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Saturday, January 06, 2007, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Macworld: Avid to launch Intel Mac open beta program

Avid Technology, Inc., a software developer specializing in video and audio production technology, is expected to announce next week an open beta program that will offer customers a sneak peek at several of its Intel-based Mac applications under development.

People familiar with the matter say the program will initially be available only to Avid contract customers that hold licenses to the current version of programs, such as Avid Xpress Pro, Avid Media Composer and Avid Media Composer Adrenaline.

Avid customers that are not current with their software licenses will be unable to run the new beta software until they update their customer dongle by purchasing the necessary version upgrades, those people say.

"We expect to release a new Avid Open Beta program on Monday January 8, [2007] as our way of giving our Macintosh customers a first look at the exciting new software in development before it is released," Avid reportedly told a select group of customers an an e-mail communication this week.

The company added that the beta program "is specifically for use on Apple?s new Intel-based Mac systems."

Avid had originally anticipated delivering native versions of its industry-standard Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer nonlinear video editing solutions for Apple's new Intel Macs by December.

Although the Tewksbury, Mass.-based company demonstrated betas of those applications running on Apple's new Mac Pro workstations at the DV Expo this past November, it has yet to offer any update regarding public availability of the software.

Avid, which is not listed among the exhibitors at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Calif., is expected to issue an FAQ and additional details on system requirements for the beta program on Monday.