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Friday, March 03, 2006, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Development of Mac OS X 10.4.6 progresses

Mac OS X developers who are members of Apple's Developer Connection received a new set of Mac OS X 10.4.6 pre-release builds earlier this week.

According to various reports, Apple seeded both Mac OS X 10.4.6 build 8I113 (PowerPC) and Mac OS X 10.4.6 built 8I1106 (Intel). The builds are reported to weigh in at approximately 58MB and 149MB, respectively — representing some of the heftiest updates to the company's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system since its inception last April.

The maintenance and stability update now appears to focus on a broad range of system components and technologies that include AppleScript, Bluetooth, Calculator, Core Graphics, Disc Recording, Disk Management, the Finder, Help Viewer, iDisk usage, iSync, PPP and racoon Networking, Printing, Safari, and Voice over.

Developers were also asked to focus their testing efforts on additional system technologies such as Mac Synching, AFP, Automator, Carbon apps, Cocoa apps, Directory Services, Foundation, Graphics Drivers, Kerberos, Login Window, OpenGL, QuickDraw, SMB and WebDav.

As expected, the Intel build also places an incredible emphasis on the continued development and refinement of Apple's Rosetta emulation environment, which allows most PowerPC-based Mac OS applications to run seamlessly on the company's new Intel-based systems.

Mac OS X 10.4.6 appears to be scheduled for a release sometime within the next six weeks. Currently, documentation accompanying the latest builds lists only a handful of known issues with the software.