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Leaked Snow Leopard image potentially indicates a 32 / 64-bit divide

Nilay Patel
12.28.08
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Apple's said it's taking a break from adding flashy features to OS X to focus on the foundations and stability of the system with Snow Leopard, and this latest leaked screenshot might indicate that those foundations are moving to 64 bits -- it shows System Preferences saying it needs to restart in 32-bit mode to open the Network panel. That's certainly interesting, given the rumors that Apple's dropping support for non-Intel machines and maybe even 32-bit Intel processors with this release, but it could also just mean that whoever took this screenshot doesn't have a 64-bit-friendly version of that preference pane installed. (We're guessing the latter, since there are a lot of 32-bit only Core Duo Intel Macs out there.) Restarting apps to change modes seems pretty clunky, though -- shades of System 7 and the 32-bit Enabler, for the olds -- so we're hoping Apple's got a more elegant solution in the works. Macworld's just around the corner, we're sure we'll hear more from Steve Phil soon.

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