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Apple Announces OS X 10.1

Major update arrives Saturday By Dave Nagel
Apple today announced the long-awaited Mac OS X 10.1 update, which is the release expected to plug many of the larger holes left in the initial version of Mac OS X. Apple said today that customers will be able to pick up free update CDs from computer retailers or purchase the update from the Apple Store for $20. The CDs should be available in stores Saturday.

Some of the major "plugs" in this latest release include enhanced CD burning support, including the ability to burn CDs from the Finder. It's also the first OS X release to support DVD playback and authoring. The new DVD Player application allows users to watch DVD movies full screen or in a window, but it only works with AGP Macs. (The first-generation, low-end G4 did not include AGP graphics, nor does any model prior to that.)

Also significant in this latest release are performance boosts, from faster Finder performance to OpenGL speed boosts. (Apple says OpenGL is 20 percent faster in this release.) It also includes options for scaling back interface features like Minimize to reduce demands on the processor.

Other improvements include:

  • Java 2 implementation, which is "fully supported" in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1.
  • Enhanced printer support, with printer description files for more than 200 PostScript printers.
  • A few Finder tweaks to make files more easily recognizable.
  • A better organized System Preferences panel.
  • Customizable Dock features, including the ability to keep the Dock on the right or left of the screen.
  • Enhanced AppleScript support, including system components.
  • Network enhancements, including the ability to connect to AFP servers over AppleTalk. It also includes the native ability to connect to Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Unix-based SAMBA file servers.

In a separate announcement today, Apple said that 1,400 third-party applications now run on Mac OS X natively. The full release of OS X 10.1 costs $130. For more information, visit We'll bring you a review of the full release once we've had time to test it out.

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