back to article Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses

Steve Jobs opened Apple's annual developer conference by going back in time one year - in more ways than one. As well as harking back to the announcement of his company's ground-breaking relationship with Intel and taking trademark swiped at Microsoft, the Apple CEO talked up features in Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, mostly …


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  1. Silas Humphreys

    What really annoys me...

    is the fact that Apple can sell Leopard for $129, while MS charge HOW much for Vista? Either Apple are making a loss on Leopard (not flippin' likely) or someone's REALLY cleaning up on Vista.

    Funny how OSX looks better while being able to run on computers as old as G4s, too...

  2. Les Matthew

    Re: What really annoys me...

    I thought that OS X is basically a modified version of BSD? If so I assume a lot of it was already designed and written by other people.

    Though I may be wrong. ;)

  3. Matt Major

    Re: What really annoys me...

    It's backend is darwin unix

    which is made by apple

  4. Glenn Alexander

    BSD, yes

    Apple's smart move (and I say that as someone who dislikes the company greatly - used to be an indi Apple Dev, so that sort of follows on naturally ;-) was to take a generously licenced, well tested, respected OS core and put all their effort into plugging the "Apple Experience" over it. The core OS is a commodity these days and this is how it likely should be done and everyone benefits - Apple (less core dev costs allowing them to focus on user experience) customers (better, lower cost OS) and even the BSD community somewhat (a high-profile implementation and Apple occasionally throws useful scraps of code back upstream).

  5. Sammy

    Re: What really annoys me...

    At the end of the day, that is $129 for what essentially sounds like a service pack. At least Microsoft don't do that.

  6. Nexox Enigma


    Apple is a hardware company, always has been, and probably always will be. They use their software just to sell hardware, which is why it tends to cost more. Also keep in mind that the in order to keep up with OS X, one will have had to buy 5 copies of it in the space of time that XP was out. And (Until 10.5, which sounds unimpressive) it has been almost imperitive to buy newer versions of OS X, because those before Tiger are mostly immature betas tested gratefully by all those fanboys.

    So people have paid $130 every 18 months for the next RC for Apple, sounds like a fair deal compared to one investment in XP back in 2001, which will still work pretty well for the next 3 or so years.

    Gods know why MS even sells Windows direct to consumers, since they make most of their money off oem sales, and more still off selling Office. The Windows consumer pricing is really just a joke, as no Enterprise or OEM will see anything like it, and those are just about the only markets MS really gives 2 hoots about.

  7. Ryan Skevington

    Re: What really annoys me...

    "It's backend is darwin unix"

    Which is built on FreeBSD.

    $129 for a point upgrade. Bargainous. I liken that to paying for a Service Pack that comes with a couple of extra pretty things.

  8. SpitefulGOD


    Does a lot more than what OSX can do, anywho were are the "why does the hardware cost sooo much" calls?

  9. Ian Yates

    Re: What really annoys me...

    While I agree there is a huge price difference, isn't the third option that Vista cost more to develop than OS X?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can do all that for free

    sheesh. if you've already got 10.4 or 10.3 then $130 for a few new graphical tweaks and some bug fixes is a lot of cash to lay out.

    and if you've got a PC or Intel Mac then you can already do this and a whole

    lot more for FREE

    its called 'Ubuntu'

  11. Matt

    Re: What really annoys me...

    OS X is based in Job's work with Nextstep, so yes it /is/ BSD based ultimatley.

    Also note that since 2001 (About when WinXP was released) this will be the 5th OS X release, so the $129 a pop amounts to a fair bit more than what MS has charged an individual customer for OS's in the mean time. Infact, alot of (an no, not all) the 'new features' are the kind of things that Microsoft release in Service Packs for free.

    I'm all for fair comparison, but lets actually have fair comparison.

    Finally, lets not forget how few machines out there actually run OS X. Its a far lower percentage of actual in use PCs than the amount of media coverage gets. Jobs must do much more by way of journalist freebies than Microsoft. Nothing else really makes sense...

  12. Ned Fowden


    well actually i'm smiled at the comments about the different versions :)

    however, just like most people I know, I don't go out of my way to buy the latest version of any OS, whether it be for the PC or for the mac.

    in fact i've never bought an upgrade OS.

    by the time i need to upgrade i've usually bought a new machine that includes the last OS released.

    too much hype is created by these press releases and conventions, the average home user is still using an OS from 2000 because with the exception of the bells & whistles it's all still relevant

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: What really annoys me...

    Cover Flow requires a bit of processing power on both OS X and XP and I won't be installing Leopard on an old 933MHz G4 at home as I doubt it would be up to the task.. I would run alright but like Vista these new visuals in OS X require a reasonable GPU and a C2D wouldn't go astray I reckon...

  14. Dave


    Wasn't there s'posed to be a ZFS announcement?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much in the UK

    Will they follow the lead of Adobe and Microsoft and simply change the currency symbol so it's £129?

  16. Bryan Maguire

    but dont Apple release a new version every year ...

    and charge users each time? Microsofts OS might be more expensive initially but you dont have to pay for every little update they put out.

  17. Bobak Fakhraee

    Re: What really annoys me...

    Either way - its an existing OS which they just patch up - MS have created a new one. Might not be the best - but fair play to them, they've spent a bit of time on it

  18. Edward Hull

    Re: What really annoys me...

    "It's backend is darwin unix

    which is made by apple"

    Darwin unix is a direct decendant of NeXT, which is a BSD decendant with a different kernel (the 'mach' kernel)

    "is the fact that Apple can sell Leopard for $129, while MS charge HOW much for Vista? Either Apple are making a loss on Leopard (not flippin' likely) or someone's REALLY cleaning up on Vista.

    Funny how OSX looks better while being able to run on computers as old as G4s, too..."

    Microsoft need to do a lot more work in the hardware support department while Apple know every device they need to support, and additionally, apple use an aweful lot of back-end code where all they do is write a pretty front-end (samba, cups, apache to name but a few.) In-fact, you can get most of mac os free from the open darwin project. what you are missing basically consists of the aqua interface, quicktime and other eye-candy pretties that most mac software won't run without.

  19. Rob

    Swings and roundabouts

    "We've got a basic version, which is going to cost $129. We've got a premium version, which is gonna cost $129. We've got a business version, $129. We've got an enterprise version, $129. And we've got the ultimate version - we're throwing everything into it: It's $129. We think most people will buy the ultimate version,"

    That would be funny if we didn't start thinking about the cost of your Mac's, probably not best to throw stones when standing near your glass house Jobs.

  20. Andy Tyzack


    Dont bother with Vista sister,

    its bloatware gone wrong!

  21. Nigel

    Apple is charging $129 for a point release?!


    What people dont get when they talk about windows vs apple pricing is that point releases (call service packs in windows terminology) are free for windows while Apple charges $129 for theirs.

    Apple releases a new point release every 12-18 months for $129. Microsoft releases a new version of windows every 3-4 years @ $300-400. In other words, neither one is more expensive.

    I consider this to be a valid comparison since Service Packs on windows add new features and fix bugs in the same way that point releases of MacOS do. It seems that the latest $129 that MacOS users have been asked to fork out does not get them a whole lot!

    We get seriously ripped off in the UK when it comes to most software (not just Vista). I have no idea whether apple also rips off UK users when converting the $129 into £ - I suspect however that they do. It should only be around £70 for the update at current exchange rates.


  22. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    It's more than just *BSD

    The backend is based on BSD but uses the mach microkernel. On top of that there is the NeXTStep framework and GUI manager (this has the most value) then there are the compatability layers which is why you get to see different cursors depending on which subsystem is running.

    As for new features: adding a grouping facility to the dock is probably the most useful, at least it's what I miss the most. I would expect a lot of work to have gone on under the hood moving more code from Mac Classic to Mac OS X and more Intel native code.

    As for making money: Apple releases OS updates more frequently than MS does but it makes more money selling hardware. The idea is to release a new OS that everyone wants to have but that you need new (Apple) hardware to get the most out of it. As for the price it's not much more than many Linux distros cost.

  23. Tim Nicholas

    Re: What really annoys me...

    The OS is Microsoft's primary revenue stream, whereas apple just use it to sell machines.

    No point discouraging your customers from having a shiny attractive experience.

  24. Martin Saunders

    Re: What really annoys me...

    "It's backend is darwin unix"

    ...which takes huge chunks of its (open) source code from FreeBSD.

  25. Geoffrey McCaleb

    Re: What really annoys me...

    But Darwin encorporates certain elements from FreeBSD. Darwin also originated from Nextstep which it bought from Steve Job's.

  26. Simon Blair

    Apple Innovation

    Worth checking out an opinion piece on Apple innovation in The Economist:

    "[Apple's] real skill lies in stitching together its own ideas with technologies from outside and then wrapping the results in elegant software and stylish design" The Economist 7 June 2007

    There are also articles on Steve Jobs and the iPhone in the current issue.

  27. David Dever

    Point releases

    As a Mac OS X 10.x user, I'd have to say that the first two versions were pretty awful–but the subsequent releases have been substantially better, without, in most cases, huge driver re-writes (IEC 61883-6 / FireWire audio layers excepted) or a massive change in user interface.

    Some might mistake this for a rip-off, but there is a bit of kaizen here–think of how much Microsoft stuffs into a Service Pack or Second Edition that could have been released out into the wild in a more timely fashion. Apple's point releases happen in a timely fashion and don't upset the apple cart tremendously.

  28. Rob

    Why do any of you care?

    Whilst this pointless playground bickering is going on, most of you have failed to miss the main improvement billed for Leopard:


    - Anyone played with XCode3 yet?

    - Anyone played with DashCode yet?

    - Do they suck?

    Until Apple make a development tool I want to use, I won't do anything more than use XCode to port cross-platform code. With gritted teeth.

    Visual Studio may cost a ton of cash, but it does allow people to define their reality. It's just a pity that 3rd party device drivers can be so flaky. Maybe Ms should get into hardware?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft don't charge for service packs?

    What were windows ME 98 SE and 98? simply slightly upgraded graphical interfaces and a few bug fixes to Windows 95, but even those seemed to add more bugs than they removed (especially ME). Microsoft's only ever real free major os service pack was XP SP2, apart from that they love to charge customers for service packs

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eye candy sucks!

    whats the difference between the apple-stack in the dock and a folder with the same contents? the fileflow? wtf?

    eye candy & waste of resources, certainly!

    where are the fully customizable rich toolbars with decent icons (now you got buttons with little icons now)?

    i want a basic version of os x for my g4. i pay more 50$ no more eye candy please. i want speed and real features. thank you.

  31. Nick Palmer

    Re: Microsoft don't charge for service packs?

    You're an idiot. Whilst ME was a nightmare, 98SE intro'ed a host of fixes. Most of these were available for free for vanilla 98 users, however, in the same way that most of the fixes in 95 OSR2 were available for 95 users. As far as free service packs go, there were 5 for NT3.51, 6 for NT4, 4 for Windows 2000 and 2 each for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003; all available free, and quite a few added important new functionality.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @By Bobak Fakhraee

    Quote: "Either way - its an existing OS which they just patch up - MS have created a new one. Might not be the best - but fair play to them, they've spent a bit of time on it"

    Amongst all the other FUD and misinformation in this thread, this has to be the funniest of the lot!

    "MS have created a new one..." bwahahahahahahaahaha!!!


    Since 10.0 was released in 2001, the grand total cost of all versions of OS X is:

    10.0 = $129 (I actually have a vague memory that it was $99, but I'll go with the higher price as I can't say it was $99 for certain)

    10.1 = free (if you got the CD at a store) or $20

    10.2 = $129

    10.3 = $129

    10.4 = $129

    Total = $536 maximum for a version of the OS that is still far better than Windows Vista (Ultimate) in most respects, which costs $400 full price. However, people have been stuck using XP for the past 6 or so years which is wholly 1990's technology and was already out-of-date when it was released. Vista is not much of an improvement on XP in that regard. It has some modern tech in it, but on the whole it is a largely circa 2001 to 2004 UI stuck onto pretty much the exact same 90's tech as XP. MS have let down their developer base and users so badly with Vista, it is an enormous embarrassment. Now we'll have to wait for the next version for the gravy, or so MS tell us (and should we believe them... they have consistently lied to us for the past 6 years about the release dates and technology that they were going to include in Longhorn/Vista?).

    At least OS X users have been experiencing the benefits of modern tech all the way through, with every single upgrade. 50 to 60% of what Vista brought to the table was already available in OS X 10.0 way back in 2001!

    With Leopard, the cost for using a fully modern OS will be $665 for Mac users that have paid for each and every OS X upgrade which might seem a lot, but at least they aren't still stuck in 90's-ville. No comment on how much better than Vista it will be, but "a lot" springs to mind.

  33. Igor Rivin

    Service pack?

    The service pack comments are totally idiotic: Leopard has nontrivial new functionality and is a full 64bit OS. Oh, wait, is XP service pack 3 64 bit? I missed that... On the other hand, the "final beta" is junky enough that I would be quite surprised if Leopard were ready for prime time in Oct 2007.

  34. DrFix

    $129? We don't spend no $129!.....

    Having spent over twenty years in IT I find the arguments between Windoze and Mac attack users quite funny. When I consider all the lost hours of productivity, and more importantly.... SLEEP, due to BSOD and virii, the added expense to purchase utilities to pull my users' bacon yet once more out of the fire, SLEEP, and the "frustration tax" generously buried into every copy of Windows (and its service packs too) since it unholy birth, not to forget.... SLEEP, I'm happy to use some non soul-sucking software even if on the odd occassion I happen to pay for it. Did I forget to mention I get to sleep now?

    When I'm not selling my current mac, with its current OS...regardless of which release it is, and thus getting the latest version by default, I'll purchase an interim sealed boxed copy for around $90 and load it up (funny... no serial numbers or activation BS to deal with, just like Linux...kudos), and once I get my shiny new machine I'll box up that copy and STILL get over two thirds for it at a minimum. Hmmmmm..... So I might have spent around $30 to use it and not forbidden to pass it on? What gives! So, in retrospect, I "might" have spent about $100 over the years. Sounds pretty good so far.

    If Microsoft were smarter they'd drop the price of their retail offering to more mortal levels and end the ridiculous tiered structure. I'm forced to use and support Windows, but thankfully its sandboxed as far away as possible.

    Now in a nod to those who have eyes to see, and I too have them, there wasn't enough "meat" in this release to justify the hype. I wondered as well why we haven't seen ZFS incorporated. To me thats a hell of an addition that would put any OS into the spotlight. Fancy widgets and whatnot are correctly identified as meaningless eye candy. And to tout "spaces" as something wonderful I only have to look at Linux to see they've had that for quite some time now. Yawn! For your typical consumer this is all "pretty" and in the whole it works because they can get away with it due to more powerful graphics and processors. I'm not fooled by Jobs' reality distortion field but looking back over the decades and seeing what we get today, whether Windows or not, versus what we paid and got back then, I'm grateful it is "today".

  35. Pooper Scooper

    Re: It's more than just *BSD

    "As for the price it's not much more than many Linux distros cost."

    Exactly $129.00 more.

  36. Sean Baggaley

    Light on tech, heavy on gloss.

    In fairness to Jobs, most of the new technology featured in Leopard was covered last year. Core Animation is the same thing as Microsoft's "Windows Presentation Foundation" (or "Avalon", or whatever it's called this week). It's about time MS had something like this; decoupling GUI design from programming should have been done *years* ago.

    In fairness to Microsoft, they do have a much bigger, more fragmented platform to deal with and the support issues that entails. That said, the notion that Vista is some amazing "new" version of Windows beggars belief: it even identifies itself as v5.1 -- to XP's "v5.0"! -- so it's clearly not that different under the hood.

    This does not excuse the whole 32-bit / 64-bit mess, nor does it excuse Microsoft's ridiculous overseas pricing policy -- Brits *dream* of only paying $400 for Ultimate! It's nearer *800* dollars here! -- or their feeble GUI improvements which are *already* flouted by MS' own Office 2007. (Office 2007's designers really know what they're doing though. This has to be the first decent version of Office since 2000. I wish their GUI people had been tasked with sorting out Vista's interface too though.)

    Microsoft had the technology lead throughout most of the 1990s. (Hell, it's a miracle Apple even made it to the 21st Century!) MS' appalling management cock-ups over recent years are, I think, why Apple is in such good odour with investors these days. It's not just that Apple have pulled ahead of Microsoft. It's that they've been consistent, reliable _and_ have a clear, simple vision of putting the user experience above _everything_ else, including mere technology.

    Microsoft still thinks and acts like the developer tools company they used to be when Gates founded the firm in the mid-'70s. To Microsoft, it's all about the technology. This was fine during the early years of the PC's life, but Apple know that what's under the hood isn't the *point*. Technology is an enabler, not an end in itself. It's the user experience which matters. "Time Machine" would not be possible without Core Animation. Sure, on paper it's just a backup program, but its *execution* is the key factor here.

  37. Clay Garland

    It's worth it.

    Having wallowed in XP for so many years, and I still do run both platforms, I can safely say that it is completely worth it, for me at least, simply not to have had to deal with the rubbish Activation, WGA, system failure for as little as adding a hard drive or memory. I don't know if Vista is any better in this respect, but for the time being, I'm very happy with my OS.

  38. Fred Fnord


    The amount of misinformation in the comments section is pretty amazing.

    It's amazing how many people will write with authority about things they know nothing whatsoever about. And how resistant they are to facts even when they're confronted with them.


  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: What really annoys me...

    '$129 for a point upgrade. Bargainous. I liken that to paying for a Service Pack that comes with a couple of extra pretty things.'

    I think 'a service pack that comes with a couple of extra pretty things' fairly accurately describes Vista's relationship to XP, and that's considerably more expensive than Leopard is going to be.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An other way to see things...

    If, like me, you only want a computer to read the internet, send and receive emails, write and print a letter to the administration from time to time...

    Then, the choice to buy this emac 4 years ago with it's OSX 10.3 was a good choice. The thing works as well, or as bad you may say, as the day I got it out of the box, which means it does exactly what I want and need it to do.

    I never cared about those things called virus, malware of any sort, never bought any anti-this or anti-that things, never cared on what site I was visiting, attachement I was opening...

    This thing goes to sleep mode in 2 seconds, awake in 2 seconds, and from the very first day I was able to make my beloved wife an account with which I'm pretty sure that no matter what she does, nothing bad possibly can happen..

    4 years of enjoying the internet with my wife allowed on it as well, and not a single problem once. When you know close to nothing about computers like I do, this really make me think my first 1800 (and and as of today, last...) swiss francs 4 years ago (around 1200 $) weren't a bad choice.

  41. Scott Mckenzie

    Fred - i totally agree

    I love the Mac vs Windoze battles, they're so much fun... i've not used anything other than Jaguar and Tiger on my Mac and i would hardly call the differences between the 2 as equivalent to a Service Pack on Windoze.

    My girlfriend (yes i work in IT and have one, it's great!) has a G3 500Mhz iBook, running the latest version 10.4.9 without problem at all.... wheras at work i have a 5 year old laptop that crawls with XP and has to use 3rd party drivers for half of it's hardware that don't work very well at all.... sure MS have a harder task dealing with all the variants of hardware configurations, but i'd still rather pay the £129 for Leopard. Also look at the Family Packs, they're normally around £299 for a 5 license pack... given your average family these days has more than one computer at home, this adds another degree of value to the equation.

    I won't be buying Vista for any of the computers i manage at work as the calculated upgrade costs for the hardware and the OS is uneconomical... the 3 Macs will have Leopard from day 1 as that'll cost less than a single license of Vista.

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