Mac owners can get Snow Leopard come September, and while an Australian price hasn't been announced as of this writing, it seems fair to assume that, like the US, this update will be a lot cheaper than previous Mac OS updates. Why is that? Well, while Snow Leopard's under-the-hood enhancements are plentiful, there aren't a whole lot of new user-facing features.
And that's what sells operating systems at a $100+ price point. Instead, this time bucks you get "enhancements and refinements" (Apple's words).
Still, even though you might have to dig for them, it looks like a few nice tweaks are on the way with Snow Leopard. Here are the ones we're most looking forward to.
- Faster bootup and shutdown times, and half the disk footprint of Leopard, which will save you about six gigabytes of disk space.
- Signal strength indicators in the Airport menu (so you can choose the Wi-Fi network with the best signal).
- A split pane terminal, so you can run jobs side by side (like tail a log in one pane while running a script in another, so you can see what's going on in each simultaneously).
- Date in the menu bar.
- Safari 4. While the beta was crashy (at least for Windows), it is leaner, meaner, and a bit more flashy than Firefox or Chrome.
- Video editing and screen recording (for screencasts!) in Quicktime.
- Microsoft Exchange support–good for all those (poor) folks using Exchange.
- 64-bit computing, which means you can get more memory into your system.
Here's the full list of Snow Leopard "refinements and enhancements."
What You DO Get in Mac OS X Snow Leopard [Smarterware]