As scheduled, Apple has officially released its next operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The OS is being bundled on all new Macs and MacBooks on the Apple Store, and Apple offers Leopard as a retail-boxed product for $129, as well. Folks who need to upgrade multiple Macs at home can cough up an additional $70 for the $199 Leopard "Family Pack," which includes five licenses.
Apple's new baby comes packed with 300 new features, including a redesigned desktop and user interface, a new Finder (which features iPod- and iPhone-like Cover Flow file browsing,) automatic backup software dubbed Time Machine, Windows dual-booting software known as Boot Camp, a virtual desktops implementation named Spaces, and full 64-bit support. In Apple tradition, a QuickTime "guided tour" showing off the operating system's new features is available on the Mac OS X page.
Leopard has already been reviewed by a number of mainstream columnists, including the Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg and the New York Times' David Pogue. Both laud the operating system's new features, although Walt Mossberg points out that Leopard is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.