So I picked up a copy of OS X 10.6 today and installed it on my Core Duo based MacBook. I had previously been running 10.5 and the install was relatively painless. It only took around 50 minutes from star to finish and the only program that had any issues was an ftp program called Cyberduck. An upgrade to the latest alpha build sorted that problem out.
Aside from the one problem with Cyberduck, everything has run smoothly. I can’t say for sure that I notice a speed improvement with the operating system, but it never exactly felt slow under 10.5 to begin with. It may be that this computer is running the older 32 bit Intel chip and not the latest Core 2 Duo 64 bit processors. There are a few noteworthy new features such as the new…. well… If I’m completely honest here, I haven’t really seen anything that new about the upgrade. I did pick up about 10 GB of free hard drive space and that was pretty nice. The new wallpapers are pretty good looking as well. The dock enhancements that add features like exposé and such are nice but I always used the keyboard shortcuts anyway so that doesn’t really do much for me. The new Quicktime is supposed to give you editing and full screen playback, that is a welcome feature but since I tend to use VLC or Miro for video, this one does not do much for me either.
In the end, it was a 29 dollar upgrade that got me some new wallpapers and freed up 10 GB worth of room on my hard drive. Was it worth it? Yes, the underpinnings of the OS have changed, Apple made it leaner and faster and that is the kind of improvement that I want to see from a new operating system. I don’t need feature bloat or a complete redo of the user interface. Apple has pretty much has the look of the OS down since 10.3 and they, nor I, have seen much of a need for change.