Snow Leopard has been announced and clarified somewhat from the rumors of last week and one thing is becoming abundantly clear: OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard is aimed in one direction - to the business market.
First and foremost on Apple's Snow Leopard page is its ability to support Exchange Server. That isn't Apple's usual consumer rhetoric!
Microsoft Exchange Support
Snow Leopard includes out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 built into Mail, Address Book, and iCal. Mac OS X uses the Exchange Web Services protocol to provide access to Exchange Server 2007. Because Exchange is supported on your Mac and iPhone, youll be able to use them anywhere with full access to your email, contacts, and calendar.
The rest of the page is dedicated to Speed, Power and Stability. Apple is doing some amazing things in this arena - which is very important in the corporate world. Apple does make quick mention of Safari and Quicktime speed improvements as well - which benefit both corporate and consumer clients.
...Snow Leopard scheduled to ship in about a year builds on Leopards enormous innovations by delivering a new generation of core software technologies that will streamline Mac OS X, enhance its performance, and set new standards for quality. Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X...
The server version of Snow Leopard goes one step further. While touting upgrades to Leopards modest enterprise features, it also goes further, acknowledging that Apple will be using ZFS.
For business-critical server deployments, Snow Leopard Server adds read and write support for the high-performance, 128-bit ZFS file system, which includes advanced features such as storage pooling, data redundancy, automatic error correction, dynamic volume expansion, and snapshots.
All of this sounds great if you are looking at long term buying. Where will we be in a year? Snow Leopard will be rock solid, have the latest features, and be lean and mean. Vista, who knows? It certainly has had a rough start. Microsoft is focused on cleaning up Vista and getting it stable. Windows 7 isn't due for another two years at least. All very disconcerting developments for IT Manager who might be open to going Mac.
Oh, and one more thing...does anyone think Snow Leopard will run on PCs? Crazier things have happened.
For More on Snow Leopard, see: Apple confirms Snow Leopard as next Mac OS X
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