Mac OS X Upgrade to Get Added Security

Sources say Mac OS X 10.1.4, due for public release this month, will offer additional security enhancements and improved networking.

As it gears up for its next big boost to Mac OS X, Apple Computer Inc. is reportedly on the verge of releasing another free, interim update to the Unix-based OS.

According to sources, Mac OS X 10.1.4, due for public release this month, will include improvements in several key areas. Following the release of the OS X security update this month, 10.1.4 will carry some additional security enhancements under the hood. Networking will also be improved, particularly in the area of AFP services.

More apparent to many readers will be some of the other tweaks. 10.1.4 will reportedly boast improved file searching, both on local and remote volumes. Apple also continues to address complaints from PPP Internet users, sources said. Specifically, dial-up PPP connections will be more reliable in the 10.1.4 update, along with improved system responsiveness, they said.

Finally, like the current 10.1.3 service release, this update will encompass support for additional CD burners, including recording devices from SmartDisk, EZQuest, and LaCie, as well as compatibility with Fast 10 SCSI drives such as the Pioneer 201 drive.

Next up: Mac OS X 10.1.5, which sources said Apple will deliver in May.

Apple officials in Cupertino, Calif., were not immediately available to comment on the report.

In other news, the company this week confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs will do the keynote honors at Apples annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose, Calif. In an unusual display of candor, Jobs said his speech would include a "sneak peek" at Jaguar. As originally reported by eWeek, Jaguar is the code name for the Mac OS X release Apple watchers predict will bear the designation Mac OS X 10.2.

Additional reporting by Matthew Rothenberg, Baseline