Apple Unleashes Mac OS X Leopard


The launch of Leopard will cap a frenzied year of product launches for Apple, which has included the iPhone and several new models of Apple iPods.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker, which initially delayed the launch from spring until October, has trumpeted the release, which follows strong quarterly earnings, continued strong sales of its iPhone mobile phone, and an upswing in Mac sales.

"Leopard, the sixth major release of Mac OS X, is the best upgrade we've ever released," Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, said in a statement earlier this month. The OS was priced at $129, Apple said.

Apple's Leopard OS was prematurely leaked to the masses on file-sharing sites around the Internet on Tuesday, three days before the official launch of the next-generation operating system.

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Torrent sites around the Internet were offering a 6.56 G versions of the operating system. Leopard is Apple's first operating system upgrade in two years, when it released its Tiger OS 10.4.

Earlier versions of Leopard have been leaked to torrent sites as well. In June a beta version of the OS that Apple released at its Worldwide Developer Conference was leaked to the torrent sites.

Commentators on torrent sites debated the authenticity of the files on Tuesday afternoon, but users by the hundreds began downloading the software from a variety of different sources. Up to 6 "seeders" were hosting the operating system for pirate users.

VARs and distributors are anticipating big sales of the Leopard OS and of associated hardware after its release.

Apple blew Wall Street out of the water with its fourth quarter earnings earlier this week after market close on strong sales of iPhones, the iPod family and Macintosh computers.

The company earned $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share on revenues of $6.22 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 29, 2007, up 67 percent over the same period last year when the company pulled in $542 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $4.84 billion.