Apple Announces OS X Tiger; Ships April 29

Apple Computer announced Tuesday the much anticipated release of Mac OS X 10.4 iTigeri will go on sale Friday, April 29, beginning at 6:00 p.m. local time during special events at Appleis retail stores and Apple resellers.

The company announced it is now taking pre-orders of Tiger at its online store for US$129. Apple will also offer a Mac OS X Tiger Family Pack for $199 that includes a single-residence, five-user license.

Tuesdayis announcement is ahead of the self-imposed shipping schedule Apple set in January when it said it would release the operating system update by the end of June.

Major new features of Tiger include Appleis new desktop search technology, Spotlight, to search the contents of documents, e-mail, images, contacts, photos, calendars and applications and Dashboard, small mini iwidgetsi that display information such as stock quotes, news and weather information, and more.

Apple said Mac OS X version 10.4 will ship with 14 widgets.

Tiger also includes a new version of the Safari Web browser that includes a built-in RSS feed to track Web pages. Multiple RSS feeds can be merged into one easy-to-read interface to create a useris own personal news clipping service.

Other new Safari features: The ability to read PDFs from within Safari, a new private browsing feature which blocks personal information from being shared, cached or saved and a parental control feature that allows adults to block certain sites from children.

The new operating system also will include an updated version of iChat, which supports the new H.264 video codec for improved picture quality. Users will now be able to create audio conferences with up to 10 users and video conferences with up to four people in a 3-D virtual conference room. Contacts on a Buddy List will now see which iTunes song a user is playing and view it in the iTunes Music Store.

Tigeris new Automator workflow application will let users easily automate repetitive tasks without complex programming. Users can select from a library of more than a hundred customizable actions and drag and drop them to create an automated workflow. Workflows can also be saved and shared with other Mac users.

Tiger requires a minimum of 256 megabytes of memory and will run on any Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G3, G4 or processor and built-in FireWire.

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