Leopard leaps in

Apple is promising a fast turnaround for the next major release of OS X. Version 10.5, dubbed Leopard, should hit the streets in spring 2007. Beyond such front-end improvements as improved search, chat, and application linking, a number of under-the-hood enhancements are of special note.

First and foremost, Leopard will be a 64-bit operating system and application platform through and through, from kernel to GUI. Depending on how thoroughly Apple exploits it, 64-bit operation may have a tremendous impact on graphics performance on the company's Core Microarchitecture systems, such as Mac Pro and Apple's new 64-bit iMac systems.

Apple's application frameworks, such as the Core Data database and Spotlight search, along with lower-level system services such as NFS, could also yield big rewards if Apple optimizes specifically for 64-bit features of the CPU. No transient storage lies closer to the CPU than its registers, and 64-bit x86 applications have much more register space to play with. At present, OS X Tiger (10.4) has some 64-bitness about it at the system level, but it can't leverage much because Apple can't risk making software incompatible with 32-bit Macs.

Another low-level feature of Leopard is particularly good news to cross-platform developers: Apple is submitting Leopard to The Open Group for certification as a UNIX operating system. OS X Tiger is UNIX-based, just as is software from other certified commercial UNIXes such as Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX. If Apple can pass The Open Group's certification tests, Apple not only gets to take "-based" out of OS X's classification but also has the potential to reduce to zero the number of changes needed to port UNIX applications to OS X. Moreover, Apple has recommitted to its Darwin open source project, so OS X's UNIX foundation will continue to be open source.

The standout user-facing feature of Leopard is unquestionably Time Machine. This creates file system deltas, a record of changes to files and folders leading up to the present. Time Machine is similar to a file systemwide undo buffer, except that the user can select which specific changes to reverse. Rather than making checkpoints at fixed intervals, Time Machine works constantly in the background, recording deltas either to local storage or to a system running OS X Leopard Server. Leopard Server, which we'll cover in greater detail when Xserve ships, incorporates a Time Machine server that effectively maintains up-to-the-minute backups of clients' disk contents.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Yager

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?