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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