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Apple announces launch of Leopard in India

Apple Computers announced the launch of Mac OS X Leopard in India today. The company also announced availability of Mac OS X Leopard Server Version 10.5.

Leopard boasts over 300 new features, including a brand new desktop with Stacks, a re-designed Finder, Quick Look, Spaces, and Time Machine, among others.

For starters, the desktop includes the re-designed 3D Dock with Stacks. Essentially, Web, email, and other downloads are automatically placed in a ‘Downloads’ Stack. Users can scour the contents of this and other Stacks in an elegant arc right from the Dock. They can also create their own Stacks for quick access to folders, documents, or applications.

The Finder is updated too, and has Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a very simple way to search for-, browse, and copy content from any PC or Mac onto a local network.

With Quick Look, users can quickly look inside files without having to launch them or the applications that created them.

With Spaces, users can organize their work by creating customized desktops, which would contain only those applications or documents that are needed for a particular project.

With Time Machine, users can back-up all of their data on their Macs, find lost files if they must, and restore all of their software on their Macs. In a contingency, the entire system can be found by searching back in time.

Mail now features over 30 stationery designs and layouts that look great on Windows PCs as well as Macs. These make for stylish-looking, personalized emails with stunning graphics and photos.

Leopard has other enhancements as well. For instance, data detectors that can automatically sense phone numbers, addresses, and events, to be added to the Address Book or iCal; iChat Theater; screen sharing that lets users remotely view and operate other Mac/s; and fun Photo Booth effects; to name some.

Leopard also features improved Parental Controls; the complete Boot Camp release, which makes it possible to run Windows natively on Intel-based Macs; Web Clip, which brings whatever the user wants from a Web page to the dashboard in the form of a live widget; enhanced dictionary with built-in Wikipedia; updated Front Row; etc.

Fielding media queries around competitor, Microsoft Windows Vista, Darren Sng, senior manager (Software Product Marketing) of Apple Asia Pacific, said the one quality that differentiates Apple’s Leopard from Microsoft’s Vista is that it has been designed so that it can be used on Macs that are say even five to six years old. The same however cannot be said about Windows Vista.

“Leopard is a complete experience,” Sng remarked. He refused specific comment on when Apple’s iPhone would be launched in the country, except that it would be sometime next year.

Meanwhile, Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard is immediately available through Apple Authorized Resellers for a MRP of Rs 6,200 for a single user license. Whereas the Leopard Family Pack is a single-residence, five-user license available for a MRP of Rs 9,660.

And the standard Mac OS up-to-date upgrade package is available to all customers who’ve purchased a qualifying new Mac system from an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after October 1, 2007. It carries a shipping and handling fee of Rs 461.

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