Apple's next version of Mac OS X is expected to focus on nuts-and-bolts improvements over fancy features, and leaked screenshots support that theory.
A new set of leaked screenshots of Apple's upcoming Mac OS X release, Snow Leopard, appears to confirm that the most sweeping changes to the operating system won't be visible.
World of Apple has screenshots up on its site, along with a video, of Mac OS X Snow Leopard Build 10A261, the latest version released for testing. When Apple announced plans for Snow Leopard in June, it said that Mac OS X 10.6 would focus more on improving the performance and stability of the operating system, rather than adding features.
And that seems to be the case, judging by the minor enhancements shown in the latest build. The Stacks interface will now let you navigate through folders within the Stacks view, rather than opening Finder if you selected a folder from that view. And the Trash window now has a "Put Back" feature for returning inadvertently deleted files to the original folder, apparently bringing back a feature that got left behind with the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X.
More significantly, Apple has reduced the footprint associated with its applications in the early versions of Snow Leopard, which should improve performance. The company is also expected to have come up with new ways to exploit graphics processor technology with the release, although details on that capability were not addressed in the new screenshots.
World of Apple also notes that based on the progress of the build it doesn't think Apple will be able to release Snow Leopard by the end of March, which had been rumored following a presentation by an Apple developer that identified a Q1 release for the operating system. That would have an early release as compared to Apple's official guidance that Snow Leopard would ship "about a year" from last year's early June Worldwide Developers Conference.