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Thursday, November 10, 2005, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple compiles first Mac OS X 10.4.4 builds

Engineers at Apple Computer have recently compiled the first builds of Mac OS X 10.4.4, the fourth in a series of several maintenance updates planned for the company's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system over the next 10 months, tipsters tell AppleInsider

While few, if any, details of the operating system update have yet to surface, some Apple developers have reportedly been told to expect the first pre-release external seeds of the software during the last week of November or first week of December.

Apple has historically completed and released to the public a maintenance update to its Mac OS X operating system just prior the Christmas holiday and the company's short winter vacation.

Last year Apple released Mac OS X 10.3.7 on December 15th and the year before issued Mac OS X 10.3.2 on December 17th. Back in 2002, the Mac maker posted to its website Mac OS X 10.2.3 on December 19th, just days before the holidays.

Each of the holiday maintenance updates saw their first external seed come in mid-to-late November, suggesting that Mac OS X 10.4.4 could be on a similar schedule that spans only a few weeks from developer seeding to release.

Regardless of whether Mac OS X 10.4.4 will make the pre-holiday cut or debut shortly after the new year, sources believe a later milestone of the update may be used on the first Macs that will ship with Intel processors in the first half of 2006.

Apple recently issued the third maintenance release to its Tiger operating system, brining the software up to version 10.4.3 during the last week in October.