Apple Officially Unveils Panther For October 24th Release

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Apple has officially announced the previously introduced Panther, Mac OS X 10.3. The OS was first unveiled during Juneis WWDC event, when Apple said it would ship by the end of the year. The company clearly beat that target, and says Panther will ship on October 24th. Apple is also planning another big release event at its fleet of retail stores, starting at 8 PM. Panther is officially to be another paid upgrade, priced at US$129, the same as last yearis Jaguar. From Apple:

Apple today announced that Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther," the next major release of the worldis most advanced operating system, will be available on Friday, October 24, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Panther delivers more than 150 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder that provides one-click access to a useris favorite files and folders; Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers.

Appleis retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will host special events Friday night, October 24, at 8:00 p.m. to celebrate the introduction of the most ground-breaking version of Appleis UNIX-based operating system to date.

"Panther sets the new gold standard for operating systems," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "With more than 150 new features, weire delivering innovations today that will not be seen in any other operating system for years to come."

Panther features a completely redesigned Finder with lightning-fast file searching that is up to six times faster than Mac OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar." The new Finder provides one-click access by putting a useris favorite folders, storage, servers and iDisk in one convenient location. The new Finder also offers dynamic browsing of the network for Mac, Windows and UNIX file servers.

Panther also introduces Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly view all open windows and choose any of them to be on top. Exposé visually unshuffles overlapping windows on the desktop into an organized thumbnail view so a user can instantly locate and switch to any open window or get to any file on the desktop. Powered by the Mac OS X Quartz graphic engine, Exposé is a breakthrough in working with multiple files, applications and projects.

Panther extends instant messaging to the next level with iChat AV, the worldis easiest to use desktop video conferencing solution, offering full-screen, full-motion video over broadband, crystal-clear audio and a familiar easy-to-use interface. iChat makes natural conversations over the Internet immediate and effortless, and has been enjoyed by over half a million beta users since its introduction in June.

Other new features in Panther include:

  • Fast User Switching to elegantly switch between active users without having to quit applications or log out;
  • FileVault, which uses the latest security standards and 128-bit encryption technology to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure and private at all times;
  • Font Book, a new application that provides system-level font management with double-click font preview, one-click installation and an intuitive interface for managing font collections, and activating or deactivating fonts;
  • the worldis fastest PDF reader in a significantly improved Preview application, with super-fast text searching that builds an instant index of search results in a PDF, text selection and copying, URL support and support for the PDF 1.4 format;
  • a fully integrated iDisk that increases productivity by automatically syncing a useris offline work to their .Mac Internet server storage once theyire online again, so users can work locally on files with hard drive speeds and have them synced automatically back to their iDisk later;
  • enhanced Mail, with advanced spam filtering technology and the ability to organize mail into convenient threads to make it easy to read, file or delete related e-mails;
  • a new Address Book that includes powerful new features for printing labels and easily notifying contacts when a useris personal information changes;
  • integrated faxing synced with the Address Book so sending and receiving faxes is as easy as printing, and includes support for adding cover pages;
  • enhanced Windows compatibility that ensures files, printers and network services can easily be shared with Windows users. Support for Microsoft Exchange is built into Mail and Address Book to make it easy to access Exchange e-mail and sync address book entries;
  • advancements to the open-standard UNIX-based foundation, including support for the latest open source libraries, commands and technologies, X11 applications, IPv6, Kerberos integration and a greatly improved NFS file system;
  • Xcode, the fastest way to create Mac OS X applications. Xcode combines an easy-to-use interface with proven developer tools such as GCC 3.3 to make it easy for developers to take advantage of the latest technologies from Apple; and
  • the latest versions of iSync, iCal, iPhoto, iMovie, the iTunes Music Store and Appleis new default web browser, Safari.

Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther" will be available on October 24 beginning at 8:00 p.m. at Appleis retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of US$129 for a single user license. Visitors to The Apple Store can pre-order copies of Panther beginning today. The Mac OS X Panther Family Pack is a single-residence, five-user license that will be available for a suggested retail price of US$199. Volume and maintenance pricing is available from Apple. The standard Mac OS Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchase a new Mac system on or after October 8; all customers who purchased a Power Mac G5 regardless of purchase date that do not have Panther included; and customers who purchase the Mac OS X version 10.2 "Jaguar" retail product on or after October 8 for a shipping and handling fee of US$19.95.

Panther requires a minimum of 128MB of memory and is designed to run on the following Apple products with built-in USB support: iMac, iBook, Power Macintosh G3, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube, Power Mac G5, PowerBook G3, PowerBook G4.

You can find more information about Panther at Appleis Web site. You can pre-order it from the online Apple Store now.

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