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Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" is the fourth major release of OS X, an operating system made by Apple Inc. It was released on October 24, 2003 and is the successor to Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" and the predecessor to Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger".
The Finder file manager has been updated with a brushed-metal interface, a new live search engine, a customizable sidebar, secure deletion, File labels, and Zipped file format support built-in, as well as a new icon.
Fast user switching now allows a user to remain logged in while another user logs in. Exposé (now Mission Control) helps the user manage windows by showing them all as thumbnails. The TextEdit text editor is now compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc) documents.
Xcode developer tools and faster compile times with gcc 3.3 were some of the developer features added in Panther.
The Preview image and PDF viewer now has increased speed with PDF rendering, and the QuickTime multimedia framework now supports the Pixlet high definition video codec.
New applications were added in Panther: Font Book, a new font manager that simplifies viewing character maps and installing fonts and sorting them by category; FileVault, which provides on the fly encryption and decryption of a user's home folder; iChat AV, a new version of iChat that now comes with built-in video- and audio-conferencing; X11, a new window manager; and Safari, a web browser made to replace Internet Explorer for Mac, developed when the contract between Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation ended.
Safari 1.0 was included in an update for Mac OS X Jaguar, but was used as the default web browser in Panther.
Other improvements include improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows and built-in fax support.