Mac OS X Leopard coming October 26

Apple announced on Tuesday that its next generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will be available on October 26. With over 300 new features Mac OS X Leopard updates almost every component of the operating system.

“We think Leopard is the richest OS X release yet,” Brian Croll, Apple’s senior director of Software Product Marketing, told Macworld . “There is one version of Leopard — the ultimate version.”

A few of the most talked about features in Leopard are the new desktop that includes a Coverflow view of files; Stacks; Time Machine and Quick Look. A complete list of the new features is available from Apple’s Web site.

Leopard will also include the completed version of Boot Camp, Apple’s solution for running Windows on an Intel-based Mac. Croll said the beta of Boot Camp was downloaded over 2 million times and the company received a lot of feedback from customers.

Leopard will cost $129 and is available for pre-order today. If you purchased a Mac beginning October 1, 2007, you are entitled to receive a copy of Leopard for the shipping cost of $9.95. From today forward, a copy of Leopard should be included either pre-installed or as a disk in the package. If Leopard isn't included, Apple will ship it out to you for $9.95.

System requirements for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard call for an Intel Mac, Power PC G5 or a Power PC G4 with an 867MHz processor or higher, 512MB RAM and a DVD drive for installation.

Mac OS X Server

Mac OS X Leopard Server will also be released on October 26, Apple said. Leopard Server introduces 250 new features to the operating system.

Leopard Server will come with Podcast Producer, a way to automatically publish podcasts to iTunes or the web; Wiki Server, allowing people to collaboratively create and modify their shared web sites; and iCal Server, a CalDAV standard-based calendar server.

Making the sometimes daunting task of setting up a server even easier, Leopard Server includes a new Server Assistant that configures server applications, network settings such as IP addresses and DNS configurations and user accounts.

Apple said that Leopard Server also eliminates the need to manually set up Leopard clients by automatically configuring client applications, including file sharing, Mail, iChat, iCal, Address Book and VPN from user information stored on the server.

Leopard Server will cost $499 for a 10-client edition and $999 for an unlimited-client edition. Pre-orders are being accepted beginning today and current subscribers to the Apple Maintenance Program will receive Leopard Server as part of their service agreement.

Leopard Server can run on any Macintosh computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or G4 (867 MHz or faster) processor, a minimum 1GB of RAM and at least 20GB of available disk space.

Updated 9:10 am with more information on the release and an interview with Apple.

Updated 9:28 am with information about Leopard Server.

Updated 1:21 pm clarifying shipping info for Leopard on systems purchased in October.

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