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Friday, September 26, 2003, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple Continues to Tweak Interface in Panther Builds 7B80, 7B81

Just when it seemed as if Apple had frozen its alterations to the new Mac OS X 10.3 Panther interface, information from reliable sources paints a different picture. Reportedly, the company has recently implemented a slew of additional system animations in builds 7B80 and 7B81 of the next-generation OS.

The Mac OS install process has also seen a number of revisions, including system-wide window alterations that reflect 'grayer' tint in areas that previously sported an aqua-like feel. This move seems to be consistent with the metallic scheme Apple intents to present with Mac OS X 10.3.

In the meantime, the rest of the Panther team appears to be focused on bug fixes and system optimization. The latest builds are said to boast 'sizzling' speed improvements — from user installation to interaction — over previously seeded builds. This optimization will continue until the software reaches final candidate status.

Interface alterations in the later stages of the development process usually bear less risk of creating new system issues and provide a way for the company to keep visual enhancements under-wraps until the last possible moment.