Mac OS X Snow Leopard and other Updates

040620093012The cat is out of the bag. The latest version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, code named Snow Leopard, will be launched in September. Current Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) users can upgrade to Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) for just US$29. That seems like a very reasonable upgrade price to pay.

Apple’s WWDC event is happening right now, and there are plenty of news to talk about. The iPhone is one of them, but there are plenty of hardware refreshes throughout the MacBook and MacBook product lines.

First off, there are the new 15″ MacBook Pros, and updates to the 17″ MacBook Pros. The 13″ models were all known as MacBooks previously, but the 13″ aluminum unibodies have now been “upgraded” into the MacBook Pro line. So now, the MacBook line has just that single white polycarbonate body version left. All the aluminum unibodies are MacBook Pros, except for the ultra-thin MacBook Air which remains as the MacBook Air. There is also some price drops. For example, the entry level 13″ MacBook Pro (which is the previous middle 13″ MacBook model, or the lower of the two previous aluminum unibody 13″ MacBook models) now sells for US$100 less, although it seems to work out to be only S$100 less in the Apple Singapore store.

The price reductions are great. For some time, I’ve begun to think that the Mac hardware have been overpriced. The reduction is “not enough” in my opinion, but it is certainly a first step in the right direction.

The new Safari 4 browser is finally launched too, and available immediately for download. I hope the various bugs that made me “give up” and go back to Safari 3 has been fixed.

I will be looking forward to Snow Leopard. I hope they have a bundle for iLife ’09 and Snow Leopard upgrade. Here’s a snippet about Snow Leopard from Apple’s press release:

“We’ve built on the success of Leopard and created an even better experience for our users from installation to shutdown,? said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Apple engineers have made hundreds of improvements so with Snow Leopard your system is going to feel faster, more responsive and even more reliable than before.?

Yeah, each new version is always faster, more responsive and more reliable. Although no specific date in September was announced for the release of Snow Leopard, if Apple does make the release on time, they would be weeks ahead of Windows 7. They better be weeks ahead of Windows 7, otherwise all the media attention would too quickly be turned to the launch of Windows 7 instead.