Cutting it a little fine, and in the knowledge that Microsoft worshippers will use the fact that Apple delayed it by four months thanks to iPhone deadlines against it, Apple has finally announced the official date for the launch of Mac OS X 10.5 – codename Leopard.
Perhaps operating systems shouldn’t garner as much interest as they seem to, but there was enough publicity about Windows Vista, and we all know (well, OK, all of us Macheads know) that Vista is just a pale knockoff of OS X anyway, so why shouldn’t Apple get another chance to revel in the limelight?
Let’s be honest, OS X isn’t as exciting as the iPhone, or even the iPod (it’s probably a bit more exciting than the
doorstop Apple TV — see, I’m not totally sold out on Apple stuff) but there are some cool new functions in there that really make the upgrade worthwhile.
We’ve talked about them before — Steve Jobs has shown off the desktop Stacks, redesigned Finder, Cover Flow throughout, Time Machine, and Quick Look. There are, allegedly, 300 new changes. Of it, Steve Jobs spouted, “Leopard, the sixth major release of Mac OS X, is the best upgrade we’ve ever released,”
Admittedly, you won’t see all of those changes, but those that aren’t eye candy (if that’s all you want, use Vista), or designed to make using your Mac and finding files easier, will help make it a more stable, tamed animal. Or something like that.
Version 3 of Mail is a complete redesign, with stationery designs, Notes and To-Do lists, and tighter integration with the Address Book and iCal. No mention of any improved spam filtering, though, which is an absolute necessity. Perhaps they could pinch some of Google’s Gmail algorithms when they’re not looking?
Fortunately, Apple remain committed to some older Macs, and while it’s likely that a number of the “whizzier” visual functions won’t work, Leopard will install on any Mac better than a 867MHz G4 with 512MB of RAM. Eat that, Microsoft.
Oh yes, and it’ll have the complete version of Boot Camp, for Intel Mac users who really want to run Windows. The bad news for anyone using BC that isn’t upgrading to Leopard, though, is that their version will cease to function. Boo.
Stay tuned to Tech Digest, as your resident Mac fanatic (that’s me) buys, installs, and gives his verdict of the new operating system.
The single user version retails for £85, while a five-user family pack goes for £129. It can also be pre-ordered at the UK Apple Store, as well as various other retailers including Amazon.
Bring it on!