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Mac OS X Update Imminent

Apple has seeded two–maybe three–versions of its latest update to OS X Leopard this week, suggesting that the Mac-maker is getting ready to shove the update out its door as soon as next week.

Developers received a recent build, called 9J47, on Friday–just four days after getting build 9J44. Now rumors are underway that 9J50 is being distributed this week, indicating that the update must be getting close to its planned date of official release.

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While Apple says the list of fixes to OS X 10.5.7 runs to longer than 100, it addresses several major concerns with Ethernet performance and login preferences on certain Mac models. The latest developer release, 9J50, is said to improve Bluetooth networking. The file will be about 440MB for Mac owners running 10.5.6.

As the hardware in its PCs becomes more and more of a commodity–and shares more in common with like-priced Windows models–Apple has come to rely increasingly on OS X to set its machines apart from the crowd and justify its slightly higher retail cost. Apple saw their marketshare slip 0.6% in Q4 of 2008 due to decreased sales across the computer industry, leaving them at 7.4% of the personal computer market, according to Gartner. CD