Apple takes Snow Leopard for walk
Claws Windows, embraces Exchange
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.
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.
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.
Next page: Interface
So cheap it's not worth pirating
I am not an Apple fanboi but I am a Microsoft hater (more of an Ubuntu fanboi really) and I am highly amused to see an OS that knocks Vista for 6 that comes in only one version and costs 29 bucks. Go Apple!
There will be a few people ducking to avoid chairs in Redmond.
Vista Mark II Home Premium Super Duper Utimate Professional Edition at $300 including educational discount or Snow Leopard $29
now let me think about that one...
I doubt that the removal of PPC code amounts to much. Taking a random application in my apps folder: Preview.app shows as 70.2MB in the Finder. Digging into the contents of the package I can see that the actual binary is only 1.9MB and the rest is all resources. So I'd expect to save about a meg by stripping the PPC code out of the binary. Mail.app is 289MB in total, of which 5.7MB is code.
I'd be surprised if the PPC code amounts to more than a few hundred meg altogether.
They mentioned in the keynote about compression being a major reason for the reduced footprint. I haven't looked for any details, but I'd guess that they've changed the loader to allow it to read ZIP compressed resource bundles or something like that.
(Or conceivably they've extended HFS+ to support transparent per-file compression.)
"And although The Reg is a heatlhly, ongoing business, we simply don't have the travel budget necessary to track down and snuff each and every one of our millions of readers."
- It's nice to know that you would if you could though.
@RichyS ".....PowerPC binaries, which, for some reason, OS X insists on installing even on an Intel Mac".
I would imagine that is for Rosetta, leopard was supposed to be the transition between PPC and Intel.
i was just looking at the apple website, it would appear that 2-3 GB of the install space saved is printer drivers as these are now installed on the fly via the interwebs.
I would guess the rest is PPC binaries and demo software(hopefully)
"On a Hackintosh I built, CS3 for Windows runs faster on Win7 than CS3 for Mac on Leopard. Not bad for a late Beta, Microsoft."
So let me get this right, Windows ran CS3 faster on a machine you built than Leopard did? This is proof of what exactly?
Two things: compare the speeds on a Mac Pro of both OSs; use CS4
Get back to us when you've at least tried OSX on a system it was designed for rather than your own Frankenstein creation.