Briefly: Mac OS X 10.5.3; AT&T iPhone hotspot access; Vista sales

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Apple on Wednesday broadened the testing focus for developers evaluating the next update to Leopard. Meanwhile, AT&T has officially announced free WiFi Hotspot access for iPhone plan holders; iPhone Software v2.0 will deliver limited YouTube support within Safari; and Vista has passed the 140 million sales mark.

Mac OS X 10.5.3 build 9D29

For the first time in nearly a month, Apple has added to the focus areas of Mac OS X 10.5.3 while issuing a new pre-release build of the operating system update.

According to people familiar with the matter, Mac OS X 10.5.3 build 9D29 released privately on Wednesday saw 802.1X and Sync Services technologies tacked on to a list of areas in which developers should focus their evaluation efforts.

The new build also delivered four new fixes, including one to Leopard's Animation technology and another to its Sync Services engine. It arrives just two days after the last external seed, build 9D27.

17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots for AT&T iPhone customers

AT&T on Wednesday made an update to its iPhoneCenter website noting that all of its iPhone call plans now include access to more than 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, including all U.S. company operated Starbucks locations equipped with a the WiFi technology.

The service, which prompts iPhone owners for their phone number prior to activation, was reported last week to have also cropped up at certain Barnes & Noble bookstores that feature AT&T WiFi.

iPhone's Safari to render embedded YouTube videos

In a brief posting, BGR reports that the latest beta of iPhone Software v2.0 puts to work a previously noted YouTube plugin for the mobile version of Safari that will rendered YouTube movies embedded in webpages. Clicking on the movies, however, still defaults playback to the handset's proprietary YouTube application and does not playback video in the browser.

Microsoft's Vista hits 140M milestone

Speaking at a European news conference Thursday, Microsoft chair Bill Gates noted that sales of Windows Vista have reached 140 million copies worldwide. The update is the first since the company crossed the 100 million mark at the start of the new year. This demonstrates that Vista continues to sell at a "very rapid" rate, he said.

If measured between January and April, the number represents about 10 million copies of Vista sold per month in the first four months of 2008 and signals a slight increase in the sales rate for the operating system, which averaged at just over 9 million copies sold per month in 2007. However, the sales rate is half that of the software's initial pace in the first two months of its launch, when it sold as many as 20 million copies per month to cater to early demand.

Apple has not provided an update on sales of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard since announcing sales of more than 2 million copies during its first weekend on the market this past October.