Apple on Monday previewed Mac OS X Snow Leopard the next major version of the company's operating system.
Rather than focusing primarily on new features, Snow Leopard will enhance the performance of OS X. Snow Leopard is optimized for multi-core processors, taps into the vast computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enables more RAM and features a new, modern media platform with QuickTime X. Snow Leopard includes 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, Apple?s 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 world?s most advanced operating system."
Snow Leopard delivers support for multi-core processors with 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. Snow Leopard further extends 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. Snow Leopard also raises the software limit on system memory up to a theoretical 16TB of RAM.
For the first time, OS X includes 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.