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Friday, July 29, 2005, 07:05 am PT (10:05 am ET)

Apple begins widespread testing of Mac OS X 10.4.3

Apple Computer this week began asking its developers to test and report back to the company on the first external pre-release build of Mac OS X 10.4.3, a forthcoming maintenance release to the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system.

Like the previously released Mac OS X 10.4.2 Update, tipsters say that Mac OS X 10.4.3 continues to focus on improving the overall reliability and stability of the Tiger OS.

The current build of the system update, rumored to be Mac OS X 10.4.3 build 8F8, is said to include over 40 bug fixes. Specifically, tipsters said the update addresses issues with .Mac, AppleScript, AFP Server communications, and Finder permissions.

Other improvements are rumored to include better handling of Japanese file names when communicating with a Windows server, improved handling of corrupt fonts, and Arabic characters display fixes.

Earlier this month Apple released Mac OS X 10.4.2 Update, which aimed to improve the overall reliability and compatibility for Mac OS X 10.4. It also delivered significant improvements to Tiger's Dashboard widget management environment, including a new Widget Manager.

Tipsters said the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.4.3 update currently weighs in at approximately 77MB in Combo form. It's expected to be released sometime in September.