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Apple's Snow Leopard OS: Ahead of schedule?

Expected by next summer, there are indications it could ship in the spring

By Jim Dalrymple
November 19, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Macworld - Apple Inc. first announced Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" in June and said it would ship in about year. However, a slide presented by an Apple employee at a recent conference suggests that Snow Leopard may be ahead of schedule.

The slide indicates that Snow Leopard will ship in the first quarter of 2009. That's three months earlier than Apple said the operating system would ship at its Worldwide Developers Conference last June.

Jordan Hubbard, Apple's director of engineering for Unix technologies, showed the slide at the Large Installation System Administration Conference in San Diego last week. Officially, Apple officials said they haven't changed the time frame for releasing Snow Leopard.

"Last June, we said we would ship Snow Leopard in about a year and haven't made any further announcements about it since then," Apple spokesman Bill Evans told Macworld.

Apple confirmed in June that Snow Leopard would focus on performance enhancements rather than new features. The OS X update will be optimized for multicore processors and enable "breakthrough amounts of RAM." Apple also promised a new, modern media platform with QuickTime. The update will also offer out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007.

The updated operating system will also feature OpenCL, or Open Computing Language. OpenCL is the latest manifestation of a processing technique that has been around for a while known as General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units. GPGPU helps to offload a PC's computationally intensive processes to its graphics chip, such as those that might be found on a Mac equipped with an ATI or Nvidia graphics card or processor.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2012 Mac Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
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