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Apple to slow annual OS X update rate

'Unsustainable' schedule, says software chief

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After four years of regular, annual major Mac OS X updates, Apple has pledged to ease its foot off the gas and slow down the operating system's release schedule going forward.

The next major release, codenamed 'Tiger', will be previewed at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month. If it follows tradition, the software will ship - almost certainly as version 10.4 - in the autumn.

But Apple CTO and head of the company's software development operation Avie Tevanian said this week Tiger will be the last to follow such a rigorous update schedule, which he described as "not sustainable".

Still, he promised updates would not slow to a crawl. "You'll still see us going really fast," he told attendees at the Software & Information Industry Association's Enterprise Software Summit, held in San Francisco this week.

Future updates will build on advances in Mac hardware, he said.

Apple yesterday split its Mac and iPod hardware operations into separate business units. ®

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