Snow Leopard, a reality

OS X 10.5.3, also known as Leopard and the current Operating System I’m running on my laptop as I write this entry, is a fantastic Operating System.  OS X, since 10.0, has been a leader in the areas of ease of use, security, user interface, speed, and features.

Since Apple switched to OS X, just seven years ago, they have had 5 major releases of the Operating System as well as about 5 smaller releases per major release.  That is at least 20 updates to the operating system in seven years.  How many updates have the other guys done in that amount of time?

Each major release of Leopard brought with it at least 300 new features on average.  This is where OS X 10.6, code named Snow Leopard at the moment, will be different.

Here is a quote from Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering.

“We have delivered more than a thousand new features to OS X in just seven years and Snow Leopard lays the foundation for thousands more,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering in the statement released by Apple. “In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world’s most advanced operating system.”

In my honest opinion, and really I’m trying not to be biased because I like the Mac so much, Leopard was an astounding “polishing” release of OS X.  Even though Apple managed to jam in another 300 or so features into Leopard when it was release, and even though they’ve refined many of these features since it was release in 3 separate updates, I still think Leopard has a fair amount of focus on efficiency, security, and polish.  Obviously Mr. Serlet doesn’t feel the same way.

I’m really looking forward to what Snow Leopard will bring.  Macworld is reporting that one major difference is that it will support “groundbreaking amounts of RAM”.  Well, that piques my interest.  But no matter what, I think that hitting the brakes to focus on Core in software development is not only rare in this business, but very refreshing.

Source: Macworld: Apple confirms OS X Snow Leopard.