Ending the rampant speculation of exactly when Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger would be released, Apple last week announced that its next-generation operating system will be available for sale as of 6:00 PM on Friday, April 29th, 2005, although you can also pre-order from Apple (and other retailers). Tiger will cost $130 for a single user license; the Mac OS X Tiger Family Pack offers a five-user license for $200, and the Mac OS Up-to-Date upgrade package will cost $10 for those who bought a new Mac on or after 12-Apr-05 (this offer ends 22-Jul-05).
Tiger requires a minimum of 256 MB of RAM (but anyone with any sense will install more) and will run on any Macintosh that has both a PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor and built-in FireWire. You need at least a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 or a dual 800 MHz PowerPC G4-based Power Mac - along with 100 Kbps of Internet bandwidth - to participate in a multi-person video chat with iChat - one of Tiger's most ballyhooed features. Initiating a multi-person video chat requires even more stringent requirements: a Mac with at least dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4s or one with a PowerPC G5 CPU, along with 384 Kbps of Internet bandwidth (the initiating computer is the one that handles much of the video encoding and audio-video synchronization).
Tiger ships on DVD; if your otherwise-compatible Mac has only a CD drive, you can either boot your Mac in FireWire Target Disk Mode and install to it from another DVD-equipped Mac, or you can pay Apple $10 for a set of Tiger CDs. To order the CD set, download the PDF form linked below.
Released simultaneously will be Mac OS X Server 10.4 Tiger, which will, as usual, cost $500 for a 10-user license and $1,000 for an unlimited client edition. Apple is also accepting pre-orders for Tiger Server, and the Mac OS Up-to-Date program has the same $10 cost for anyone who buys an Xserve G5 on or after 12-Apr-05. Tiger Server will ship on all new Xserve G5s, and can run on the same Macs as the desktop version as long as at least 4 GB of disk space is available.
And yes, we are on track to release "Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger" and "Take Control of Customizing Tiger" at 6:00 PM EDT on Friday, April 29th, too! If all goes well, we also hope to have "Take Control of Users & Accounts in Tiger" and "Take Control of Sharing Files in Tiger" available then as well; all four ebooks are available for pre-order now. Check the Take Control News page for the latest information.