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Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.8 to fine tune service technologies

The next, and potentially final, upgrade to Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system will address loose ends in the software's underlying service technologies with a particular focus on networking and syncing.

Just two betas of the Mac OS X 10.5.8 Update have made their way into developers' hands thus far, the first of which was labeled build 9L12 and arrived for an extremely limited group of testers early last week. That distribution was quickly followed by the release of build 9L14 to all registered Mac OS X developers this past weekend.

Unlike Mac OS X 10.5.7, which addressed roughly two dozen system components and applications, Mac OS X 10.5.8's focus appears more narrow from the onset. People familiar with the update say Apple has asked developers to concentrate their evaluation efforts on just a dozen key technologies, only two of which represent forward-facing applications: Automator and iCal.

The remainder of the update addresses underlying service technologies that include 802.1x wireless protocols, Apple Filing Protocol, AirPort, Bluetooth, graphics drivers, iDisk syncing, networking, Spotlight indexing, Sync Services, and USB.

Similarly, many of the roughly two-dozen code corrections already baked into the first two pre-release builds also target underlying networking and syncing technologies. For example, Apple has reportedly made note of fixes to AFP and TimeMachine syncing, iCal time and calendar syncing, execution of startup items on Network home folders, and problems with DHCP client and 802.1x integration.

New Mac owners wrestling issues with their DisplayPort to DVI/VGA adapters should also see improvements with the release of Mac OS X 10.5.8, though Apple has reportedly failed to provide any color on the specific issues being addressed. Those users experiencing issues where their Mac inexplicably fails to go to sleep a second time around will also reportedly see relief to their problems.