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Thursday, December 15, 2005, 02:45 pm PT (05:45 pm ET)

Briefly: Mac OS X 10.4.4 development winding down

The development of Mac OS X 10.4.4 Update appears to be in the final stages at Apple Computer, as tipsters say the latest developer builds of the software are accompanied by only a few outstanding issues.

According to sources and reports already present on the Web, Mac OS X 10.4.4 stands to deliver over 120 bug fixes to the Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system. Targeted areas are said to include audio, AppleScript, Bluetooth, Dashboard widgets, DVD Player, graphics, graphics drivers, iChat, Safari, and Spotlight.

The near 52MB system update will be the fourth maintenance update released for Tiger in the seven months since Apple first made the operating system available to the public.

In the latest builds of 10.4.4, tipsters say Apple has made several refinements to the Safari web browser, including scrolling, download and rendering fixes. The release will also reportedly repair a hole in Safari that has blocked some users from accessing sites like GoDaddy.com.

If Apple's Mac OS X Update schedule in recent years is any indication, Mac OS X 10.4.4 Update should see a release just prior to the Apple's holiday break which occurs near the last week of December.

The most recent developer release of Mac OS X 10.4.4 is rumored to be build 8G22.