QuickTime Pro: Can you believe the Apple folks used to charge for this thing? I guess they saw the writing on the wall, what with Microsoft releasing yet another excellent iteration of its free Movie Maker application. Way to play that reactionary card, Apple!
I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Mac OS X Snow Leopard is truly an underwhelming release, one that borrows most of its "new" ideas from Windows Vista. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to drive OS evolution forward, introducing a raft of truly innovative features with Windows 7. (Check out J. Peter Bruzzese's video of the top 20 Windows 7 features for examples.) The new Taskbar puts Apple's clumsy Mac OS X Dock to shame, while its enhanced support for multicore CPUs (see my earlier research on this topic) means that even non-optimized code gets a boost -- no Grand Central Dispatch tweaking required.
[ Get all the details on the new Mac OS X features in InfoWorld's "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard" slideshow trio: new features for all users, new features for office users, and new features for power users. | Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard. ]
I've often referred to Windows 7 as "Vista R2," an incremental follow-up release that was mostly about righting the wrongs of its predecessor. Viewed in these terms, Mac OS X Snow Leopard is more like a service pack: a collection of bug fixes and minor functional enhancements that, quite frankly, should have been in the original release. As such, Snow Leopard is nothing to get all excited about; it's not worth even the modest "upgrade" price Apple is asking.