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Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 09:00 pm PT (12:00 am ET)

Apple to unveil .Mac 3.0 internet service

Along with the official roll-out of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Apple Computer on Friday will launch the the second major revision to its .Mac internet service, deemed .Mac 3.0, sources tell AppleInsider.

The new version, which reportedly goes by the code-name "Argyle," will boast support for the company's next-generation "Tiger" operating system, allowing members to sync their keychains and Mail preferences, share family address books, and access up to five email alias addresses.

The new version will also debut with a plethora fresh templates for use with .Mac's hompage feature, including new templates for photo album and iMovies pages. Meanwhile, the .Mac Learning Center will reportedly gain several new training modules on Tiger, iLife and iWork.

Along with the release of the new service, sources said Apple will begin to phase out support for the currently featured Virex anti-virus software, which is not yet compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. However, the company will continue to allow downloads of the software for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther users.

Sources said .Mac members should also expect an innovative new launch page, which will provide direct access to many of .Mac's features. The new start page will reportedly sport a three column layout with personalized content areas on the left, features in the center, and promotions on the far right.

In support of the release, Apple will introduce two new .Mac retail packages, including a .Mac Family Pack that will allow yearly access for up to five people for (US)$179.95. A single .Mac license will continue to retail for (US)$95.95.