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Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review (The most detailed review of all time)

Sep 02, 2009, 10:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Siracusa)

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"That's right, the next major release of Mac OS X would have no new features. The product name reflected this: "Snow Leopard." Mac OS X 10.6 would merely be a variant of Leopard. Better, faster, more refined, more... uh... snowy.

"This was a risky strategy for Apple. After the rapid-fire updates of 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 followed by the riot of new features and APIs in 10.4 and 10.5, could Apple really get away with calling a "time out?" I imagine Bertrand was really sweating this announcement up on the stage at WWDC in front of a live audience of Mac developers. Their reaction? Spontaneous applause. There were even a few hoots and whistles.

"Many of these same developers applauded the "150+ new features" in Tiger and the "300 new features" in Leopard at past WWDCs. Now they were applauding zero new features for Snow Leopard? What explains this?

"It probably helps to know that the "0 New Features" slide came at the end of an hour-long presentation detailing the major new APIs and technologies in Snow Leopard. It was also quickly followed by a back-pedaling ("well, there is one new feature...") slide describing the addition of Microsoft Exchange support. In isolation, "no new features" may seem to imply stagnation. In context, however, it served as a developer-friendly affirmation."

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