The new OS, code-named Snow Leopard, will also focus on security and reducing its footprint, but have fewer features. "We've added over a thousand features to Mac OS X in the last five years," Jobs said. "We're going to hit the pause button on new features."
Jobs said Apple is proposing a new processing standard called Open CL (Open Computing Language) that allows programmers to take advantage of graphics processors. "Basically it lets you use graphics processors to do computation," he said. "It's way beyond what Nvidia or anyone else has, and it's really simple." [...]
But Apple's effort in parallel-processing tools is potentially a "real breakthrough," Bajarin said. "As Jobs has said, the real issue impacting the future of personal computing has to deal with programming applications that work with many processors."
Intel and Nvidia have both developed tools for addressing parallel processing -- Intel with Terrascale and Nvidia with Cuda, Bajarin noted, "but Apple's Open CL appears to represent real breakthroughs in these types of programming tools, and it could help them develop an even more competitive position in personal computing in the future."
One question raised by these announcements is whether Apple will continue to exclusively use Intel processors in the future. Since Nvidia and AMD-owned ATI are both far more advanced than Intel in graphics processors, could future Macs be built on one of those technologies instead of, or perhaps with, Intel multi-cores? Bajarin said he expects Apple's technology to work on Intel. "It is my sense that they could have Open CL work with Intel chips as well as others," he said.