Apple to update Mac OS software Aug. 28

Highlights include support for Exchange and native 64-bit apps

Apple plans to release the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system on Friday, according to the company's Web site.

The updated OS, code-named Snow Leopard, will enjoy a number of new improvements. Chief one for the enterprise is that the new OS will have out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange, meaning that the calendar information and e-mail can be accessed from Macintosh machines in an Exchange environment. Instead of Outlook, Mac users would use iCal and Mail.

This will also be the first version of the OS where the built-in applications, such as iCal and Mail, will be native 64-bit versions. The OS also introduces a new application called Grand Central Dispatch, which can spread application threads across multiple cores of the computer's processor, making the program run faster.

Other new performance enhancements include a faster Finder and the backup feature, Time Capsule. A number of improved assistive technologies have been added as well.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Sep 1, 2009 Mark Frautschi Rockville, MD

Thanks for the notice. I believe that Time Machine debuted with Leopard, and that Time Machine in Snow Leopard is improved, designed to run initial backups faster. Time Capsule is a separate wireless SAN device that sinks backup data from Time Machine. The 10A432 build of Snow Leopard, with its new Cocoa-based 64-bit finder still has the occasional "spinning beach ball" when the OS, and thus the user, waits for something behind the scenes to happen. My great hope had been that Snow Leopard would kill the beach ball. It has perhaps only lessened it. Properly tuned up Windows systems seem to behave "snappier" (i.e. changing windows) compared with properly tuned up Mac OS systems and I seem to have observed this for more than 10 years. So, if it is not the Mac Finder, what is it that accounts for this difference? Macs have always set up their hardware interface (defining interrupts, etc.) dynamically, at boot time, whereas, I believe that Windows hard wires them (i.e. statically) in the registry. This is one reason why you can move a hard drive from one (Intel or PPC) Mac to another Mac (provided it is of the same architecture, Intel or PPC) and it will boot. Because the interrupts, etc., are hard wired this usually does not work for Windows unless it is between two identically configured motherboards. (Yes sometimes windows can repair and discover its way to boot, but then it may fail back on the original machine.) Is the static nature of the interrupts, etc., the reason Windows is snappier? Is this the trade off, boot your Mac from any drive versus a perceptible improvement in "snappiness"? If other readers or GCN staff know this, I would love to know. Mark Frautschi

Tue, Aug 25, 2009

Its good

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