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Monday, March 14, 2011, 01:15 pm PT (04:15 pm ET)

Mac OS X 10.6.7 release approaches with eighth beta seeded by Apple

Apple on Monday seeded the eighth beta of Mac OS X 10.6.7 to developers, with the latest build again featuring no new issues and no new focus areas, suggesting a final release could be close.

People familiar with the latest build, dubbed 10J869, said it is a 476.1MB download in its delta image form. It arrives less than a week after the previous build, which was named just one digit off from this week's release, 10J868.

Like previous builds, the latest beta of Mac OS X 10.6.7 is said to contain no issues, and developers have reportedly been asked to focus on Safari, the Mac App Store, Bonjour, SMB, and Graphics Drivers.

The beta is available to members of Apple's Mac developer program, and is intended to allow software makers the ability to ensure their programs are compatible with the forthcoming update. The consistent lack of known issues with betas of Mac OS X 10.6.7 is evidence that the software is near final.

Mac OS X 10.6.7 will be a security and maintenance update for the Snow Leopard operating system, and is not expected to include any major new features. Apple has concentrated its efforts on the next major operating system release, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, due for release this summer.

The previous update for Snow Leopard was Mac OS X 10.6.6. It arrived in early January, and included the Mac App Store for downloading software titles on the Mac platform.