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What do you call a smaller update to OS X 10.5 “Leopard”? “Snow Leopard,” according to Ars Technica, which has confirmed the existence of the new Apple operating system.

Though other reports had been guessing the name would be “Lynx” or even “Cougar” based on names Apple had previously registered (and sticking with the big cat nicknames), Snow Leopard makes a lot more sense if this is only an incremental upgrade over OS X 10.5, as is being suggested.

This new report isn’t sure if Snow Leopard will make an appearance at Apple WWDC event on Monday, but suggests that it will be ready to go by the MacWorld event that takes place in January.

Some other rumored details about Snow Leopard:

  • It will be Intel-only, meaning those with older PowerPC G3 and G4 Macs will be out of luck
  • It will not be a major upgrade, but will focus on stability, performance and security
  • Usage on mobile device may be a major component. Apple is said to be working on a few different mobile computing devices beyond the iPhone, and this OS could be what powers such devices. A version could be iPhone-bound as well, though some rumors had pegged Apple launching a version of OS X dubbed “OS X iPhone.”
  • Ars Technica speculates that Snow Leopard could be Cocoa-only. Cocoa is Apple’s newer collection of frameworks and APIs that make up the development layer of Mac OS X. Previously, Apple had used a system called Carbon.

We will covering the WWDC event on Monday, so stay tuned for more details.

[photo: flickr/newagecrap]

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