Talking tech since 2003

The much anticipated release of Apple’s new Operating System OSX 10.5 – Leopard, which happened on Friday October 26, 2007, brought about a slew of new features, 300+ to be exact. How much would you pay for “the world’s greatest OS”? Apple says, $129 USD. That sounds good to me, $129 for over 300 new features and a full version of Leopard. Unlike Microsoft who have 5 versions of Windows Vista available for various prices – Vista Ultimate which sells for more than $300 USD is the most ‘feature filled’ version, yet Apple provides their OS with all its features for one price of $129. That is a definite plus and thumbs up for Apple.

Leopard’s 300+ features can be read about in depth on Apple’s website, however, my personal favorites consist of Spaces, Coverflow in Finder, Stacks, Quicklook, Mail, iChat, Time Machine, and last but certainly not least, Spotlight. Each of these new features and/or improved existing features, enhance the computing experience greatly.

Spaces allows you to separate your applications, documents, or whatever may be open with ease. Giving you the ability to work on multiple desktops is essential in the computer world today. Users run so many different applications all the time. I know, personally, that I always have a number of applications open while working on many different things. Spaces definitely makes it easy to manage it all. You can even assign applications to different Spaces by default.

Coverflow in Finder provides a different way to view your documents, files, applications, etc within the new Finder. It is essentially the Coverflow that is built into iTunes, the iPhone, and the iPod’s. Overall, very nice touch. It looks great.

Stacks is another innovative feature in Leopard, gives you the ability to well, do, just what the name implies “stack” folders in your dock. In essence, providing you with a quick and simple to way access folders you access frequently.

Quicklook is a very useful feature that I use often to view documents on the fly, so I do not need to open Word for example, to see if this document contains what I’m looking for.

Mail while not a brand new feature, definitely a much improved one. Now with the ability to read RSS feeds, create ToDo lists, and Notes now provides a much more Microsoft Outlook feel (and that is a good thing). Mail is becoming my favorite email client, watch out Outlook 2007.

iChat provides a bunch of new features such as screen sharing, improved video chat, effects, tabbed chats, and the ability to record your video and audio chats. The screen sharing feature is definitely very nice and much better than using MSN’s screen sharing feature, which I could never get to work. Screen sharing is also very key for me so I can work on other people’s machines and do things for them, if I am unable to physically be at their computer. Of course, both parties must be using the new iChat for this to work. Nonetheless, the new iChat is simple and straight forward.

Time Machine looks like an excellent feature and hopefully performs a lot better than System Restore/Previous Version. However, I am a little upset it requires an external hard drive or a secondary drive for it to work (I do however, understand the need, as it most likely takes up a lot of space). Hopefully, that will not always be the case… but we shall see.

Spotlight the famous search tool on Mac OSX, just got even better. It is lightening fast and dead on. I also love the fact you can search the help files of applications, definitely a huge plus. The Windows Vista search doesn’t even come to close to Spotlight in comparison.

The only qualm I have with Leopard is its ability (or lack there of) to pick up Windows or Samba shares on a network. I can only hope Apple will release an update soon to fix that. Some people might also talk about the Leopard firewall as a problem and I will admit it is certainly not the greatest and should be fixed, and to be fair, they probably aren’t receiving enough flack for issues with it. Nonetheless, Apple is in my opinion putting perhaps more than a chink in the armor with this release of their OS. Leopard is the first true alternative to Windows in my opinion.

Those are my top 8 features in Apple’s new Operating System (Leopard), do you have Leopard yet? What do you like best or what would you like to see improve? Leave a comment!

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