Macworld Online readers say Lynx should be Apple’s next Mac OS X project name, following Jaguar and Panther.

A total of 27 per cent of 1,861 poll respondees believe Lynx would best encapsulate Mac OS X 10.4. Lynx was one of the earliest Web browsers, but is also the name of a popular anti-perspirant.

One Lynx voter said: “Lynx is a female-luring fragrance, so hopefully using OS X 10.4 might have the same effect.”

With tongues even further in cheek, 329 readers (18 per cent) say Tibbles should be Apple’s choice. One reader said: “Mac OS X offers the stability and warm feeling of a dependable farmyard cat, and the PowerBook gives you the same warm feeling on your lap.”

Frosties cereal icon Tony the Tiger also featured, landing 159 votes (9 per cent). One reader wrote: "Macs are insanely Grrreat!"

In third and fourth place were Leopard ( 16 per cent), and Tiger, (12 per cent).

One Leopard devotee said: “The leopard occupies a wide range of habitats and has the most extensive distribution of any of the wild species of cat, so if OS X was to take on the characteristics of the leopard Apple may find its market share increases.”

A Tiger voter said: “Tigers are solitary animals that have been hunted to near extinction, but which are now making a comeback. I think that’s Apple all over.”

Other varieties of big cat to win votes include Ocelot (9 per cent) and Bobcat (5 per cent). Microsoft is rumoured to be using Bobcat as its codename for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003. The least popular choice was Bay Cat (1 per cent).

The initial Mac OS X release in March 2001 bore the internal code-name Cheetah, while OS X 10.1, which shipped in September 2001, was referred to internally at Apple as Puma. It has even been rumoured that Mac OS X 10.2 Server was code-named Tigger.

This week Macworld Online's Reader Poll is asking about downloading music. Do you use iTunes, peer-to-peer, a service supported by Mac user Peter Gabriel's OD2 company, or do you prefer vinyl? Vote in the poll in the area to the left of this page, or have your say in the debate.