Apple’s latest version of the Mac operating system, Mac OS X v10.6, better known by the name Snow Leopard, will be released in Australia on August 28. Yes, that’s right, this Friday. If you’re really keen to upgrade the big cat that runs your Mac the Apple online store is taking pre-orders now. Snow Leopard will run on any Mac using the Intel processor, and you will need a minimum og 1GB of RAM.

As ever, there’s new functionality, but what Apple have also done with Snow Leopard is to make the program itself half the file size of its predecessor. In installing Snow Leopard 7GB of space on your hard drive is liberated.

New additions and functionality include:

  • More responsive Finder
  • Faster loading messages in Mail
  • Time Machine with an up to 80 percent faster initial backup
  • Dock with Expose integration
  • QuickTime X with a redesigned player that allows users to easily view, record, trim and share video
    Built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat and Safari are 64-bit and Snow Leopard’s support for 64-bit processors makes use of large amounts of RAM, increases performance and improves security while remaining compatible with 32-bit applications

Pricing and availability

Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard – $39 for a single user license, $69 for Snow Leopard Family Pack, which covers a single household, five-user license. If you’re upgrading to Snow Leopard from Tiger, the Mac Box Set includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife ’09 and iWork ’09, and will sell for $229 for the singe user license, $299 for the Family Pack.

The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date upgrade package, for people upgrading to Snow Leopard who have bought a Mac since 8 June, 2009, is available for $14.95. This Up-to-Date upgrade will run until 26 December, 2009, but you must take advantage of this program within 90 days of the purchase of your computer, or before the 26 December close-off date.