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Monday, October 20, 2003, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Apple Rapidly Developing First Panther Update

Apple wrapped-up its developer seeding of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther last week, granting 'Select' Apple Developer Connection members access to the final build of the operating system. Several days prior, 'Premier' members were provided with the gold master of the next-generation OS. Meanwhile, a small number of Apple's select retail partners have reportedly received shipments of the Panther OS, though they are prohibited from distributing copies to customers until Friday evening.

Last month, the company abruptly halted the weekly seedings of the Panther OS through its Apple Developer Connection (ADC), deciding to complete the beta and final candidate stages of the release internally and through its AppleSeed program. Sources have recently cited an abundance of media leaks that influenced the company's decision.

Additionally, its been rumored that Apple may have pulled the plug on a number of last minute additions to the OS, including some eye-candy features. These features, and others, are said to arrive via a Panther update in the coming months. Currently, the Mac OS X update team is said to be rapidly developing the first update to Panther, Mac OS X 10.3.1. Apple will be using the feedback generated on Mac OS X 10.3 build 7B85 from its AppleSeed and ADC programs as a basis for the release, sources said.

Mac OS X 10.3.1 aims to clean up any loose ends discovered in Mac OS X 10.3 and should begin testing shortly after Mac OS X 10.3 is officially unrolled at the end of the week.