San Francisco (CA) – Apple today took the wraps off a refreshed and almost complete new version of MacOS X: “Leopard”, widely perceived as Apple’s answer to Windows Vista, introduced several new and is on track to launch in October.
After a surprising delay of the operating system, Apple has delivered on its promise to show what the company calls a “near final” version of MacOS X 10.5, commonly referred to as “Leopard”.
Apple said that the new operating system will bring more than 300 new features when it ships at the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year. The company is not only hoping that current Apple users will update to the new software: "We think current and prospective customers are going to love Leopard, and that it will help make the Mac even more popular," said chief executive officer Steve Jobs.
Among those new features, the company highlighted an improved dock, which now includes “stacks” that can combine desktop items into groups and allows users to quickly browse content while removing much of the desktop clutter at the same time. There also is an updated Finder application to accelerate the process of browsing and previewing files, a new backup utility (Time Machine), as well as “Spaces,” which creates groups of applications to enable users to quickly switch between different programs. Apple said that iChat and Mail have been updated as well.
Leopard is the first MacOS X to offer “full native” 64-bit support, while maintaining support for 32-bit applications. According to the manufacturer, the operating system also provides easy multi-core optimization and scheduling to take advantage Intel’s dual-core and quad-core processors. And just in case you are wondering, yes, Leopard comes with BootCamp, which enables users to run Windows natively on (Intel-based) Macs, as well.
MacOS X 10.5 is scheduled to launch in October and sell for $130. Additionally, Apple will offer a single-residence, five-user license that will be available for a suggested retail price of $200.