OS X 10.5 Leopard Gets Official

Apple made an October 26th release of OS X 10.5 Leopard official today when they updated their store and made it available for pre-order. It’s priced at $129 for a single user and $199 for a Family Pack. The Family pack allows installation on up to 5 computers in the same household. True to past history, there’s no upgrade pricing. Apple also announced the terms for their Leopard Up-To-Date program. Anyone who bought a Mac with 10.4 after October 1st can get a free upgrade. In addition, Mac purchases made through the end of the year can be upgraded if they come with OS X 10.4.

Apple has also put together a list of new features, grouped by category. Universal Access leads with the largest number of enhancements (17) based on Apple’s list. In some cases Apple seems to have a liberal definition of feature – for example, an empty trash button makes the new feature list. But there are significant updates in the list, such as Mail getting Notes and To-Dos along with other enhancements.

Despite OS X’s reputation as secure, Apple has made 11 security enhancements including Library Randomization (randomly assigning system libraries to memory locations).

Leopard seems like a enhancement of Tiger rather than a revolutionary new OS. Those 300+ new features seem to touch every part of Tiger in an effort to improve it, rather than throw it out. That’s not a bad thing.

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