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Friday, April 08, 2005, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Briefly: Int. iTMS, Tiger Family Pack, Xsan, Mac OS X Games

New International iTMS Stores?

According to a couple of Norwegian publications (1, 2) dedicated to the recording industry, Apple plans to launch a version of its iTunes music store in Norway on the 28th of April.

As many will recall, the 28th of April marks the anniversary of the iTunes Music Store, which made its debut in 2003. Late April has also been rumored for a possible introduction of the iTunes Music Store Australia, though reliable confirmation is severely lacking.

Wither Mac OS X Family Pack?

One AppleInsider reader recently conducted his own investigation into the fate of Apple's Mac OS X Family Pack, which Apple may have decided to discontinue.

As noted in an earlier report, online retailer Amazon.com recently began advertising a rebate on orders for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which offers $35 off the cost of the single user license version and $50 off the Family Pack. However, within days of posting the rebate, Amazon disabled pre-orders for the Family Pack without explanation.

After contacting Amazon about the issue by e-mail, the reader received several odd responses. But a followup phone call to the retailer revealed that Amazon is unable to place orders with Apple for the Mac OS X 10.4 Family Pack, suggesting that it may have been discontinued. The call is available as a QuickTime audio file.

Apple last offered the Mac OS X Family Pack with the release of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. The $200 package included a license to install Panther on up to 5 Apple-labeled computers as long as those computers were located within the same household — a savings of over $500.

Xsan 1.1 for Tiger

Several developers note that Apple is working on an update to Xsan, its enterprise-class storage networking solution that lets multiple computers concurrently access terabytes of storage on Xserve RAID over high-speed Fibre Channel.

The update, labeled Xsan 1.1, reportedly requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Sever. Sources said Apple is seeding the pre-release versions of the update as a Developer Preview, with the most recent build said to be Xsan 1.1 Dev Preview Build 8M13.

As noted in an earlier report, Apple continues to work on the development of Tiger Server.

Apple Gaming Division?

MacRumors is citing an anonymous report that claims Apple and ATI may be collaborating to form or purchase a Game Development unit for Mac OS X.

In a March 27th posting to the Mac OpenGL mailing list, the two companies, along with Nvidia, announced that it was recruiting software engineers to improve the Mac implementation of Open-GL.

The posting read, in part, "The Apple, ATI and NVIDIA OpenGL software teams are looking for a diverse set of talented engineers who would like to be a part of the fast paced world of 3D graphics. Apply your skills to help make Mac OS X the best OpenGL implementation in the industry."