Walt Mossberg pets OS X Leopard, says 'nice kitty'

Mere days after the final release of OS X Leopard was leaked onto the net, bearded-beauty Walt Mossberg has reviewed the Mac update and come away nearly skipping with glee:

"I've been testing Leopard, and while it is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, release, I believe it builds on Apple's quality advantage over Windows. In my view, Leopard is better and faster than Vista, with a set of new features that make Macs even easier to use"

Walt saves his particular praise for headline features such as Time Machine, the simplified network sharing processes and the handy eye-candy CoverFlow that has been extended to work on all files rather than just the music in iTunes.  He also runs some non-scientific comparison tests between an unnamed Sony VAIO notebook running Vista and a MacBook Pro with Leopard pre-installed:

"It took the Vista machine nearly two minutes to perform a cold start and be ready to run, including connecting to my wireless network. The Leopard laptop was up, running and connected to the network in 38 seconds. In a test of restarting the two laptops after they had been running an email program, a Web browser and a word processor, the Sony with Vista took three minutes and 29 seconds, while the Apple running Leopard took one minute and five seconds"

His conclusion?  Leopard will certainly add value to new machines, and make getting started and generally using a Mac easier for new owners, but it's not an essential upgrade for existing owners.  I guess it comes down to whether you value specific features enough to pay $129 for them.

Leopard: Faster, Easier than Vista [Investor Village]