Apple today confirmed many suspicions that their next generation OS would be released a month sooner than had been announced earlier. Apple today posted the launch date on their website, the Apple Online Store and in a press release that the release date will be Friday, August 28th. It is believed the build of the GM is 10A432 (but might also be 10A435)
Apple had said earlier at WWDC in June that Snow Leopard would be announced in September.
There had been hints that Apple was releasing the OS earlier. Apple's websites had briefly put up the August 28th launch date last week.
Snow Leopard is Apple's next generation operating system and has been in the works for over two years. This will be the longest time span between OS launches Apple has gone since going to the UNIX-based OS X.
While most improvements have been made under the hood, it does offer some significant improvements that users will enjoy right out of the box. It has built-in support for Microsoft's Exchange, an improved Exposé and quicker startup and shut down times, among other improvements.
"Snow Leopard builds on our most successful operating system ever and were happy to get it to users earlier than expected," said Bertrand Serlet, Apples senior vice president of Software Engineering. "For just $29, Leopard users get a smooth upgrade to the worlds most advanced operating system and the only system with built in Exchange support."
Snow Leopard will run on Intel Macs only and not those based on PowerPC. I've opined that the name "Snow Leopard" was chosen because of its relation to "regular Leopard" in order not to alienate Apple's many PowerPC users.
Amazon lists the following prices for Snow Leopard in various configurations:
10.6 Snow Leopard: $29
Snow Leopard Server $499