Apple OS 8.5.1 will ship "immediately," on all Apple hardware, including all notebooks and the popular iMac computer, according to a company spokesperson. Mac OS 8.5.1 is available for free on its Web site and can be ordered on CD-ROM for $9.95.
Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs introduced Mac OS 8.5 last October, touting its enhanced performance and ease of installation and calling it a "must-have upgrade." Apple promoted the new OS's faster performance when saving files over the network and the integrated file and Internet search functionality christened "Sherlock."
Shortly after the introduction of the upgrade, complaints arose from users struggling with Sherlock's ability to communicate through certain proxy servers and firewalls. Apple confirmed the bug in early November, and has provided a fix with this update.
Also included in this update is a fix for a "rarely-seen data corruption problem," according to Apple. This problem affects users who have reformatted their hard drives with third party tools, but has also cropped up in some other isolated cases of lost folders and files.
"Apple has investigated reports concerning data loss and corruption, and in response has made improvements to Drive Setup and provided updates to correct other customer issues," Apple said in a statement outlining the new features of Mac OS 8.5.1.
Mac OS 8.5.1 includes:
Apple users must have installed Mac OS 8.5 to install the new update, and must have a Macintosh with 16MB of physical memory and 24MB of virtual memory. Apple recommends that all such users install the update.