Apple is rumored to have quietly ceased support for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, having once again left the aging OS out of its latest batch of security upgrades. Speculation that Snow Leopard was being put out to pasture began again on Tuesday, after Apple failed to patch the platform while rolling out updates for Mavericks, the latest version of OS X, along with Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7).
Although there was no official commentary given on the justification behind that omission, ComputerWorld flags up the fact that it's not the first time Snow Leopard has been out in the cold when update time comes around.
Back in December, OS X 10.6 was overlooked in the Safari browser upgrade. Both Safari 6 and 7 saw the tweaks, but neither will work with Snow Leopard, and the most recent version which does - Safari 5.1.10 - went untouched. In fact, the last update Snow Leopard saw was in September 2013, when Apple released a batch of security fixes.
Although most Mac users are already running more recent versions of OS X than Snow Leopard - which was first launched more than four years ago - there's still an estimated 1-in-5 machines still using 10.6. That's in part due to legacy applications and hardware, since Snow Leopard was the last OS X release to support both PowerPC apps and 32-bit Intel processors.
If Apple is indeed ceasing security patches for the platform, that could leave a considerable number of Macs at risk if new malware opportunities are discovered.
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment when we asked about Snow Leopard.