Snow Leopard, the Undisclosed Future of the Mac OS X
Article by George Norman
On 09 Jan 2009
Mac OS X 10.6, codename Snow Leopard, is the operating system that will (some time in the future) replace the existing Apple big cat, the recently updated Mac OS X 10.5.6 (a.k.a Leopard). The thing is that during the Macworld 2009 keynote speech held by Apple CEO Phil Schiller, there was no mention of the Snow Leopard which is really a pity because the competition is not standing still.

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer at the 2009 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas has showcased Windows 7 Beta 1 and announced that the operating system will be made available for the general public. With this in mind, I think it is safe to say that not presenting the Snow Leopard at Macworld was kind of a cockup on Apple’s part. Even though Microsoft is currently pushing loads of media attention on its Windows 7 OS, Apple should have presented the Snow Leopard at least for the sake of hardcore Mackies.


Getting back to the Snow Leopard the main question on everyone’s lips is regarding the cost of getting it. Here is what one developer had to say at Macworld 2009: “From a marketing point of view, if you call something ‘Leopard’ and the next version is ‘Snow Leopard,’ then that [latter version] has to be free. Maybe [Apple can charge] a slight bump, but not a $99 upgrade.”

The simple truth of the matter is that pretty much all the improvements you can expect to find in the Snow Leopard are solely architectural. Apple should take that into consideration when coming up with a (fair) price for the Mac OS X 10.6. It might even be a good idea to give it away as a free Leopard upgrade.

Here is a quick list of features that the Snow Leopard should have if it wants to be a real crowd pleaser: a better Finder, compatibility with touchscreen technology, improved trackpad gesture support, enhanced IrDA and USB 3.0, Blu-ray and firewire support, and out of the box WiMAX.

Tags: Apple, Mac OS X, Snow Leopard
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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