Rather than add new features, the Cupertino-based Mac maker said the goal of Snow Leopard will be to enhance the performance of OS X, set a new standard for quality and lay the foundation for future OS X innovation.
Specifically, Snow Leopard will be optimized for multi-core processors, tap into the vast computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enable breakthrough amounts of RAM and feature a new, modern media platform with QuickTime X. Snow Leopard will also include out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and is scheduled to ship in about a year.
âWe have delivered more than a thousand new features to OS X in just seven years and Snow Leopard lays the foundation for thousands more,â said Bertrand Serlet, Appleâs senior vice president of Software Engineering. âIn our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the worldâs most advanced operating system.â
Snow Leopard's multi-core processor support will be delivered alongside a new technology code-named âGrand Central,â making it easy for developers to create programs that take full advantage of the power of multi-core Macs.
The new version of Mac OS X will further extend support for modern hardware with Open Computing Language (OpenCL), which lets any application tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications. OpenCL is based on the C programming language and has been proposed as an open standard.
Furthering OS Xâs lead in 64-bit technology, Snow Leopard will also raise the software limit on system memory up to a theoretical 16TB of RAM.
Also, for the first time, Mac OS X will include native support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 in OS X applications Mail, iCal and Address Book, making it even easier to integrate Macs into organizations of any size.