updated 04:25 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2003
Apple today previewed Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther," the next major version of Mac OS X that will ship by the end of this year. The fourth major release of Mac OS X in four years, Panther sets a new gold standard for desktop operating systems with more than 100 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder; Expose, a new way to instantly see all your open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers. Mac OS X 10.3 Panther will be available by the end of this year for $130.
features a completely new Finder that puts a user's favorite folders, hard drive, network servers, iDisk and removable media in one convenient location. The redesigned Finder also features lightning-fast search, colored labels for fully-customized organization of documents and projects and dynamic browsing of the network for Mac, Windows and UNIX file servers.
Panther also features Expose, a revolutionary new way to instantly view all open windows and choose any of them to be on top. Expose visually unshuffles overlapping windows on the desktop into an organized view so a user can quickly find and select the window they want. Expose will even temporarily clear the desktop of all windows, so users can get to any file on the desktop previously hidden by the open windows. Apple says that Expose is a "major advance in user interface design that will change the way people work with multiple files, applications and projects."
iChat AV features full-screen, full-motion video over broadband, crystal-clear audio over 56K modem and a familiar easy-to-use interface. In addition, Panther includes FileVault, a new feature that secures the contents of a home directory with strong 128-bit AES encryption. With FileVault, users can select to have their whole home directory encrypted automatically so it encrypts and decrypts files on the fly, without interrupting their work. Panther also includes new features that make it even easier for Macs to co-exist in Windows networks including an IPSec-based VPN for Microsoft and Cisco networks, support for ActiveDirectory and SMB-based home directories on Windows servers and enhanced Windows integration within the Finder that enables printing to shared printers.
Other new features include:
- an enhanced Mail application that organizes email into convenient threads with drag-and-drop addressing and a Safari-based engine for displaying HTML formatted email;
- Fast User Switching, allowing users to share a single Mac and quickly switch between accounts without having to quit running applications and completely logout of the system;
- Pixlet, the first studio-grade codec for filmmakers that was developed in conjunction with Pixar to deliver breathtaking HD-quality video on the Mac that is free from visual artifacts;
- a fully integrated iDisk that increases productivity by automatically syncing a user's offline work to their .Mac Internet server storage once they're online again, so users can work locally on files with hard drive speeds and have them synced automatically back to their iDisk later;
- integrated faxing synched with the Address Book so sending and receiving faxes is as easy as printing, and includes support for adding cover pages;
- Font Book, a new application that provides system-level font management
with double-click font preview, one-click installation and an intuitive
iTunes-like interface for managing font collections, and searching,
activating and deactivating fonts; and
- a significantly improved Preview application that is the "world's fastest PDF reader" 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. Apple says its application leverages powerful improvements to Quartz filtering technology such as colorspace conversion, image sampling and compression for advanced PDF workflows.