It's been in the news for a while now, but Apple's Snow Leopard finally hits the stores ahead of its September launch date. Mac users will be able to get their hands on one this Friday, 28th August, at a much reduced price (S$48) if you're upgrading from current Leopard operating system, while users who have recently bought a Mac can upgrade at a discounted rate of S$18. With Windows 7 launching on the horizon (October), it does look like Apple has managed to beat Microsoft to the market with a much earlier launch. While this point is moot seeing as you can only use the Mac OS on Apple hardware (unless you're into some hackintoshing), it does give Apple's platform an extra edge in terms of being updated and being able to boast new features just like Windows would soon be touting all over.
That aside, Snow Leopard does give current Leopard users plenty of reasons to upgrade, and it's an impressive list of features that make the list:-
Snow Leopard takes up half of what Leopard uses on your HDD, and Apple says that the upgrade will free up at 7GB worth of space. We never understood why upgrading to a new OS should always take up more space, so this tweak is a pretty cool one in our books.
If you're the impatient sort, you'll be pleased to know that Snow Leopard has faster shut down and wake up from sleep time.
A Better Finder
A faster and snappier Finder awaits users who upgrade, with a customizable Spotlight and enhanced Icon views. Throw in a better disk eject function that tells you what's still accessing the drive and preventing it from being ejected makes a lot of sense to us.
It's a new version of QuickTime with new features like file conversion, GPU decoding, screen recording and more.
Microsoft Exchange Support
Snow Leopard now introduces Microsoft Exchange support for easy syncing between home and office via Microsoft Exchange Server
2007. So now you have no excuse for not working at home when you're on sick leave.
Multitouch Support Upgrade for Older MacBooks
You always knew that the older MacBooks were capable of more than the two-finger multitouch support you were stuck with, but finally hope has arrived in Snow Leopard as older MacBooks will now be able to have three and four-finger multitouch functions.
What we have here is really just the tip of the icing as there's a whole lot more to Snow Leopard, so do hop on over to Apple's site to see what else is there. There are plenty of incentives for Leopard users to upgrade, and Apple has made it much more affordable to make that transition. By the way, if you're looking to upgrade a family of Mac machines to Snow Leopard, Apple also has a 5-user license upgrade pack for $S78. If you're buying a new Mac system, you won't have to worry about paying extra for Snow Leopard as it already comes included in newer machines.