After much speculation, Apple has confirmed that the next version of its Mac OS X operating system,, at 6 p.m.
The company has stated that Leopard, which was delayed this spring due to the high-profile iPhone, includes more than 300 new features in comparison to its predecessor, Tiger.
Among these are anfor easy access to applications, more robust parental controls, the Time Machine automatic-backup service and a redesigned Finder interface.
The operating system is set to cost $129 for a single-user license and $199 for a five-user "Family Pack" license.
In addition, Apple also plans to launch the Leopard version of its Mac OS X Server in conjunction with the standard version of the operating system. Included in this release of the Unix-compliant server software are a host of new features, including Podcast Producer, for automatically publishing audio to iTunes or the Web; Wiki Server, for collaborative Web site work; and iCal Server, for enterprise calendar management. The new OS X Server is set to cost $499 for a 10-client edition and $999 for an unlimited-client edition.
Apple's home page has been updated with a Leopard countdown clock. The online store is now accepting preorders--and meanwhile, the of the legendary Apple rumor mill is already rolling.