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Apple to roll out Mac OS X 10.5 next week

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Apple has named the day it will release Leopard, the next major version of Mac OS X. It'll go sale in the UK on Friday, 26 October at 6pm.

Apple's pricing the product at £85 over here and $129 in the States - fractionally cheaper than the previous release, Mac OS X 10.4, Tiger, which retailed £89 in the UK.

Perhaps that generous discount is recognition for the longer than anticipated wait Mac fans have had to put up with since Apple switched many of its coders' focus away from Leopard and onto the iPhone version of the operating system.

When it arrives, Leopard will bring the usual array of graphical tweaks and extra features that have become a standard for major Mac OS X roll-outs.

Leopard's Dock, for example, now has a look that mirrors the one in the OS X-based iPod Touch, and Finder borrows a file browsing metaphor derives from iTunes' Cover Flow album art presentation system. The new Dock stacking view is essentially a new way of presenting the menu that current pops up when you click on an icon.

Alongside such graphical tweaks, we are looking forward to trying the new version of Mail with the addition of workgroup collaboration features not since Apple's PowerTalk from way back in the Mac OS 7 days. The Time Machine back-up system looks worthy of exploration - and with so much music, movies and content stored on Macs these days, comes not a moment too soon.

We're also keen to try Quick Look, a way to view file contents without opening applications and an extension of the preview features Mac OS X already offers. And Leopard will come with the final version of Boot Camp, Apple's Windows-on-Mac technology.

Apple has Leopard screenshots and details aplenty here.

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