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Cisco VPN incompatible with Apple's Tiger

Cisco confirms that its VPN software won't initially work with Apple's new operating system. A fix to the problem is still in the works.

Corporate customers that use Cisco Systems virtual private network technology to connect to their company's network while on the road will have to a wait to use Apple Computer's new operating system.

Cisco confirmed Thursday that the new operating system, Mac OS X version 10.4, aka Tiger, won't come with support for Cisco's VPN client. The networking company has been working with Apple to provide VPN support for Tiger but was unable to get things completed by Tiger's April 29 release date, said Mojgan Khalili, a Cisco spokeswoman.

Cisco is advising users of its VPN client to delay upgrading to the new operating system until support is ready. Support should be available sometime in May, she added.

Apple's Tiger, which supposedly contains more than 200 new features, has been one of the most anticipated software events of this year. Typically, new operating systems from Apple don't generate this much buzz, since the company comes out with one just about every year.

But new features such as Spotlight, a desktop-search technology, and Dashboard, a new way to access information, have got people talking as the release date nears. Spotlight is considered the most important of the new features, because it promises to let users search their hard drive for files just as they would search for a Web page using Google.

The conflict with Cisco's VPN client is a big problem for Apple's corporate customers who rely on VPN technology to work remotely. VPN technology is used to create tunnels, which encrypt traffic, so workers can securely access files on their corporate networks. Cisco is one of the leading vendors in this market, so the incompatibility issues could delay upgrades for a large number of corporate Mac users.

Apple declined to comment for this story.