Snow Leopard Launch Parties On Tap

Apple dealers plan specials and other goodies to mark Friday's debut of Mac OS X 10.6.
Apple dealers around the country are planning a series of sales and special events to mark Friday's debut of Apple's Snow Leopard operating system.

"Snow Leopard offers a lot of bang for the buck and we're very excited," said Kevin Langdon, owner of Crywolf Computers in San Diego. Langdon is also executive director of the Apple Specialist Marketing Co-op, a group that comprises independent, authorized Apple resellers throughout the nation.

"Each dealer has created their own unique specials to suit their customers and their communities," said Langdon. "This is truly an unprecedented effort by the Apple specialists to offer their loyal customers something extra during these tough times," said Langdon.

Langdon did not provide specifics on what events and deals his membership is planning, but added they would vary by location. Participating dealers can be found at the co-op's Web site.

Snow Leopard client pre-sales remain strong. The OS was the top software seller on this week, while the Snow Leopard Family Pack ranked second, according to Amazon's Sales Rank page.

A financial analyst on Monday predicted big sales for the OS. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster said he expects Apple to sell 5 million copies of Mac OS X 10.6 through the end of the current quarter. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users can upgrade to the new version for just $29.

Snow Leopard introduces a number of new features to the Mac operating environment, including 64-bit versions of Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat, and the Safari Web browser.

Mac OS X 10.6 also includes a new multithreading technology called Grand Central Dispatch that should prove popular with gamers and other users that require maximum horsepower for graphics processing and other computationally intensive tasks.

Snow Leopard additionally offers built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, a feature that could help Apple make gains in the corporate and small business computing sectors.