Apple to focus on performance, core technologies in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Apple has posted information on the company’s website regarding Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.6 Server Snow Leopard.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Since 2001, Mac OS X has delivered more than a thousand innovative new features. With Snow Leopard, the next major version of the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X changes more than its spots, it changes focus. Taking a break from adding new features, Snow Leopard — scheduled to ship in about a year — builds on Leopard’s enormous innovations by delivering a new generation of core software technologies that will streamline Mac OS X, enhance its performance, and set new standards for quality. Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos.

• 64-bit: To accommodate the enormous amounts of memory being added to advanced hardware, Snow Leopard extends the 64-bit technology in Mac OS X to support breakthrough amounts of RAM — up to a theoretical 16TB, or 500 times more than what is possible today. More RAM makes applications run faster, because more of their data can be kept in the very fast physical RAM instead of on the much slower hard disk.

• Multicore: “Grand Central,” a new set of technologies built into Snow Leopard, brings unrivaled support for multicore systems to Mac OS X. More cores, not faster clock speeds, drive performance increases in today’s processors. Grand Central takes full advantage by making all of Mac OS X multicore aware and optimizing it for allocating tasks across multiple cores and processors. Grand Central also makes it much easier for developers to create programs that squeeze every last drop of power from multicore systems.

• OpenCL: Another powerful Snow Leopard technology, OpenCL (Open Computing Language), makes it possible for developers to efficiently tap the vast gigaflops of computing power currently locked up in the graphics processing unit (GPU). With GPUs approaching processing speeds of a trillion operations per second, they’re capable of considerably more than just drawing pictures. OpenCL takes that power and redirects it for general-purpose computing.

• Media and Internet: Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, a streamlined, next-generation platform that advances modern media and Internet standards. QuickTime X features optimized support for modern codecs and more efficient media playback, making it ideal for any application that needs to play media content. Because Snow Leopard delivers the fastest implementation of JavaScript to date, web applications are more responsive. Safari runs JavaScript up to 53 percent faster with Snow Leopard.

Microsoft Exchange Support Snow Leopard includes out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 built into Mail, Address Book, and iCal. Mac OS X uses the Exchange Web Services protocol to provide access to Exchange Server 2007. Because Exchange is supported on your Mac and iPhone, you’ll be able to use them anywhere with full access to your email, contacts, and calendar.

Mac OS X 10.6 Server Snow Leopard: Mac OS X Server, the world’s easiest-to-use server operating system, combines an intuitively simple interface with a rock-solid UNIX foundation to allow even nontechnical individuals to set up and manage a server. Since it was first released, Mac OS X Server has delivered hundreds of new features and innovations, including Open Directory, iCal Server, Podcast Producer, Wiki Server, NetBoot, NetInstall, and Xgrid. Snow Leopard Server, the next generation of Mac OS X Server, delivers new core software technologies and services designed to better connect your business, unleash the power of modern hardware, and lay the foundation for a new wave of innovations.

ZFS: For business-critical server deployments, Snow Leopard Server adds read and write support for the high-performance, 128-bit ZFS file system, which includes advanced features such as storage pooling, data redundancy, automatic error correction, dynamic volume expansion, and snapshots.

More info about Mac OS X 10.6 Server Snow Leopard here.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. I am glad that Apple has the guts to make one version of their OS a clean up and unification of all their technologies. Our machines will be even faster.

    If M$ had done that with Vista they would not be in such bad shape.
    I said it once I will say it again…If M$ had interviewed IT managers asking them what the successor to XP needed..I am sure the Aero interface would of been low on the list…I am sure that finger painting is low on the list on what is needed to fix Vista. M$ is screwing their biggest fans in a professional sense. That can’t last too much longer.

    just my $0.02

  2. “I am glad that Apple has the guts to make one version of their OS a clean up and unification of all their technologies.”

    And so the cult members have created a new reality. No New Features is GOOD.

    No explanation of how the Mac OS X kernel came to be so screwed up that it needs a year of remedial work though. The Cult members will quietly forget this and not feel a need to explain why it was a state of the art high performance OS Yesterday and Today is in such bad shape.

  3. @Apple is a cult
    “remedial work” – how does developing new technologies imply that the underlying kernel needs remedial work ?
    If you don’t like Macs, why bother coming to this site ?

  4. Apple is a Cult,

    You assume it’s screwed up.

    All cars off the dealer lots are screwed up because they aren’t as fast and efficient compared to performance tweaking them for maximum power and efficiency.

    Plus new coding abilities are learned/created since the OS was created in the late 90s.

  5. “I see no mention of Mach there. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    Probably they realized it was time to ditch the current slow microkernel based science project that is Mac OS X for a clean, fast, modern kernel architecture.

    Perhaps during this year they’re porting everything to Linux.

  6. “You assume it’s screwed up.”

    It’s pretty well known that it’s screwed up. a De-Maching of the kernel is long overdue. Microsoft, for the record has already gone through this pain when it got Windows running efficiently on 64 core systems.

  7. I agree that Grand Central, if pulled off well, will be huge. I used to upgrade to the biggest, baddest Mac hardware upgrades as soon as they were released because the applications and OS always showed considerable speed gains. These days I just can’t justify buying the new multi-processor hardware because it changes performance so little. Application developers just don’t take advantage of them. Grand Central is definitely something I’ll want to watch.

  8. “Please read this (written in 2006) to get up to speed on things.”

    If You believe Daniel “Idiot” Eran about anything, you’re more gullible than one might presume. Mach 2.5 still extracts a performance overhead.

    Can I sell you an operating system upgrade with No New Features? I bet I can.

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