So, it’s finally here. Like many of you, I’ve actually been using the Leopard seeds for some months (and indeed doing Leopard-only development work, and not just for myself), and I’m really pleased that the final version is out there now.
Once upon a time I’d have gone through a long list of new features and enhancements, but I guess you can get that just about anywhere. The only thing I really want to say is that Leopard is a very significant upgrade, but perhaps not for the usual reasons. The thing is, I’m excited about “the boring stuff” this time. I like Spaces and Time Machine and Quick Look and all the other user-level, heavily marketed features which are immediately apparent about the new version of the OS. But that’s not why you should upgrade, nor why as a Mac using professional, you should be just as excited as I am.
Leopard isn’t about the Mac desktop; it’s about the Mac platform. The things to take home are the vastly expanded developer APIs, the next generation of dev tools, the security features, Unix certification… that stuff. The bullet-points usually found at the bottom, beside an Xcode icon or a “UNIX” sign made out of metal, or a little stylised image of a CPU.
Leopard is a huge leap forward for the viability of OS X as a serious development and deployment platform (areas in which it was already very strong), and that’s a big win for everyone - most particularly the users, Johnny and Susan iMac, who are going to see a raft of innovative, richly featured and visually interesting new applications appearing over the coming months and years.
Leopard is testament to the fact that it’s a great time to be invested in the Mac, and I hope it’ll draw all the positive attention it deserves in the industry. To all the new users who are coming to OS X every day, and also particularly to the new developers who make the decision to join us in writing code for our platform, a very warm welcome.