At its developers conference Monday, Apple unveiled a near final version of Mac OS X Leopard, the sixth major release of what the company calls the "world’s most advanced operating system."
"Leopard is the best release of Mac OS X to date, surpassing even Tiger, and will further extend Mac OS X’s leadership as the most advanced and innovative operating system in the world," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "We think current and prospective customers are going to love Leopard, and that it will help make the Mac even more popular."
Scheduled to ship in October, Leopard introduces over 300 new features, including a new Desktop and Dock with Stacks, an updated Finder featuring Cover Flow, Quick Look, Time Machine, Spaces and enhanced iChat and Mail applications.
The next-generation Apple OS includes a completely new Dock featuring Stacks, which can help manage a user’s desktop clutter caused by browser and email downloads. With the click of a mouse, users can instantly fan out the contents of a stack to easily see each item.
Leopard’s Finder has been completely redesigned, adding Cover Flow as an innovative way to quickly browse and locate files and applications. Finder’s new Sidebar simplifies the organization of files on a Mac, and adds easy access to shared Macs and PCs on a home network. Subscribers to .Mac can also use the new “Back to my Mac" feature to browse and access files on their remote Macs over the Internet. Also new in Leopard is Quick Look, a new way for users to instantly preview almost any file, and even play media files, without opening an application.
With its unique ability to let users travel back in time to find deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media, Time Machine offers a compelling new way to protect your digital life. With just a one-click setup, Time Machine automatically keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on the Mac. In the event a file is lost, users can use Mac OS X’s Spotlight to search back through time to find and then instantly restore the file. Time Machine can automatically back up a Mac to an external hard drive connected with a FireWire or USB cable, to a server, or wirelessly to an AirPort Extreme base station with an attached hard drive.
Leopard also includes three new technologies that take full advantage of the latest developments in processor hardware: full native 64-bit support to enable applications to take complete advantage of 64-bit processing while still running side by side with existing 32-bit Mac OS X applications and drivers; easy multi-core optimization and scheduling to take advantage of the latest Intel hardware; and Core Animation, helping developers easily create animated user experiences as amazing as Leopard’s Spaces and Time Machine in their own applications.