Apple's Snow Leopard: Bigger Than The iPhone 3GS? - InformationWeek

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6/29/2009
02:31 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Apple's Snow Leopard: Bigger Than The iPhone 3GS?

While all the Apple buzz is about the iPhone 3GS, Snow Leopard is looking like much more important announcement for Apple. Both were announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference a few weeks ago, they're both significant steps forward for existing products. While the 3GS is sexier, Snow Leopard has under-the-hood improvements in the operating system that will help carry Apple into the future.

While all the Apple buzz is about the iPhone 3GS, Snow Leopard is looking like much more important announcement for Apple. Both were announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference a few weeks ago, they're both significant steps forward for existing products. While the 3GS is sexier, Snow Leopard has under-the-hood improvements in the operating system that will help carry Apple into the future.We talked about Snow Leopard vs. 3GS at a roundtable discussion I hosted a couple of weeks back in Second Life. The discussion included blogger Gina Trapani, founding editor of Lifehacker, who now blogs at Smarterware; Michael T. Rose of one of my favorite Apple blogs, The Unofficial Apple Weblog; and ArminasX Saiman, who runs a shop in Second Life and blogs at Second Effects.

Listen to the audio of our conversation: Springtime for Apple. Or watch it as a video:

I was a bit incredulous at first at the idea that Snow Leopard might be bigger than the iPhone 3GS. Snow Leopard is just a dot-release update to the desktop operating system, while the 3GS is ... is ... well, it's a new iPhone, which means it's completely made of awesome! However, discussing it with the other guests and thinking about it afterwards, I'm sold. While Snow Leopard has only a few user-facing features, it's leaner, faster, with improved graphics performance, and optimized for multicore processors. Moreover, it only runs on Intel Macs; Apple is leaving its Power PC legacy behind. And the price is important: When it ships in September, Snow Leopard will be a $29 upgrade, compared with $129 for other operating system upgrades this decade.

We talked about a wide range of Apple-related subjects, including speculation whether the spinning-beachball spins the other way in Australia and New Zealand.

Note: The roundtable was part of Copper Robot, an interview program I do in my spare time, unaffiliated with InformationWeek.

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