Apple has shed more light on its new operating system following the confirmation it was working on an update to "Leopard" by Steve Jobs in his keynote speech to delegates at this years Worldwide Developer Conference.

Called Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the new OS, which is due out next year, not focus primarily on new features say Apple but instead work to improve and enhance the overall performance of OS X.

According to Apple, "Snow Leopard is optimised for multi-core processors, taps into the vast computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enables breakthrough amounts of RAM and features a new, modern media platform with QuickTime X".

"Snow Leopard includes out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and is scheduled to ship in about a year."

Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which optimises support for modern audio and video formats resulting in extremely efficient media playback.

The company has also moved towards appealing to businesses by, for the first time, including native support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 in OS X applications Mail, iCal and Address Book.