Steve Jobs Explains OS X Snow Leopard in Three Easy Steps

The NY Times has a good interview with Steve Jobs in which Apple's CEO lets fly with very quotable, very understandable quotes about OS X 10.6. We already heard the details, but it was still hard to wrap our head around why Apple would make an operating system without many visible features and just go and change architecture around. He explains that they're doing it because programmers don't know WTF is going on with parallel processing.


The way the processor industry is going is to add more and more cores, but nobody knows how to program those things. I mean, two, yeah; four, not really; eight, forget it.

Jobs claims that Apple's made a "breakthrough" in parallel-programming called Grand Central, which he alluded to in his keynote yesterday. He didn't, however, go into details about how it works and why it's going to revolutionize dividing up tasks into multiple processors in ways that other operating systems haven't yet.

What's also interesting is the ability to bring the GPU (your graphics card) into the processing role to help out your CPU. Apple's calling this newly proposed standard OpenCL (Open Compute Library).


Basically it lets you use graphics processors to do computation. It's way beyond what Nvidia or anyone else has, and it's really simple.

It's vaguely similar to the way that Photoshop CS 4 will use your graphics card to help process image manipulation and help out in rendering 3D models as well.

Will there be more features like Time Machine? Not according to Jobs.

"We've added over a thousand features to Mac OS X in the last five years," he said Monday in an interview after his presentation. "We're going to hit the pause button on new features."

Seems to us that Snow Leopard won't be heavy on the features, but it will increase processing speeds for people who are heavy on the processing in their daily computing and have more than just a few cores—a place we're all heading to in the next few years. [NYT]

Trending Stories Right Now