Leaping forward to 10.5

October 16, 2007. Apple Inc has announced today that it will ship the next generation of its operating system 10.5 (aka Leopard) on October 26, 2007. It continues to be innovative, stable and highly compatible. It maintains Apple’s tradition of stunning graphics and incorporates over 300 new features and continues to be extremely compatible with other hardware and devices – while being built on top the extremely secure and stable UNIX operating system.

Many new software enhancements will make the system easier to organize and make users more productive. One such feature is “Spaces”, which allows the user to create groupings of applications into separate workspaces. For instance grouping Mail, Address Book and Safari in one group and QuarkXpress or Indesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator into another. The user could then switch between communications and page design and layout with cluttering up the activities.

Within the Finder are many new features that will speed up work. Using “QuickLook” users will be able to preview movies, multiple page documents and images without having to launch another application. The Finder also incorporates “CoverFlow”, originally introduced in iTunes 7, which allows users to flip through large previews of documents like a digital rolodex. “Stacks” aims to clean up the Desktop clutter by creating groups or stacks of documents and downloaded files.

“TimeMachine” is another breakthrough application which with the purchase of a second hard drive will allow users to painlessly back up their work. “TimeMachine” creates snapshots of the files on the computer which will enable users to “go back in time” to find files or versions of files saved on previous days. By scrolling back to an earlier state, users can recover a previously deleted file and drag it back to the present day Desktop.

Additionally “Back to My Mac” will give users a connection to their other Macs and home or while on the road. Users will be able to connect and navigate their remote machine to get that presentation file that left on their remote Mac. iChat adds the ability to share each user’s desktop and files with others while chatting via video conference. With this kind of built-in collaboration users can work in groups across the office or across the country.

Currently users can use .Mac to share photos, blogs and create web sites as well as being able to sync Bookmarks, Addresses and email. With Leopard users will be able use .Mac to sync their Dashboard widgets, Dock settings, etc, so that all of their Macintosh computers will appear the same and have the same settings.

Apple has also included more features in Parental Control to protect tender minds. BootCamp is also now a standard feature allowing users to run Windows XP SP2 and Vista on an Intel Mac.

Any new Mac purchased since October 1, 2007 is entitled to a free copy of Mac OS X 10.5. Otherwise it can be purchased for $129 for single copies or $199 for a five-user Family Pack. Leopard also requires that users have a Macintosh with Intel Mac, PowerPC G5 or PowerPC G4 processor, a minimum of 512 MB RAM, a DVD for installing and 9 GB of hard drive space. (TimeMachine and .Mac require additional purchases.)

Apple has also announced Mac OS X Server 10.5 (aka Leopard Server), with an enhanced clean interface, which employs a new simplified “Easy Setup”. This means that you don’t need an IT Guy (Hey! Wait a minute…) to quickly set up and configure a server. “Server Admin” has been enhanced for advanced users. You can also pre-configure settings on Leopard Macs from the server. Both Macintosh and Windows users can share files, share managed printers, employ virtual private networks as well as Mail, FTP, Web and Open Directory services.

New features in Mac OS X Server 10.5 includes iCal server for collaborative publishing and sharing of events and appointments. The new “Directory” application is like AddressBook for the network combining contacts, groups, locations and maps. “Wiki Server” takes the “geek” out of setting up a company wide web site where users can create and edit content collectively using drag and drop. Also included is a Podcast Production server so that companies can easily create and publish podcasts to share information and create training materials. The Spotlight Server can search through files on mounted volumes throughout the office allowing users to use QuickView and CoverFlow

Mac OS X Server 10.5, ships on October 26, 2007, will sell for $499 for a 10 – user license or $999 for an unlimited license. Leopard Server will also require a minimum of a Macintosh with an Intel processor, a PowerPC G5 or a PowerPC G4 (867 Mhz minimum). It will also require one gigabyte of RAM and 20 gigabytes of hard drive space.

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