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Apple ends Jaguar iChat AV development

Exclusive - After a mere one year stint, Apple is calling it quits when it comes to supporting its audio and visual instant messaging software on older versions of the Mac OS X operating system.

Apple Computer this week quietly terminated both the development and sale of its iChat AV instant messaging software for users of its Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" operating system, sources close to the company have revealed.

In a note to company employees, Apple's marketing division announced an end to the electronic sale and distribution of the software, stating that the Jaguar-based application is now EOL (end-of-life).

Subsequent checks of product availability confirm the removal of iChat AV from the company's online store. Likewise, a posting on the iChat product page, which once advertised the software to Jaguar users for a small fee, has also disappeared.

Apple introduced iChat AV along with its Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" operating system in June of 2003, but also made the software available to users of Mac OS X v10.2.5 "Jaguar" or later as a standalone upgrade for $29.95.

The precise reasoning behind the discontinuation of the software for Jaguar users is unknown, but the company is hard at work on a new version of iChat AV that will deliver improved video quality, three-way video chat, extended audio conferencing, and Jabber support. This update is due in early 2005 as part of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger."