Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) is the seventh major release of Mac OS X, Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.
Snow Leopard was publicly unveiled on June 8, 2009 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. On August 28, 2009, it was released worldwide, and was made available for purchase from Apple's website and its retail stores at the price of US$29 for a single-user license. As a result of the low price, initial sales of Snow Leopard were significantly higher than that of its predecessors. The release of Snow Leopard came nearly two years after the introduction of Mac OS X Leopard (version 10.5), the second longest time span between successive Mac OS X releases.
Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X, the goals with Snow Leopard were improved performance, greater efficiency and the reduction of its overall memory footprint. Addition of new end-user features was not a primary goal. Much of the software in Mac OS X was extensively rewritten for this release in order to fully take advantage of modern Macintosh hardware. New programming frameworks, such as OpenCL, were created, allowing software developers to use graphics cards in their applications. This is also the first Mac OS release since System 7.1.1 that does not support Macs that use PowerPC processors, as Apple now intends to focus on its current line of Intel-based products. As support for Rosetta was dropped in Mac OS X Lion, Snow Leopard is the last version of Mac OS X that is able to run PowerPC-only applications.
Snow Leopard was succeeded by Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) on July 20, 2011. The earlier version continues to be sold for the benefit of users that require Snow Leopard in order to upgrade to Lion, which is primarily sold through the Mac App Store introduced in the Snow Leopard 10.6.6 update.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard was the last release of Mac OS X to support the 32-bit Intel Core Solo and Intel Core Duo CPUs.
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