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Mozilla to pull Firefox support for Mac OS Panther

May free up resources for Mac OS Leopard

Others on the thread, however, urged caution. "I'm sympathetic to the economic argument, especially given our scarce Mac hacking resources, but I think we need to be more deliberate about it," said Mike Shaver, Mozilla's technology strategist.

Still others took issue with the whole idea of abandoning the older operating system. "I want to have a kick-ass Firefox 3.0 that makes Safari quake in its boots, but I also don't want to dismiss the loyal Firefox users that still may be using 10.3," said Marcia Knous, another Mozilla developer.

Mozilla isn't afraid of dropping support for older operating systems. On the Windows side, the company has already announced that Firefox 3.0 will not support Windows 98 and Windows Millennium, both of which were dropped from Microsoft's own support list last summer. And last week, a Mozilla executive said the new browser, expected to ship before the end of the year, probably won't support older distributions of Linux.

Apple typically offers security updates to just two editions of Mac OS X simultaneously; after it launched Mac OS X 10.4 in April 2005, it stopped posting updates for Mac OS X 10.2, alias Jaguar. If that trend holds true, Apple will cease security patches for Panther when it launches Leopard.

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