OS X Leopard: Apple’s Official Guided Tour

October 20, 2007, 6:43 PM UTC

With less than a week before OS X Leopard ships, Apple (AAPL) has published a video guided tour of the latest version of its flagship Macintosh operating system. It’s available here as a Quicktime download or streaming file.Clocking in at more than 27 minutes, it’s a long slog, delivered by a black-shirted actor in the cloying up-beat tone that has become Apple’s house style for these presentations. This actor has unusually expressive hands; try not to be distracted by them.

Despite its glacial, Mister Rogers pace, the video is worth watching, especially if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing one of Steve Jobs’ Leopard demos. Graphical user interfaces are built on layers of increasingly sophisticated visual metaphors and this, the sixth iteration of OS X, has refined some of the old ones (like Desktop, Dock and Sidebar) and introduced a number of important new ones (such as Stacks, Places and Quick Look). The changes will take some getting used to before they become second-nature.

But maybe next time Apple could take pity on those of us with short attention spans and provide an alternative guided tour for users trained by MTV and the company’s own iPods ads to absorb visual metaphors as fast as Apple can dish them out.