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It's official: Leopard to go on sale October 26

Apple announces the launch date of its feature-packed new operating system, which had been delayed due to the high-profile iPhone.


After much speculation, Apple has confirmed that the next version of its Mac OS X operating system, "Leopard," will hit stores on Friday, October 26, 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 an improved "dock" interface for 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 next iteration of the legendary Apple rumor mill is already rolling.