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Friday, November 10, 2006, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple strengthens Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with new build

Apple Computer this week delivered to developers Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard build 9A303, the latest in an extremely limited series of pre-release builds of its next-generation operating system.

People familiar with the new distribution of the software, labeled Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard build 9A303, say one of its primary objectives of the release is to knock out several "performance related bugs" that were present in build 9A283.

The latest build, those same people say, also reduces hangs in the Mac OS X Leopard Finder caused by a network connectivity issue and delivers several performance enhancements to the initial version of Time Machine.

Since seeding build 9A283 in mid-Oct., Apple has further implemented fixes that address issues with Safari's bug reporting feature as well as repair a glitch that has been impeding the use of Timbuktu and Eudora due to crashes on launch.

Those familiar with the build 9A303 say the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker continues to list well over a dozen known issues with Leopard, including file and QuickTime errors in iChat, iDisk synching failures and printing issues with HP raster printers.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard build 9A303 also contains problems where items deleted in the trash may not disappear until a restart, Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros won't recognize their AirPort cards, and logins initially fail after enabling FileVault protection on an account.

Apple has maintained that it will be ready to release Leopard sometime during the first half of 2007.