MANHASSET, N.Y. Apple will ship the desktop and server versions of its long-awaited "Tiger" operating system at the end of the month, the company said Tuesday (April 12).
The packages, officially known as Mac OS X version 10.4 and Mac OS X Server version 10.4, respectively, will be rolled out to the company's retail stores and authorized resellers amid a series of promotional events on Friday evening, April 29.
Tiger boasts several user-interface innovations, which could help stoke upgrade sales among existing Mac customers. These include Spotlight, billed by Apple as a search technology the enables users to find anything stored on their Mac, including documents, emails and images. Apple is also emphasizing the OS's Dashboard, which it says will provide instant access to weather reports and stock quotes.
Both the desktop and server implementations of Tiger include native support for 64-bit applications; they also run traditional 32-bit software. Also featured is iChat instant-messaging software, and the Xgrid application, which can corral a group of Macs across a network into a virtual cluster.
In a bid to work and play better with Microsoft, Tiger includes support for the access-control lists and native file permissions used by the Active Directory environments of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Tiger Server adds a software update facility to enable system administrators to host their own proxy/cache server to control the availability of Apple's software updates.
The client version of Tiger will retail for $129; a five-user license will sell for $199. Tiger Server will retail for $499.