Apple Finally Cutting OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Loose?

Like many Mac veterans, I still have OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installed, in my case on the primary HDD partition of my Core 2 Duo MacBook (Mountain Lion is on the other partition).

I still use Snow Leopard quite a bit for compatibility with Carbon apps ported over from thje Power PC era, and still having some apps in my production suite for which there are no really satisfactory non-Carbon replacements, I’ve appreciated Apple supporting 10.6, which was released in 2009, rather longer than superseded OS X versions usually are. Howefver Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer notes that Apple has declined to patch Safari 5.1 in its latest tranche of security updates, which he suggests is a sign that it’s finally giving 10.6 the support heave-ho.

On Monday, Apple patched the later Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, including 2011’s Lion, 2012’s Mountain Lion and this year’s Mavericks, but Snow Leopard’s Safari 5.1 was passed over, its last and likely ultimate update being last September to version 5.1.10.

Sad, but inevitable, alas. Snow Leopard ranks with Mas OS 10.4 Tiger (which I still use on my old Pismo PowerBooks, as my two favorite OS X versions so far.

Apple retired Tiger from support in September 2009, more than four years after its introduction, and we’re now nearly five years on from that cutting adrift. Nevertheless, Tiger still acquits itself amazingly well as a utility OS using comtemporaneous software, and also thanks to the efforts of the FloodGap folks with their TenFourFox Power PC port of the Firefox browser. So I expect that there’s plenty of useful life left in Snow Leopard.

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