OS X Snow Leopard going for all the "marbles"?

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Ever since it was partially unveiled for the first time at the Worldwide Developers Conference last year, Apple’s new operating system, OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” has been billed as more of a smaller update focused on speed and refining the OS X experience. But new reports suggest it could have an entirely new look as well.

Specifically, Apple may be ditching the user interface design known as “aqua” and replacing it with one codenamed “marble,” sources tell both MacRumors and Daring Fireball independently. This seems to make sense given that we’ve already seen Apple change its look on a couple of key products.

Take iTunes, for example — look at the scroll bar on the side. See how it’s different from the one on your Safari (or any other) web browser? It’s darker, more refined and not, well, “aqua” looking. Yes, you can change the blue “aqua” look to a graphite look in the settings, but the look iTunes and other programs like iPhoto have is much different — and in my opinion, much better. The thought is that all programs in OS X Snow Leopard would gain this look.

Snow Leopard failed to make any kind of appearance at Macworld last week, and Apple announced a new OS X/iLife/iWork box set coming out later this month that will contain OS X 10.5 “Leopard” (not to be confused with “Snow Leopard”), which seems to indicate that we’re at least several months away from a Snow Leopard launch.


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