Apple Partners Bullish On Parallel Processing

may be coming in Q1 2009 processing

Apple earlier this year said that Snow Leopard won't include a raft of new features, but instead, will represent an architectural shift in OS X that's focused on multicore processor support and making it easier for developers to write apps that take advantage of parallel processing.

All of which means that Mac business adoption, which according to Forrester Research stood at 4.2 percent at the end of 2007, could see significant gains once Snow Leopard arrives.

"Parallel processing will be difficult for Apple to sell, but if they do it right, users will have much snappier performance across the board, in terms of moving around files, manipulating files, system utilities and launching applications," said Michael Oh, president of Boston-based Apple reseller Tech Superpowers.

While the performance gains could help give Macs more traction in business, Oh says he has never seen a customer decide that Macs aren't fast enough for business-related tasks. However, the performance gains certainly aren't going to impede business adoption, Oh said.

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"When you look at the virtualization advancements, and Apple's integration with Exchange, OS X 10.6 looks like an OS that business users will look at as far superior to the Vista experience," Oh said.

OS X 10.5, the current version, is still carrying baggage in terms of backwards support for older computer models and processors, but that's set to change, said Jim Schjelderup, product manager at Simply Computing, a Vancouver, B.C.-based Apple reseller.

"Many of the features of the Finder [in OS X 10.6] are reportedly going to be written in native Cocoa, and, therefore, will be much quicker," said Schjelderup. In addition, "the manner in which many tasks function will be improved, [especially] on computers with more powerful video cards."

"Software undoubtedly will have to be updated to take advantage of the new capabilities of OS X 10.6, but I'm sure that there will be a significant advantage as this happens, and that should make Macs more attractive as 'productivity' machines to business users," Schjelderup added.