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Apple previews Mac OS X Snow Leopard with QuickTime X

post #1 of 183
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During its developers conference on Monday, Apple previewed Mac OS X Snow Leopard, which will build on the success of OS X Leopard with a focus on performance and stability.

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.

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, Apples senior vice president of Software Engineering. In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the worlds most advanced operating system.

Snow Leopard's multi-core processor support will be delivered alongside a new technology code-named Grand Central, 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 Xs lead in 64-bit technology, Snow Leopard will also raise the software limit on system memory up to a theoretical 16TB of RAM.

Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which optimizes support for modern audio and video formats resulting in extremely efficient media playback. Snow Leopard will also include Safari with the fastest implementation of JavaScript ever, increasing performance by 53 percent, making Web 2.0 applications feel more responsive.

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.
post #2 of 183
Otherwise knows as "Snowpard"
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post #3 of 183
But...

1) Will it work on PowerPC Macs?
2) How much will it cost?
3) Will we really have to wait a year for a JavaScript engine that's in nightly webkit builds?
4) Will anyone upgrade if there are no new features?
post #4 of 183
I for one am very happy to see a major software company focussing on performance rather than piling on more and more useless crap, aka "features".

Now that it looks like the clock-speed race is over in CPU land, and it's switched to a number-of-cores race, research and development into how best to leverage that parallel processing is vital.

Anyone know where to go to get more juicy info on Snow Leopard? How long was the presentation? Hopefully ars will have something at some point.
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post #5 of 183
otherwise known as "Snow" job while they work on Multi-Touch interfaces.
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post #6 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

But...

1) Will it work on PowerPC Macs?
2) How much will it cost?
3) Will we really have to wait a year for a JavaScript engine that's in nightly webkit builds?
4) Will anyone upgrade if there are no new features?

Exactly what I was thinking. The answer to 4 is probably yes if it is very cheap or free. If it's 129 and doesn't add much but helps performance on apps that need it, you'll probably see people running those apps upgrading, but most average users skipping it.

It does seem odd that they are hyping the javascript update so much when it's something that should be included with 10.5.x.

Hopefully they'll clarify the intel/PPC thing today at the session, anyone know when it's over?
post #7 of 183
So much copy and paste. So few quotation marks.
post #8 of 183
Quote:
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.

That strikes me as a subtle way of saying that our current OS is more buggy and crappy than we'd like and we're going to take a year and fix it all.

Sheldon
post #9 of 183
I'm hoping that QT will support more media formats natively, especially WMV without a plug-in. Not that I like those other formats, but having to juggle 3rd-party shims and incompatibilities after various upgrades gets a little old. Perian is a great effort, but ultimately it should be rendered unnecessary if Apple picked up the ball.

(To hell with Exchange support - work on WMV so we can see the rest of the media files floating around.)
post #10 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

otherwise known as "Snow" job while they work on Multi-Touch interfaces.

Exactly! Oldest trick in the book. Calculated misdirection!
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post #11 of 183
It boggles my mind that they are releasing Snow Leopard which is primarily a maintenance release.
Bug fixes, security and stability should always be patched in and seeing as how we are only on 10.5.3 we have alot of numbers left to go.
I wonder if they are simply running out of ideas to fit in an OS. I think Tiger was their shining achievement and they didn't deliver near as much with Leopard.

Or perhaps there is more than they are telling us. Rumors of dropping PPC support. They do mention improving compatibility with modern hardware and I did read an article just today that suggested Apple may indeed be moving to opening up OSX to run on PC's. Whatever the case I think something is certainly up.
post #12 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I for one am very happy to see a major software company focussing on performance rather than piling on more and more useless crap, aka "features".

Don't be so sure of yourself. Apple constantly lies.
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post #13 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

But...

1) Will it work on PowerPC Macs?
2) How much will it cost?
3) Will we really have to wait a year for a JavaScript engine that's in nightly webkit builds?
4) Will anyone upgrade if there are no new features?

1. Probably not is my guess, but since this is a performance upgrade perhaps Apple is actually looking to keep PowerPC in the picture. After all, faster performance can only be better for older machines.
2. $129 or less, and I don't see why they would charge less
3. No, you have it in your nightly webkit builds :-D. Personally, Firefox 3 is still going to be the browser of choice either way because of its extensions + speed.
4. I will if it's faster, that's for sure. There must be some people who feel the same. Apple probably feels pretty secure vs. Microsoft in the features department, Snow Leopard is probably meant to make Vista's stability and speed look even worse.

I am personally more excited about Snow Leopard than any other Mac OS X release. I wish other software companies would freeze their features for a while and optimize their software like this. Apple's going for Vista's jugular here and they'll slice it.
post #14 of 183
What it says to me is that "we narrowed all of our attention to the iPhone and half-assed Leopard for you guys."

Well, as long as 10.6 is free that's fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

That strikes me as a subtle way of saying that our current OS is more buggy and crappy than we'd like and we're going to take a year and fix it all.

Sheldon
post #15 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux

I'm hoping that QT will support more media formats natively, especially WMV without a plug-in. Not that I like those other formats, but having to juggle 3rd-party shims and incompatibilities after various upgrades gets a little old. Perian is a great effort, but ultimately it should be rendered unnecessary if Apple picked up the ball.

(To hell with Exchange support - work on WMV so we can see the rest of the media files floating around.)

Maybe Apple should do this for the pro version and pay MS a licensing fee. I guess it would be a start. I personally just use VLC media player but I do understand it is a pain for people who are actually working with videos more than I do.
post #16 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

That strikes me as a subtle way of saying that our current OS is more buggy and crappy than we'd like and we're going to take a year and fix it all.

Sheldon

I don't think you will find many who disagree. 10.5 was a mess when released. Glad they are taking this approach.
post #17 of 183
It's a known fact that iDildo will run snow Leopard. While Macs continue to run slow Leopard
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post #18 of 183
I really don't think Apple wants to license WMV or WMA from Microsoft for the few users that want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I'm hoping that QT will support more media formats natively, especially WMV without a plug-in. Not that I like those other formats, but having to juggle 3rd-party shims and incompatibilities after various upgrades gets a little old. Perian is a great effort, but ultimately it should be rendered unnecessary if Apple picked up the ball.

(To hell with Exchange support - work on WMV so we can see the rest of the media files floating around.)
post #19 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZO View Post

Otherwise knows as "Snowpard"

now that it has native support for Microsoft, hopefully it won't be known as Deaf Leopard
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post #20 of 183
Holy Mackerel! If Snow Leopard provides this much optimization and power, I completely take back what I said several days ago. I'll definitely be upgrading as soon as this is released.
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post #21 of 183
I don't see Snow Leopard as an OS that many people will update to, and that's not going to be its main purpose.

As it's described, I think the focus will be on new Mac computers going forward, making them that much better - to really optimize new hardware with a mean and lean Snow Leopard to create screaming new computers. They can get rid of the parts of OS X that are in there for PPC and other older systems. Current computers will still work fine under Leopard (which will still be improved with updates). Current Intel machines may be improved with Snow Leopard, but the real benefit will be for brand new Macs.
post #22 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I really don't think Apple wants to license WMV or WMA from Microsoft for the few users that want it.

It's not something that I want, but it's something that most of us need, unfortunately.

I'm hoping that H.264/AAC ultimately win the media format wars and that WMV becomes marginalized (fat chance), but in the meantime there are still plenty of web sites that only support WMV. (The same goes for REAL, although that's all but extinct, and, regrettably Flash for video.) My desire is to see an improved Quicktime player that can play anything.

And yes, we've all heard about VLC, thank you.
post #23 of 183
Did anyone consider that Apple and Microsoft's deals here may go further into this than you think: ie. Take all our software types under licence? Microsoft can be bought with a price, and Apple wants switchers bad with all this stuff... so it might happen.
post #24 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

That strikes me as a subtle way of saying that our current OS is more buggy and crappy than we'd like and we're going to take a year and fix it all.

Sheldon

There's a difference between under-the-hood changes, which might be substantial, and surface changes and feature addition. If you've ever done any programming, you know the difference. If you haven't, well, I can see how you might misunderstand the message in this manner. "Grand Central" and OpenCL are very powerful projects. They'll be treated dismissively by everyone who doesn't understand them. That will be most people, sadly.

But yes, there's always cleanup and toning to be done, and I think we'll all benefit from a design cycle where that's the focus. The nice thing is that Apple CAN do this, because their frameworks are well-designed. I've heard it said by people who know that Apple's frameworks are designed very well but would sometimes benefit from optimization of the code beneath. This was said a lot in the 10.2 days and not nearly so much now--a nice benefit of point releases. But I'm happy to let everyone pause and tighten up the slack. Now is an excellent time to do it, too. Developers are going to come to OS X in much greater numbers, thanks to the iPhone. Let them arrive while the platform isn't TOO much of a moving target.

It will be interesting to see, when the time comes out, what the price of Snow Leopard will be and how many people will go for it. I've got some compute-intensive apps that are gonna love Grand Central and OpenCL. I just hope their developers are as excited as I am.
post #25 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

It's not something that I want, but it's something that most of us need, unfortunately.

I'm hoping that H.264/AAC ultimately win the media format wars and that WMV becomes marginalized (fat chance), but in the meantime there are still plenty of web sites that only support WMV. (The same goes for REAL, although that's all but extinct, and, regrettably Flash for video.) My desire is to see an improved Quicktime player that can play anything.

And yes, we've all heard about VLC, thank you.

Get flip4mac.
post #26 of 183
The real question is this: is QuickTime X a total rewrite or still building on the ancient QuickTime foundation? If it's the latter, I'm totally disappointed. We don't just need new codecs...we need new plumbing.
post #27 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

There's a difference between under-the-hood changes, which might be substantial, and surface changes and feature addition. If you've ever done any programming, you know the difference. If you haven't, well, I can see how you might misunderstand the message in this manner. "Grand Central" and OpenCL are very powerful projects. They'll be treated dismissively by everyone who doesn't understand them. That will be most people, sadly.

But yes, there's always cleanup and toning to be done, and I think we'll all benefit from a design cycle where that's the focus. The nice thing is that Apple CAN do this, because their frameworks are well-designed. I've heard it said by people who know that Apple's frameworks are designed very well but would sometimes benefit from optimization of the code beneath. This was said a lot in the 10.2 days and not nearly so much now--a nice benefit of point releases. But I'm happy to let everyone pause and tighten up the slack. Now is an excellent time to do it, too. Developers are going to come to OS X in much greater numbers, thanks to the iPhone. Let them arrive while the platform isn't TOO much of a moving target.

It will be interesting to see, when the time comes out, what the price of Snow Leopard will be and how many people will go for it. I've got some compute-intensive apps that are gonna love Grand Central and OpenCL. I just hope their developers are as excited as I am.

I agree completely. These are major advancements for OS X and for the Engineering, Pure Sciences, Gaming and more if they so choose to leverage them.
post #28 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

It's not something that I want, but it's something that most of us need, unfortunately.

I'm hoping that H.264/AAC ultimately win the media format wars and that WMV becomes marginalized (fat chance), but in the meantime there are still plenty of web sites that only support WMV. (The same goes for REAL, although that's all but extinct, and, regrettably Flash for video.) My desire is to see an improved Quicktime player that can play anything.

And yes, we've all heard about VLC, thank you.

REAL is all but extinct in part because Apple doesn't support it in Quicktime. Flash video is still growing, but not nearly as fast as it would have been had it not been for Apple's reluctance to support it in the new Quicktime and on the iPhone.

I think leaving WMV out of Quicktime will help do the same. It may be painful now, but the world will really be a better place when open standards like H.264 are ubiquitous, and that only happens when big companies stand up and refuse to support the proprietary formats.

Better to lobby web sites who don't offer standard video than ask Apple to pay for licenses to proprietary formats.
post #29 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

That strikes me as a subtle way of saying that our current OS is more buggy and crappy than we'd like and we're going to take a year and fix it all.

Sheldon

Sounds good to me. Leopard has most of the features I need. Now I just need to see more polishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I'm hoping that QT will support more media formats natively, especially WMV without a plug-in. Not that I like those other formats, but having to juggle 3rd-party shims and incompatibilities after various upgrades gets a little old. Perian is a great effort, but ultimately it should be rendered unnecessary if Apple picked up the ball.

(To hell with Exchange support - work on WMV so we can see the rest of the media files floating around.)

I think in the scheme of things Exchange support is more crucial to people than playing back WMV (with Flip4Mac does fine on my Mac)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

The real question is this: is QuickTime X a total rewrite or still building on the ancient QuickTime foundation? If it's the latter, I'm totally disappointed. We don't just need new codecs...we need new plumbing.

Legacy Quicktime 32-bit has pretty much been deprecated. My guess is that Quicktime X is the further evolution of QTKit and will be the defacto 64-bit media API.
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post #30 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

But...

1) Will it work on PowerPC Macs?
2) How much will it cost?
3) Will we really have to wait a year for a JavaScript engine that's in nightly webkit builds?
4) Will anyone upgrade if there are no new features?

If the focus is on performance, stability and security, then I wouldn't hold my breath for PPC support, since it will be getting close to 4 years since the Intel transition started. Also, PPC will get updates until 10.7 is released, because Apple typically supports the last two OS releases. So, i would expect Leopard might be the last PPC full OS.

As far as upgrading, I definitely will upgrade if there is serious performance and stability gains to be had. If they can jettison all this legacy support, they should be able to really deliver a serious killer OS--legacy support is what makes Windows so performance-lame, and also affects Mac users with support spread out through two platforms. In addition, this seems targeted to take advantage of 64-bit technology and multi-core technology, present in most new hardware, but something few can benefit from today.

I do think this should be a less expensive upgrade though.
post #31 of 183
Look at what Apple has been doing with names as of the last few years. Apple Computer is now just Apple. iTunes Music Store is now iTunes Store. PowerBooks have been renamed MacBooks. Now, their .Mac service has been changed to MobileMe, and banners at MWDC said "OS X for Mac" and "OSX for iPhone".

I wouldn't be surprised to see Snow Leopard as the beginning of a transition to provide Apple's OS to operate on non-Apple hardware.
post #32 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

Or perhaps there is more than they are telling us...

No no no! Apple has not been fulfilling any of our expectations for years now. What did we get with the $129 Leopard upgrade? Spaces? TimeMachine? New bugs? Adobe Incompatibility? Keychain problems?

How about with Leopard Server? Downtime? AppleTalk Bugs? Mail Bugs? Freezes?

So this is the BIG iPhone update eh? 3G and GPS? Wow! They should be embarrassed to dedicate a whole event for this update. What happened to voice dialing, or video capturing, spoken directions from Google Maps. How about some Mac stuff, maybe something that their customers need like the forsaken mid-tower, yeah I know we'll get bug fixes for Leopard in 12 months instead.

ARRRGH! They build-up so much anticipation and deliver so little. I mean 3G and GPS should've been in the first gen iPhone.
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post #33 of 183
The Snow Leopard concept is good as the releases have been getting buggier of late; an overhaul sounds like a good idea. But I do wonder about giving it the 10.6 update # though. It doesn't sound like Snow Leopard warrants a full number change.

Could Snow Leopard be the last version of OSX?
post #34 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post

I wouldn't be surprised to see Snow Leopard as the beginning of a transition to provide Apple's OS to operate on non-Apple hardware.

Not going to happen because the money is in both hardware and software. Not one or the other. I don't think there is any doubt about that.
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post #35 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey View Post

Could Snow Leopard be the last version of OSX?

It could be the end of version 10.x

2010-2011 may herald the beginning of OS X 11.0

I'm happy if they stop adding MORE stuff... to be honest, I already feel 10.5 has a lot (too much) crap. A lot is fluff and I struggle every damn time I have to explain to a switcher all there is to use.. they go into overload.

Even for myself, I use maybe half the goodies that OS X offers and I've been usin' Macs since 84!

It'd be nice if they would finally, once and for all, fix certain really basic stupid things like easier mixed environment file sharing (LAN between Mac/Win/Nix), and maybe after 15 years actualy have the damn green 'expand' button do something USEFUL. I hate warning new users "DONT TOUCH THE GREEN BUTTON!" Every damn app does very very wonky shit when you touch it...
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post #36 of 183
Bill Gates should press control-Q and quit his day job and dedicate exclusively to curing malaria.
post #37 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Sounds good to me. Leopard has most of the features I need. Now I just need to see more polishing.



I think in the scheme of things Exchange support is more crucial to people than playing back WMV (with Flip4Mac does fine on my Mac)




Legacy Quicktime 32-bit has pretty much been deprecated. My guess is that Quicktime X is the further evolution of QTKit and will be the defacto 64-bit media API.

Seeing as how QuickTime is Windows and OS X I'd expect QuickTime X to be Cocoa on both platforms allowing not an open but a closed Yellow Box environment for Apple that allows them to streamline QTKit for QuickTime, iTunes and Safari.

WebKit for Windows has several options outside of Apple.
post #38 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZO View Post

It could be the end of version 10.x

2010-2011 may herald the beginning of OS X 11.0

I'm happy if they stop adding MORE stuff... to be honest, I already feel 10.5 has a lot (too much) crap. A lot is fluff and I struggle every damn time I have to explain to a switcher all there is to use.. they go into overload.

Even for myself, I use maybe half the goodies that OS X offers and I've been usin' Macs since 84!

It'd be nice if they would finally, once and for all, fix certain really basic stupid things like easier mixed environment file sharing (LAN between Mac/Win/Nix), and maybe after 15 years actualy have the damn green 'expand' button do something USEFUL. I hate warning new users "DONT TOUCH THE GREEN BUTTON!" Every damn app does very very wonky shit when you touch it...


People that are waiting for OS 11 will be forever disappointed.

There will not be a day where you see a huge revolutionary change marked by a name change. It's silly to believe that Apple will come out with OS 11 and it will be 3D or some nonsense like that. Apple knows that radical change pisses people off.

Mac OS X has a great foundation...and will continue to smoothly evolve to add different, new concepts (as opposed to change radically). Mac OS X is modular enough to do this. If Mac OS went to 11, it would be in name only...and chances are the change between 11 and X would be minimal.
post #39 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

But...

1) Will it work on PowerPC Macs?
2) How much will it cost?
3) Will we really have to wait a year for a JavaScript engine that's in nightly webkit builds?
4) Will anyone upgrade if there are no new features?

1. Hopefully not. I hope they don't waste resources to support a computer nobody should have anymore.

2. The same as always

3. Yes

4. Yes there are new features. If they deliver, higher performance and stability are itself very very good features. If performance increases by 30% (and they are promising more) then that is worth way more than the price of the software since one would spend at least $500 extra in hardware to get that.
post #40 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post

Look at what Apple has been doing with names as of the last few years. Apple Computer is now just Apple. iTunes Music Store is now iTunes Store. PowerBooks have been renamed MacBooks. Now, their .Mac service has been changed to MobileMe, and banners at MWDC said "OS X for Mac" and "OSX for iPhone".

I wouldn't be surprised to see Snow Leopard as the beginning of a transition to provide Apple's OS to operate on non-Apple hardware.

Not going to happen because the money is in both hardware and software. Not one or the other. I don't think there is any doubt about that.

It will happen. Perhaps later than sooner, but it will happen.

Apple's current profits are in hardware. However, Steve himself noted how Apple is a software company in the event with Gates and Mossberg. Plus, there's that recent purchase of that PPC company...

Also, I see motivation for such a cross-platform move to compete with Linux. I know, I know: Linux is a long way off from prime-time when it comes to large adoption and ease of use. Still, it's hard to argue with FREE. --Almost as hard as arguing with EASY.

Apple is gearing-up to become a software company. Its stock will be $400 a share when this happens.
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