Amazon Taking Pre-Orders For Apple Snow Leopard - InformationWeek

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Amazon Taking Pre-Orders For Apple Snow Leopard

The next version of Mac OS X is already top of Amazon's software best-seller list, a month before it's available.

Amazon has started taking pre-orders for Snow Leopard, immediately sending the next version of Apple's Mac OS X to the top of the retailer's bestsellers list for software.

Snow Leopard, officially called Mac OS X version 10.6, will be sold for an upgrade price of $29 for a single license and $49 for a "family pack" of up to five licenses. The OS is scheduled for release in September, a month before Microsoft is set to release Windows 7.

Windows 7, Microsoft's success to Windows Vista, will likely challenge Mac OS X. Apple has not released an exact date for the release of Snow Leopard, but Windows 7 is scheduled to be available Oct. 22.

Snow Leopard will offer a performance boost, because Apple has moved the platform over to a 64-bit kernel, which offers support for a virtually unlimited amount of system memory. Apple's own applications will run natively on the 64-bit OS, making them run much faster, according to the computer maker.

Snow Leopard will only run on Intel-based Macs, leaving users with the older PowerPC Macs out of luck.

In addition to single-user licenses, Amazon is taking pre-orders for a one-license bundle of Snow Leopard and Apple's iWork and iLife application suites for $169 and a five-license package for $229.

Amazon is also taking pre-orders for the server edition of Snow Leopard, called Mac OS X Server version 10.6. The 64-bit Unix server OS doubles the speed of its predecessor and includes software called Mobile Access Server, which provides businesses with access to firewall-protected network services for iPhones and Macs.

The upgrade is less expensive than its predecessor. The OS will sell for $499 for an unlimited license. Leopard Server sold for $499 for up to 10 users, and $999 unlimited.

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