Apple said on Tuesday the newest version of its Macintosh operating system would go on sale on October 26, hitting the market after a four-month delay due to the company's work on the iPhone.
The new version of Apple's OS X software, called Leopard, will cost $129 for a single user and $199 for a family pack that can be installed on up to five computers in one household.
New features include a file back-up feature called "Time Machine," improvements to e-mail and instant messaging, the ability to preview documents or files without launching a separate program, and quick access to other computers on a home or office network.
Leopard?s new desktop includes the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, a new way to organize files for quick access with just one click. Leopard automatically places web, email and other downloads in a Downloads stack to maintain a clutter-free desktop, and users can instantly fan the contents of this and other Stacks into a arc right from the Dock.
The updated Finder includes Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a simplified way to search for, browse and copy content from any PC or Mac on a local network. Content on any computer on a local network can now be searched using Spotlight, browsed using Cover Flow or copied across the network with a drag and drop. Mac members can use the new Back to My Mac feature to browse and access files on their remote Macs over the Internet.
Spaces gives users a new way to organize their work by creating customized desktops which can contain only those applications or documents needed for each project, with the ability to quickly switch between Spaces with the mouse or keyboard.
iChat offers even video chats in Leopard with iChat Theater, which makes it easy to show photos, presentations, videos or files in a video conference; screen sharing which lets users remotely view and operate another Mac; and Photo Booth effects for fun distortions and video backdrops that can instantly make users appear to be anywhere they choose.
Leopard marks the sixth version of OS X.
Back in April, Apple delayed the release of Leopard to October from its original June target, citing the need to divert software development resources to the iPhone, which was launched in late June.
The company also said its online store is now accepting pre-orders for Leopard.