Feeds

Apple takes Snow Leopard for walk

Claws Windows, embraces Exchange

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

WWDC Apple today released some intriguing details about the next version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, including the surprise good news that it will cost a mere $29 and the expected bad news that it will run only on Intel-based Macs.

Snow Leopard's debut at Monday morning's Worldwide Developer Conference cotillion keynote broke little new ground - most everything major had either already been announced or leaked. What was interesting was the wealth - for Apple, at least - of detail.

Before launching into those details, however, Apple's SVP for software engineering, Bertrand Serlet, couldn't resisting kicking Microsoft a bit while it's down on its Vista luck. "Microsoft has dug quite a big hole for themselves with Vista," he gloated, "and they're trying to get out of it with Windows 7."

Having inserted the knife, he twisted it, saying, "But underlying Windows 7 you have the same old technologies: DLLs, the Registry, disk defragmentation - no end user should ever have to know about that." He also tossed a few barbs at Windows' security subsystems, saying that they'll be even more complex in Windows 7 to prevent a PC from being "infested" with malware.

"So that's Windows 7," he sniffed, "same old technology as Vista. Fundamentally it's just another version of Vista."

Needless to say, he prefers Mac OS X. "We love Leopard," he enthused, saying that Apple's goal for Snow Leopard was "to build a better Leopard." And if this next version of Mac OS X lives up to what Serlet and other Apple honchos went on to demonstrate, Apple may have pulled it off.

Applications

Safari: Safari 4 was released as a public beta in late February. Today, it graduated to shipping status for Leopard, Tiger, Windows XP, and Windows Vista and will ship with - and be enhanced for - Snow Leopard.

A full listing of Safari 4's new features can be found here, including the highly touted Top Sites and Full History Search with Cover Flow. In today's keynote, however, the focus was on speed. According to Serlet, Safari 4 performed 7.8 times faster than Internet Explorer when running the SunSpider JavaScript-engine test.

He didn't, however, quote any of Apple's other speed claims, which still show Safari 4 coming out on top, but not as dramatically.

Serlet also claimed that in what he called the "gold standard" of web standardization testing, ACID3, Safari scores a perfect 100 out of 100. IE8, he said, scores 21 per cent. Now, whether or not ACID is a true measure of a browser's ability to run anything that's thrown at it is debatable, a 100 per cent versus 21 percent compliance is good marketing copy at minimum.

In Snow Leopard, Serlet claimed, Safari 4 will have enhanced crash resistance based on the ability to isolate plug-in failures without crashing the entire browser - or, for that matter, the entire Mac OS X.

QuickTime X: QuickTime - now QuickTime X - will be given not only a face-lift but also powers formerly found only in the extra-cost QuickTime Pro.

Most obvious is its new interface. Gone is the aging brushed-chrome interface with its semi-retro transport and volume controls. In their stead is a floating, translucent transport dialog similar to that in DVD Player. Roll over it to make it appear. Roll away, and it fades from view.

QuickTime X also has simple video-trimming capabilities: just drag to select the section of a video you want to keep or export, then send it to iTunes to sync it with your iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV, or publish it on MobileMe or YouTube. It also now uses Apple's ancient-but-sturdy ColorSync technology for improved color accuracy.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Interface

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.