Apple will post its latest Mac OS X release tomorrow, just a couple of days after Microsoft updated the version of Internet Explorer that ships with the operating system.
Mac OS X 10.0.5 will go live on 25 May, according to multiple sources cited by Think Secret. The operating system is currently at version 10.0.3. That suggests the either version 10.0.4 or 10.0.5 incorporated sufficiently minor fixes that Apple has decided to roll the two together.
Certainly version 10.0.3, if downloaded as a discrete file rather than through Mac OS X's Software Update control panel, now appears to include all the fixes that were originally released as 10.0.2. Good, we say, on behalf of everyone who has had to reinstall the OS and then work through umpteen individual updates.
10.0.5 will be made available through Software Update, but will presumably be offered as a standalone download in a few days' time.
Microsoft should learn from Apple's example. The update to Internet Explorer - it's now at version 5.5.5, apparently - is only available through Software Update. It also requires Mac OS X 10.0.3.
The new release - which leaves the software still in Preview status, we hear - improves the code's reliability and its ability to download software (so presumably it now chooses the correct, Mac OS X version of Stuffit Expander to decode files). It also incorporates some GUI fixes and updates Flash, Shockwave and QuickTime playback plug-ins.
We're sure the update will improve users' IE browsing experience, but for what it's worth, we'd recommend you download Omni's OmniWeb 4.0 instead, a much better browser by far, in our opinion.
While you're at it, you may like to get hold of Real Software's RealBasic 3.2, which incorporates various fixes and enhancements to what remains The Reg's favourite Mac OS (Classic and X) software development system. We could all do with plenty more good Mac OS X apps, so get cracking, RealBasic fans... ®