Feeds

Apple takes Snow Leopard for walk

Claws Windows, embraces Exchange

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Interface

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.