Home / Apple unveils Snow Leopard and a shiny Safari

Apple unveils Snow Leopard and a shiny Safari

Mac OSX 10.6 and Safari 4 have been showcased at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference

Mac OSX 10.6 and Safari 4 have been presented at the WWDC.
Mac OSX 10.6 and Safari 4 have been presented at the WWDC.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is in full swing and the fruit-themed company has taken its new operating system, Snow Leopard, out of the cage and showcased a new coat of paint for the Safari web browser.

Snow Leopard is the latest version of Mac OSX, and follows on from the popularity of its predecessor, OSX 10.5, which is commonly known as Leopard. Apple is claiming that the new operating system has a more responsive Finder, 85% faster-loading mail and a 90% speed improvement in file searching.

“We’ve built on the success of Leopard and created an even better experience for our users from installation to shutdown,” said Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple.

Snow Leopard will ship as an upgrade for Leopard users in September 2009 with a recommended retail price of US $29, according to a statement released by Apple. The street date puts Snow Leopard on shelves a full month before arch-rival Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, which the Redmond-based giant claimed would be launched in October.

“Microsoft dug quite a big hole for themselves with Vista,” Serlet alleged in his speech to the WWDC, reported on Telegraph.co.uk.

Windows 7, added Serlet, uses the same old technology as Vista, while Apple’s came from a different place.

Apple also took the wraps off Snow Leopard Server, which is a 64-bit UNIX server operating system and – according to a statement from the company – is up to twice as fast as its predecessor. The operating system comes with new features to view Wiki content on iPhones, a new Address Book Server and Mail Server Engine that supports push email. Snow Leopard Server is scheduled to ship at the same time as the desktop version, with a recommended retail price of US $499 for unlimited client licenses.

“Snow Leopard Server is our best and fastest server operating system ever, and unlimited client licenses make it an incredible value for any size business,” claimed Serlet.

The San Francisco conference was also the staging point for the launch of the newest version of Safari – Apple’s web browser. Safari 4 has been previewed in beta format since February of this year, but is now generally available for download.

“The successful beta release helped us fine tune Safari 4 into an even better, faster version that customers are going to love,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari is enjoyed by 70 million users worldwide and with its blazing fast speed, innovative features and support for modern web standards; it’s the best browser on any platform.”

Safari currently holds 2.19% market share of the web browser market – according to w3C analytics for May – with the top spots held by Internet Explorer with 57.4% and Firefox with 29.48%.