Mac OS X 10.6, known as Snow Leopard, is picking up buzz as Friday's release date nears. An upgrade to the OS was the top seller on Amazon this week as pre-orders remained strong.
Close behind in on Amazon was the Snow Leopard Family Pack upgrade with five licenses for $49. The single-user upgrade for Snow Leopard costs $29, or $169 if purchased with upgrades for iWork and iLife. The Family Pack is $229 with iWork and iLife upgrades.
The new OS X reportedly includes anti-malware features to detect two Mac Trojans, RSPlug and iServices, if they were downloaded from the Internet. News reports have indicated the pop-up warnings don't appear if the Trojans are on DVDs or thumb drives.
CS4 Compatibility Issues
Photoshop product manager John Nack wrote in his blog that Snow Leopard has some compatibility issues with Adobe System's Creative Suite 4. The four CS4 versions include Adobe graphics programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.
Nack wrote, "As for CS4, everything is good with the exception of auto-updates to Flash panels (which I guarantee you're not using) and Adobe Drive/Version Cue (which doesn't work at the moment on 10.6)."
Apple posted some documentation for the OS on its Web site this week. The Getting Started document says that with Snow Leopard Server, which lists for $499, "small organizations and work groups without an IT department can take full advantage of the benefits of a server. Even a non-technical user can set up and manage Snow Leopard Server for a group."
On Monday, Piper Jaffray financial analyst Gene Munster predicted Apple will sell five million copies of Mac OS X 10.6 through the end of the current quarter.
Apple said Snow Leopard will make existing features run faster and more efficiently. It promised a more responsive Finder, a faster-loading Mail, and 80 percent faster initial backup from Time Machine.
Support for Exchange and 64 Bits
Apple also said Snow Leopard is the only desktop OS with built-in support for Exchange Server 2007. The company said Exchange works with Mac OS X-only features like Spotlight searches, Mail, Address Book, and iCal. It also said Snow Leopard needs half as much disk space as the current Mac OS X Leopard.
Snow Leopard provides 64-bit support for Apple's Safari 4 browser as well as the Finder and the Mail, iCal and iChat applications.
Mac OS X 10.6 improves software development for multicore processors through Grand Central Dispatch. In addition, the open-standard OpenCL gives developers better access to graphics processing.
On its Web site, Apple said Snow Leopard blocks malware through "the highest level of security through the adoption of industry standards, open software development, and wise architectural decisions."