Today in Apple history: OS X Snow Leopard roars for the first time


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June 8: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces OS X Snow Leopard June 8, 2009: Apple introduces OS X Snow Leopard, a version of its Mac operating system that ranks among the company’s finest desktop updates.

It may not be as flashy as some other updates, but it more than delivers on Apple’s core values. It paves a path to a bright future for the Mac.

Optimizing features in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

On paper, Snow Leopard wasn’t a massive shift from its predecessor, OS X Leopard. A bit like 2018’s macOS Mojave, it did not add a plethora of new features and sexy gimmicks. Instead, it stuck to the basics, optimizing what was already there in terms of features and performance. Oh, and doing this while taking up 6GB less than its immediate predecessor.

Given that Leopard overreached in some senses, Snow Leopard restored Apple’s reputation for quality products that “just work.” It’s no surprise that it hung around for a long time (possibly also due to it being the last version of OS X that ran on early Intel Macs).

Snow Leopard makes Mac updates cheaper

Snow Leopard changed the game in another way, too. Previous versions of OS X cost $129, but Snow Leopard only set users back the comparatively paltry sum of $29. The price cut prefigured Apple’s decision to do away with many software charges altogether a few years later. 2013’s OS X Mavericks may have been the first free desktop OS from Apple, but Snow Leopard paved the way.

Ultimately, Snow Leopard was a very important OS X update for Mac users. It focused on getting things right, correcting previous mistakes, and paying attention to under-the-hood improvements rather than user-facing ones.

Do you have fond memories of using OS X Snow Leopard on your Mac? What is your favorite macOS update over the years? Leave your comments below.