/Snow Leopard – A near perfect operating system?

Snow Leopard – A near perfect operating system?

As you may or may not know, Apple have, today, released their latest operating system, Snow Leopard, to the world.

I know what you’re thinking: “yeah, yeah so what!”

But wait – this isn’t the usual hype and pomp that Microsoft seems to pump out every couple of months!
Take it from me, this is no Windows Vista style release!

Unlike most bloated, over-hyped, hardly-any-new-features software these days, this latest release from Apple is about as close to a perfect operating system as you can get! What’s more it’s ahead of schedule (one month early), faster than previous releases, contains new features and it’s cheap! 

What? Cheap? But that’s because you’ll have to upgrade your computers to run it, right? Nope!

The price of Snow Leopard is………wait for it……….it’s………….. ……………………………… it’s ………..£25 !!!!!! ($30 US / Canada)

TWENTY-FIVE QUID ! Apple have clearly gone insane! As we all know Operating-system upgrades always cost upwards of a hundred at least, and that’s excluding the bigger hard drive and extra RAM that we always need too!
No folks, it would appear that Apple are showing the industry (once again) how things SHOULD be done.

Snow Leopard truly is an optimized operating system. It starts up faster, programs open faster (Safari the Web browser for example takes a whopping 3 seconds; iTunes will keep you waiting around 7 seconds) but wait, the second time you open the same program, the time is halved! – OH COME ON!
Apple really doesn’t seem to understand how this industry likes to work does it?

Things are not just faster – they are also smaller. Snow Leopard is only half the size of its predecessor; following installation (around 15 minutes), you’ll have more disk space than you started with too!
The new features may not jump out at you nor be immediately obvious but it seems that Apple really took the time to consider every little aspect of their system. Minor tweaks show how much thought they put into it : For example the clock automatically adjusts when you travel, the menu of nearby wireless hot spots now shows the signal strength for each one (not just the one you are on). You can read a PDF document or watch a movie from the file’s icon, without having to open it. Movies display in a handsome, frameless window and even include a “Send to YouTube” command built in.

“Those are pretty minor changes” I hear you shout –

Ok, then what about Microsoft Exchange address book, e-mail and calendar support built right in? No extra software required. Even Windows doesn’t provide that!

Now I know the Windows fans out there will be saying “This is all well and good but I can’t get all my software for the Mac” – well that may be true, but did you know Mac can run Windows too! Not only can you choose which operating system to boot into, but you can even run them both at the same! Sharing files and printers between them and everything! So if you absolutely HAVE to run some weird, bloated, virus-infected Windows application – you can. * Please note, though, that you CAN’T do this the other way around! *
Windows obviously has enough trouble running itself without worrying about how to run another system at the time!

“ok, ok but Macs are expensive” is the next argument I hear the Windows fans shouting – Well lets consider that for a moment. Sure you can buy a Desktop PC from a budget manufacturer for say £400? But it’ll come with XP (if you’re lucky) or Vista Home, so to get the full feature set of Windows you’ll need to shell out some more money for an ‘upgrade’ to the business edition.

Secondly – are you aware that the Mac does NOT suffer from Viruses? So you won’t need to buy any Anti-Virus software, you won’t suffer from spyware, malware and all that junk that seems to clog up Windows systems and requires them to have a “service” every couple of months! So that’s less work for people like me and more money towards your Mac.
Take all that into account and the Mac doesn’t seem quite so expensive after all!

If you’re not quite ready to run out and buy a Mac just yet – hang around for a couple of weeks. Windows 7 should be out in October and you will be able to upgrade then for between £79 and £199 depending on which version of Windows 7 you require. If you were in the US or Canada you could get the same upgrades for between $99 to $299 (But hey in the UK we’re used to being over charged for Computers, Games, Consoles and such like huh?)

Windows 7 is being released in (at the last count) 7 different versions. Depending on what features you need and when you order it and whether you’re on one of Microsoft’s business licensing schemes you’ll have a multitude of slightly different versions to choose from. But don’t despair if you find out you have bought the wrong version you’ll be to ‘upgrade’ again (at additional cost) to the version you SHOULD have been given in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining about Microsoft ‘s strategy here – I for one can’t wait! I make my living from assisting my customers with their (mostly Windows based) computers and networks and from what I’ve seen and experienced of Windows 7, I don’t think the phone is going to stop ringing for a while yet!

On the other hand my clients that use Macs and upgrade to Snow Leopard will probably only call to say how pleased they are that they bought an Apple!