available.

Apple is still not offering pre-orders of Snow Leopard to the general public, only those who purchased an eligible computer through their Up-to-Date program can get a pre-order. This glitch marked the first time that Snow Leopard had actually appeared on the Apple Store website. Several other retailers however have been offering pre-orders for several months now, but still, with no estimated date of release.

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29 Comments

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Escalade_GT said,
We've all known this for a week now. The question is whether it's the actual finalized version.

try piratebay or other torrent sites :P though it's illegal

Faisal Islam said,
try piratebay or other torrent sites :P though it's illegal

That's not what he meant. The build that is the suspected GM is 10A432 but that is yet to be confirmed by Apple; the suggestion that it's the GM comes from the fact that it was distributed as a DVD image and has a pretty finalised EULA.

That's not to say that it isn't the GM though -- which is what Escalade_GT was suggesting.

Someone probably just hit the wrong button thats all. This hardly counts for 'news'. And how can someone draw the conclusion that it must be close to launch by a simply mistake like this? An employee probably just selected the wrong option in a dropdown box lol.

so the question is did anyone manage to order it through the apple store while the page was available.

If thats the box art, it makes me think Apple went back to the 1980's style box art... it just looks like the old software companies boxes...

Hmm, I'm pretty new to Macs, and thus OS X releases. I wonder if the localized versions are released at the same time as the English version? Are other languages even shipping on the same disc? Or do international users perhaps need to wait for ages like with Windows?

Edit: Oh damn, I think I just owned myself. I never noticed that was the Portugese box until I read the text closer. So I guess that answers my question, especially as Portugese isn't even a "major" language like German or Spanish. I assume a simultaneous release goes for all languages then! Mmm, faster and tidier, it's like Windows 7 for Mac.

There are all (major) languages available on same install DVD, at least that's how it was in Leopard and is now on Snow Leopard (10A432 build, which some say is final).

Jugalator said,
Hmm, I'm pretty new to Macs, and thus OS X releases. I wonder if the localized versions are released at the same time as the English version? Are other languages even shipping on the same disc? Or do international users perhaps need to wait for ages like with Windows?

Edit: Oh damn, I think I just owned myself. I never noticed that was the Portugese box until I read the text closer. So I guess that answers my question, especially as Portugese isn't even a "major" language like German or Spanish. I assume a simultaneous release goes for all languages then! Mmm, faster and tidier, it's like Windows 7 for Mac. :)

And Portuguese is more spoken than German, French, Japanese and Dutch. Swedish doesn't even show on the top 50.
Ohh the irony.
Source: http://www.photius.com/rankings/languages2.html

==========

And about the faster and tidier, I have to say, Windows 7 was a much bigger update than Snow Leopard. Seriously.
IMHO, Snow Leopard is a great product, and oughts to be shipped in every new computer because of its internal enhancements, but the upgrade wont feel like upgrading to Windows 7. Windows 7 brings an update almost like the Leopard brought to Tiger, a better UI (based on the previous release), new eye candy (ribbons!, a more integrated experience), etc.

Apple says that its difficult to enhance something already near-perfect, but they could have inovated. So many great ideas out there!

Snow Leopard brings :
- Some features from Windows that have been in it for ages.
Eg.:Like restoring files to their original location, from the Trash. That's not a new feature.
- Developer technologies for them to use.
- Cocoa and 64-bit enhanced experience.
- Other tweaks that could be offered in updates.

Basically, you wont notice a thing, and if you notice its a quick speedup here and there and less mac-related annoyances. Apart from that, the only thing you will notice is new bugs, like every new software release from any product brings.

Ricmacas said,
And about the faster and tidier, I have to say, Windows 7 was a much bigger update than Snow Leopard. Seriously.
IMHO, Snow Leopard is a great product, and oughts to be shipped in every new computer because of its internal enhancements, but the upgrade wont feel like upgrading to Windows 7. Windows 7 brings an update almost like the Leopard brought to Tiger, a better UI (based on the previous release), new eye candy (ribbons!, a more integrated experience), etc.

It's debatable whether Windows 7 is a "bigger update" than 10.6, but it's totally not worth arguing over, either - both OS updates look like they'll offer a big boost in usability, and I'm pretty excited about each of them.

The one thing I wanted to point out about 10.6 is that the "developer technologies" is actually more important than it seems. I use a number of programs made by "small developers" who, for better or for worse, rely very heavily on those developer tools. Those updates may not make the operating system seem revolutionarily new, but developers can suddenly increase the usability of their programs relatively easily, it seems.

For example, one of the 10.6 updates is that Preview will be able to recognize columns within a PDF. That's a seemingly stupid update - who uses Preview for PDF reading, and who would need that sort of feature? Yet there's a program that I rely heavily on for keeping track of various research articles (program name is Papers), and such a feature will likely allow them to implement a lot of annotation features fairly easily. That'll be a big boost to my productivity, and it'll make like a lot easier on me.

Ricmacas said,
Apple says that its difficult to enhance something already near-perfect, but they could have inovated. So many great ideas out there!
...
Basically, you wont notice a thing, and if you notice its a quick speedup here and there and less mac-related annoyances. Apart from that, the only thing you will notice is new bugs, like every new software release from any product brings.

I love radically new things that are much improved over the old as much as anyone else (especially when it comes with a fresh appearance), but I don't mind it if the looks haven't changed much. A quick speed-up here and there would be fantastic. We won't see the benefits of it yet, but the implementation of the new technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, OpenCL) will likely pave the way for some very nice things in the future.

If Apple charged their standard, full OS price for this, I might be a bit miffed. There's a fair bit of development there, but as you say, it won't seem very different to the average user. But at their upgrade price, I'll happily pay it and look forward to the improvements, even if they're just little speed boosts initially.

Ledgem said,
...
If Apple charged their standard, full OS price for this, I might be a bit miffed. There's a fair bit of development there, but as you say, it won't seem very different to the average user. But at their upgrade price, I'll happily pay it and look forward to the improvements, even if they're just little speed boosts initially.

That was my point, its just that Windows 7 brings major UI and usability changes.
I'm sure Windows 7 will seem very different to the average user.

For starters, the taskbar will be different, and its something you notice at a glance. I wonder what the elderly users will think of that :P .

That means, to me, that Snow Leopard is a smaller update than Windows 7. However, Leopard might not even need an update as big as Windows Vista needed .
But you can't deny the major importance of the Windows 7 update over the Snow Leopard's "fine tuning". Windows 7 isnt just fine-tuning, as a Windows user, I guarantee you anyone will notice the difference, even on a virtual machine.

Ricmacas said,

And Portuguese is more spoken than German, French, Japanese and Dutch. Swedish doesn't even show on the top 50.
Ohh the irony.
Source: http://www.photius.com/rankings/languages2.html

==========

And about the faster and tidier, I have to say, Windows 7 was a much bigger update than Snow Leopard. Seriously.
IMHO, Snow Leopard is a great product, and oughts to be shipped in every new computer because of its internal enhancements, but the upgrade wont feel like upgrading to Windows 7. Windows 7 brings an update almost like the Leopard brought to Tiger, a better UI (based on the previous release), new eye candy (ribbons!, a more integrated experience), etc.

Apple says that its difficult to enhance something already near-perfect, but they could have inovated. So many great ideas out there!

Snow Leopard brings :
- Some features from Windows that have been in it for ages.
Eg.:Like restoring files to their original location, from the Trash. That's not a new feature.
- Developer technologies for them to use.
- Cocoa and 64-bit enhanced experience.
- Other tweaks that could be offered in updates.

Basically, you wont notice a thing, and if you notice its a quick speedup here and there and less mac-related annoyances. Apart from that, the only thing you will notice is new bugs, like every new software release from any product brings.


sooo...need Bengali....it got 6th position...my language

Ricmacas said,
However, Leopard might not even need an update as big as Windows Vista needed

As an Macintosh veteran, I thought mindless Vista bashing was over a while ago.

As a MacBook Pro Owner that dualbooted Vista and Tiger, I had worst experience with Leopard at launch. I was immediately regretful about paying and installing it. Finder stopped working. Stacks were a mess initially. Performance was lower. And to be perfectly honest, I didn't think the aesthetic updates to the operating system were any good either. Not that those are a big deal.
10.5.2 was a great update and solved almost all of my problems. But that came out 3 to 4 months after i had upgraded. I ended up exclusively using Vista at that time.

Ironically, Vista has been rock solid after two service packs. I upgraded it to Windows 7 recently.

As a developer on both platforms I have seen from experience that both Snow Leopard and 7 are minor updates to their predecessors. Their user experience is fairly similar but slightly updated with things like Dock Expose and the expanded taskbar previews. The underlying code has been refined and performance has improved over the previous generation, but neither side has much more than "fine tuning" or evolutionary updates I would rather say.

The Snow Leopard performance difference is just as noticeable as the Windows 7 performance difference. Things are snappier in response. The finder is functionally the same but much more robust and reliable.

The thing that ticks me off as a developer is that while on the Microsoft side I can code for 3 operating systems using the same exact code thanks to the .Net Framework APIs being ported over to XP Vista and 7, I cannot take advantage of some of the awesome new APIs in Snow Leopard without sacrificing compatibility with previous versions of OS X. This is also a problem if you are aiming at PowerPC hold outs as they won't be able to upgrade at all.

What I'm trying to say is I would of preferred Snow Leopard to be a free upgrade rather than a paid one. In Microsoft terms, This is a service pack and an API update in one swoop. After using it, I don't personally thing it deserves the money people will throw at it but Apple is used to strong-arming minor OS updates on consumers by preventing backwards compatibility with new application updates.

Fagutish said,
The thing that ticks me off as a developer is that while on the Microsoft side I can code for 3 operating systems using the same exact code thanks to the .Net Framework APIs being ported over to XP Vista and 7, I cannot take advantage of some of the awesome new APIs in Snow Leopard without sacrificing compatibility with previous versions of OS X. This is also a problem if you are aiming at PowerPC hold outs as they won't be able to upgrade at all.

This is also the thing that frightens me as a user Even before I used a Mac as my personal computer, I noticed on my job that backward-compatibility seemed to be sacrificed early on. By comparison, it seemed like Windows retained backward-compatibility forever. It isn't like your computer stops working if you fall too far behind the upgrade mill, but with Mac OS X it seems like compatibility is generally dropped if you're behind by more than one major point release.

I wonder whether it's for the better or worse. Microsoft's backward-compatibility definitely hinders them, in many ways. If they can pull off the in-Windows virtualization then they may not be hampered quite as badly, but up until now it seemed as if the customer expectation of backward compatibility really limited them from making radical changes and advancements. By comparison, Apple rather mercilessly implements new technologies that may be completely incompatible with older ones (and the older ones are then completely unsupported and/or removed). In that manner they aren't handicapped by their past, but it's certainly less consumer-friendly (and coder-friendly, I suppose).

Ricmacas said,

And Portuguese is more spoken than German, French, Japanese and Dutch. Swedish doesn't even show on the top 50.
Ohh the irony.
Source: http://www.photius.com/rankings/languages2.html

==========

And about the faster and tidier, I have to say, Windows 7 was a much bigger update than Snow Leopard. Seriously.
IMHO, Snow Leopard is a great product, and oughts to be shipped in every new computer because of its internal enhancements, but the upgrade wont feel like upgrading to Windows 7. Windows 7 brings an update almost like the Leopard brought to Tiger, a better UI (based on the previous release), new eye candy (ribbons!, a more integrated experience), etc.

Apple says that its difficult to enhance something already near-perfect, but they could have inovated. So many great ideas out there!

Snow Leopard brings :
- Some features from Windows that have been in it for ages.
Eg.:Like restoring files to their original location, from the Trash. That's not a new feature.
- Developer technologies for them to use.
- Cocoa and 64-bit enhanced experience.
- Other tweaks that could be offered in updates.

Basically, you wont notice a thing, and if you notice its a quick speedup here and there and less mac-related annoyances. Apart from that, the only thing you will notice is new bugs, like every new software release from any product brings.


Windows 7 a much bigger update? So you have Windows Vista SP2 plus updates since SP2 and then you update from that to Windows 7 and its a big update?

The Microsoft Windows team has stated it is a minor update, that if a piece of software does not run on Vista that it wont run on 7. That is shares the same driver model. Probably 90+% of the GUI is the same as Vista. Its comes in the same 32bit or 64bit versions.

IMHO after using Windows 7 at work and home, including the RTM since August 6th, its a very minor update over Vista SP2 fully patched. It is a huge update over XP, and a HUGE update over Vista RTM, but its not a big update over its current offering Vista SP2.

Snow Leopard while not a huge update on the surface is huge underneath. Just the fact that its ditching all PPC code, and going to 64bit fully (for 64bit CPU's) is massive. Ripping out all that PPC code is huge. Another major update, for corporate Mac users, is the native Exchange support. I can tell how often I here from my Mac users how much MS Entourage sucks donky balls. Well after we rev them to 10.6 they will never have to open that pile os junk again to access their email on our Exchange 2007 servers.

As I see it, Windows 7 is just a minor GUI change over Vista SP2. Snow Leopard is a very minor change over 10.5.8 on the surface and a huge change under the hood.

Windows 7 doesn't share the same driver models. WDDM 1.1 is new to Windows 7. Also, there are quite a few applications and games that I own that did not work under Vista that work on Windows 7 now. The GUI was rewritten to take advantage even more of modern video hardware.

I'm not sure where you saw the "minor update" claim from Microsoft, but there are a lot more changes to Windows 7 than you seem to think.

Chicane-UK said,
I still don't think that's going to be the box-art though...

Then why are they using it for the Installer icon?