Apple Seeds New 'Panther' Beta

Apple on Saturday released a new beta of Panther, the next version of the company's Mac OS X operating system. The build, labeled 7B21, shows the progress made since the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and is the first release available to developers who did not attend.

Build 7B21 includes extensive bug fixes along with new features and updated versions of bundled applications. The Address Book now allows contacts to be synced with Microsoft Exchange, and Finder now allows the creation of ZIP archives from files and folders.

Similar to Windows XP's Error Reporting feature, the operating system now prompts the user to automatically send information to Apple when an application crashes.

Safari, Apple's web browser, has been upgraded to version 1.1 incorporating many bug fixes since the release of version 1.0 in June.

Available for download at the Apple Developer Connection, the build is available to Select and Premier members. While there is not yet a specific release date for the new operating system, in June Apple announced that Panther will be available by the end of the year.

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