In itsin San Francisco on Monday, Apple announced OS X 10.6, called Snow Leopard.
It's the latest version of the's operating system, following on from the current version, .
Rather than offering a raft of new user features, it will primarily focus on performance updates, optimised support for multi-core systems, and extended 64-bit utilisation that, among other things, will support up to 16TB of RAM.
This optimised multi-core system support will be welcomed by users of the Mac Pro -- the Mac desktop system that now ships with eight cores as standard -- and comes in the form of a new technology Apple has code-named 'Grand Central'. Grand Central supposedly makes it easier for software developers to exploit the processing capabilities of multi-core systems.
The operating system's footprint will also be reduced, allowing users to utilise more of their hard disk space for media and documents.
Although Apple has stated the focus of Snow Leopard remains on performance and OS X innovation, new features weren't explicitly ruled out between now and the OS's launch, roughly 12 months from now.
It was outlined that QuickTime X will be an integral part of the media experience associated with OS X 10.6, and that Microsoft Exchange support would be included right out of the box.
We'll have more details and hands-on photos as soon as Snow Leopard has been demonstrated to developers at the WWDC. -Nate Lanxon