Getting the iPhone ready for its June launch had an unintended consequence for Apple: having to delay the Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" release until October. The wait is almost over for Apple fans, however, as the company today confirmed it has started receiving pre-orders for its new operating system.

Mac OS X Leopard will go on sale October 26 for $129 at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, marking the sixth major upgrade to Mac OS X since the desktop operating system debuted in 2001. Apple says that Leopard is packed with over 300 new features, including the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, the new Time Machine back-up system, a redesigned Finder, and more. In addition, Leopard will come with the final version of Boot Camp, Apple's Windows-on-Mac technology.

You can learn more about Leopard's new enhancements and feature-specific requirements at Apple's website.