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Microsoft will produce a version of its MSN browser client for Mac OS X next year, the company said yesterday. The client is bundled with the MSN ISP, or available by subscription.

Microsoft is probably looking in two directions here: Apple has decided to make its iTools and .mac email a $100-per-year subscription service, opening the door for other services. And the latest release of OS X demonstrates a close relationship with AOL: the new iChat program - AOL's first IM collaboration with a third party - is installed in the menu bar.

AOL has also committed to an OS X version of its browser: unfortunately one that strips the no-pop windows feature from the Mozilla code base. Which AOL now admits repels its customers.

So at least somebody believes Apple's "Twitch!" campaign - which targets computer neophytes dismayed by the Windows experience - could work: Microsoft. ®

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