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Multiple sources in the past 48 hours have confirmed that Mac OS X 10.3 Panther has reached Gold Master status. Build 7B85 was 'informally' declared Gold Master sometime on Tuesday of this week. In this case, Gold Master is a term referring to the CD containing the finalized code that will be sent to the CD manufacturer to be reproduced for retail sale.
Traditionally, Apple continues to seed operating system builds to Apple Developer Connection members through their Final Candidate and Gold Master stages. Additionally, the company is known to send developers a congratulatory and thank you memo at the end of such testing cycles. Neither of these events took place during the latter stages of Mac OS X Panther development, sources said.
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther is scheduled to arrive by the end of October with a suggested retail price of approximately $129 US Dollars.
Update: MacRumors reports — albeit via an anonymous submission — that Panther Server GMed at build 7B86. Meanwhile, the final XNU kernel build for Panther client appears to be xnu-517.
Pending any further adjustments to the software and official word from Apple, AppleInsider would like to extend its congratulatory sentiments to the Mac OS X Panther development team on a job extremely well done.