Apple Moves Up Snow Leopard Launch Date to August 28

Apple officially moved the Mac OS X 10.6 ship date from some time in September to August 28 on Monday morning when the company began offering the new OS for pre-order on its Web site. The company had originally stated that Snow Leopard would ship in September, but rumors have been circulating for the past couple of weeks that the company was actually planning on bumping the release up to the end of August.

Apple first announced Mac OS X 10.6 in June 2008. The updated OS will include several performance-related improvements such as better use of multi-core processors, 64-bit support, built-in Microsoft Exchange support, a new version of QuickTime dubbed QuickTime X, and improved startup and shutdown times.

Mac OS X 10.6 requires and Intel-based Mac, at least 1GB of RAM, at least 5GB of hard drive space, and a DVD drive for installation. The Mac OS X 10.6 upgrade is priced at US$29, and the five-user family pack version costs $49. The upgrade version for Mac OS X 10.5 users lists as delivering on August 28th with free shipping, too.

Users that purchased a Mac on or after June 8 can upgrade to Snow Leopard for $9.95.

Apple's Web site isn't, however, showing a stand-alone version of Mac OS X 10.6 for users that aren't already running Leopard on their Macs. For now, it appears the only way pre-Leopard users can get their hands on Snow Leopard is by purchasing the Mac Box Set for $169 that bundles iWork and iLife with the OS.