Apple today announced that the new Mac OS, Snow Leopard, will go on sale this Friday, August 28. Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard users for $29.
Laptop Magazine compares Apple’s new Snow Leopard OS, with Windows 7 which is due on October 22.
Although the two operating systems have many differences, they both offer accelerated GPU computing, 64-bit operating systems, and touch capabilities.
- Snow Leopard, Apple’s new OS will ship with every new Mac in September, but users who currently run OS X Leopard can upgrade for just $29. Even better, if you bought a Mac after June 8th, you’ll be able to upgrade to Snow Leopard for $9.95.
- Windows 7 costs will vary depending on the edition. Upgrading to Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate will cost $119, $199, and $219, respectively, when it’s released on October 22. If you can’t wait for Windows 7 to come before purchasing a new PC, the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program will allow people who have purchased XP or Vista notebooks between June 26, 2009 and January 31, 2010 to upgrade to the new operating system at “little or no cost.” Most customers will only pay the cost of shipping on qualifying PCs from OEMs such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.
Only select versions of Vista will be upgradable to their Windows 7 equivalents. If your PC is running Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate, you can receive a upgrade kit that will allow you to install Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate, respectively. There won’t be an upgrade option from Vista Home Basic to Windows 7 Home Basic in the United States.
- Apple is only offering a 64-bit version of Snow Leopard; there won’t be a 32-bit version, which will offer snappier performance, compatibility with 32-bit programs, and support for a theoretical 16 billion GB of RAM. Windows 7 will be offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties on the same disc.
- Apple and Microsoft both support multicore processing and graphics co-processors.
- QuickTime X captures audio and video from a Mac’s integrated mic and iSight camera, streams media more efficiently, trims video, and leverages the GPU to play back AAC and H.264 formats. Microsoft’s equivalent to iLife ‘09 is Windows Live Essentials, which includes Photo Gallery and Movie Maker Beta. Live Essentials is currently available for download on Vista and XP systems, too.
- Microsoft hopes that HomeGroup will make setting up a home network easy with a simplified wizard while Apple says Snow Leopard will connect to Wi-Fi networks 1.6 times faster than OS X Leopard.
- Snow Leopard’s touch computing is confined to the touchpad, where you can pinch, swipe, and zoom your way through content. Microsoft supports multitouch, but individual OEMs will have to install touchscreens and drivers to enable this technology.
There is a OS X install base of over 40 million. Apple is predicted to sell 5M copies of Snow Leopard at launch. The $29 price point is designed to put a dent in sales of Microsoft Windows.
In other news, Mozilla says it is working on a new set of touchscreen tools for the Firefox browser. The goal is to offer web developers a way to tap into multitouch support to create online games and alternative touch-based user interfaces for web apps in Firefox. The current goal calls for the new tools to arrive in Firefox 3.6, which is due later this year.
Blogrunner has more on Apple’s new OS. JK on the Run lists their Favorite Windows 7 Interface Changes for Netbooks.