|A Look At Mac OS X 10.3 'Panther'|
October 24, 2003 | Jason Sims
The Cat's Out Of The Bag
Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" is upon us. The upgrade marks the fourth major version of Mac OS X, and the landscape of Apple's next-generation operating system is now a far cry from the barren wasteland of 10.0. For most of us, the struggles of the transition from OS 9 to OS X are now behind us. The vast majority of Mac software now supports OS X natively. More and more applications have dropped support for OS 9 and are now for OS X exclusively. And many Mac users have now done away with the Classic environment entirely, wiping away the last traces of Apple's long-toothed, legacy OS.
What began as a scary departure from the familiar has blossomed into a robust and modern operating system, and given it a solid foundation on which to build the next generation of computer applications. Mac OS X has whipped the Mac platform into shape, bringing it up to speed on modern features like memory protection, real multitasking, multiple users and tight security. Its Unix core and excellent developer tools have opened up whole new worlds of developers and software, and things are only getting better with the release of Apple's new Xcode developer suite -- which is included with every copy of Panther.
But what's really exciting about Mac OS X is that it has made possible all kinds of new innovations. Version 10.2 "Jaguar", the previous major release of Mac OS X, delivered such forward-thinking features as Rendezvous, which allows you to do things like chat and share your music across a network without having to do any configuration at all, and Quartz Extreme, which frees up a bunch of CPU power by offloading a lot of the work of the Quartz 2D graphics engine onto your graphics card.
Panther continues this tradition, with such tricks up its sleeve as Exposť, which allows you to find any window you're looking for in a big messy pile of them in a couple seconds, or sweep all windows out of the way and let you see your desktop, putting everything back where it was when you're done.
Join us as we take a look at some of the many cool things Panther has in store for us...