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Apple begins widespread testing of Mac OS X 10.4.6

Apple Computer this week began providing to its developers the first external pre-release builds of Mac OS X 10.4.6 — the sixth maintenance update to the company's Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system, which made its debut last April.

According to tipsters and reports already present on several Internet Web sites, Apple issued builds for both PowerPC (build 8I109) and Intel (build 8I1102) Macintosh systems.

While the Intel build places emphasis on the ongoing improvements to the company's Rosetta emulation environment for Mac OS X for Intel, the remainder of the enhancements are common amongst both builds.

Specifically, Mac OS X 10.4.6 is said to focus on Automator, Bluetooth, Cocoa, Carbon, Core Graphics, graphics drivers, hard and optical disc management, .Mac, Printing and Safari.

The builds, which weigh in at approximately 131MB and 166MB in Combo Updater form, already include over four dozen enhancements and bug fixes over Mac OS X 10.4.5, which Apple released just last week.

Certain milestones of Mac OS X 10.4.6 Update are believed by sources to provide software support for Apple's upcoming consumer Macintosh offerings such as the Intel iBook and Mac mini.