Snow Leopard Coming in September, $29 Upgrades

Apple announced that Mac OS X 10.6, or Snow Leopard, will ship in September, and that Mac OS X 10.5 users can upgrade for US$29. The upgrade price option marks a change in Apple's usual policy of charging $129 for new versions of its operating system.

Snow Leopard and the new MacBook Pro

Apple's Bertrand Serlet confirmed that Snow Leopard will run on all Intel-based Macs, removing the fear that some Intel-based models would be left behind.

Snow Leopard will include built-in Microsoft Exchange support, which means iCal, Address Book and Mail users will be able to more easily connect and exchange data with Exchange servers in the workplace. Interestingly, while Exchange Server support will be included with Mac OS X 10.6 at no extra cost, Windows users have to pay for that support.

Apple is clearly trying to make Snow Leopard an attractive upgrade based on pricing. Full copies of Mac OS X 10.6 will still cost $129, but the $29 upgrade price for Leopard users, and $49 for a five-license family pack upgrade will likely make it easier for most users to transition to the new operating system come September.