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Apple Previews Mac OS X 10.3 Panther

New operating system gains 100 new features By Dave Nagel
At the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Apple today unveiled its latest-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.3, code-named Panther. The new version offers a new Finder and enhancements for interoperability with Windows, in addition to several other performance and feature enhancements. It's expected to be available by the end of the year.

According to Apple, the new Mac OS offers more than 100 new features. These include a brand new Finder, which Apple calls "user-centric." It offers a new look with , as well as labels and faster searching. It also includes a new feature called Expose, which offers enhanced window management, with the ability to show all windows for a given application with the click of a button and the ability to hide all windows with the click of button in order to reveal the entire desktop.

Other new features include:

  • A new QuickTime codec called Pixlet, developed in conjunction with Pixar, which includes support for 48 bits per channel source data;
  • Built-in fax capabilities;
  • Improved Mail application with enhanced viewing and organization;
  • Faster user switching;
  • File Vault, a feature that encrypts and decrypts files going into and out of the home directory;
  • iChat AV, a new audio and video chat feature for use with FireWire-based cameras;
  • For users of the .Mac service, iDisk is now cached locally;
  • Faster PDF rendering in Preview with conversion from PostScript to PDF on the fly;
  • Font Book font management;
  • Various enhancements to UNIX-based technologies, including X11 for Mac OS X, performance improvements to NFS, a ports manager for accessing open source projects, expanded Kerberos support, an integrated IPv6 networking stack and the ability to access Quartz graphics from Python programs.

Mac OS X 10.3 is expected to be available by the end of the year for $129, with developer releases available now. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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