Snow Leopard

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Snow Leopard is the codename for Mac OS X 10.6. Rather than focusing on new features, the release is primarily a performance and quality release. First announced at WWDC 2008 and again demoed at WWDC 2009, it was released on August 28, 2009. Snow Leopard is available only for Intel Macs.

Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X, which sold for $129, Snow Leopard costs $29 for Leopard users. The family pack sells for $49. Users of Tiger wishing to upgrade can purchase a box set containing Snow Leopard, iWork and iLife for $169.


Changes and New Features

Grand Central

Grand Central is a technology which will allow developers to better take advantage of multicore processors such as those based on the Core architecture and the upcoming Nehalem architecture. Using the same principle as data transfer in networks, processes are split into "packets" and are then assigned to any available processing core. This would be quite complicated for smaller developers to integrate themselves so it allows developers to easily gain access to the full potential of a processor.


Based on the C programming language, OpenCL is an open standard for allowing applications to access the processing power in graphics processors which have mainly used for graphics drawing only. This therefore increases the total potential power of many (if not all) systems in common tasks. This will also be managed by Grand Central.

Smaller Footprint

Apple claims that Snow Leopard has a dramatically reduced footprint and will require 6 GB less hard disk space than Leopard. It also claims significant speed improvements in many areas including installation, Preview, Mail and Safari.

Quicktime X

Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which features optimized support for modern codecs and more efficient media playback. The QuickTime Player interface was also redesigned.


In Snow Leopard, Exposé can be activated by clicking and holding Dock icons, and files can also be dragged onto specific windows in this way. Windows can also be used while in Exposé view.

Exchange support

Exchange support is added to Mail, iCal and Address Book.


Mac OS Versions

Classic (prior to Mac OS X) | Mac OS X (Pre-release) | Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah) | Mac OS X 10.1 (Puma) | Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) | Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) | Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) | Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) | Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) | OS X 10.7 (Lion)