Apple released Safari 1.2 on Tuesday night – but Mac users are frustrated that the brand-new Internet browser requires the most current version of Mac OS X to function.

Safari's system requirements demand that Mac OS X 10.3 be installed; causing concern to many of Apple's now 10 million OS X users who have not yet upgraded from a previous version of the 21st century operating system.

"What about us Jaguar users?" a reader asked: "Is Mac OS X 10.3 so radically different that they can't make Safari backwards-compatible?", he complained.

Readers are irked at feeling "forced" to move to the latest version of the operating system each year, with many desiring some kind of upgrade path from previous operating system versions.

Safari 1.2 offers several powerful new features: the ability to resume downloads; a feature that lets users see image sizes; extended Tabs support; and features that take the browser closer to providing accessibility for some users, such as the ability to Tab between form elements on a Web page.

"Apple did the same when they launched iCal and iSync which were locked into Jaguar," a reader observed.

Some Macworld readers have become so annoyed that they are beginning to ask what they are being "forced" to pay for: "Apple releases a new OS each year, which to my mind say two things: Mac OS X is not a finished complete operating system or Apple's sales machine is creaming money from users."

Apple's assumed response is that it continues to focus on developing new features and applications within each generation of its operating system. For example, OS X 10.3 introduces in excess of 100 features in the box, such as Exposé, Font Book, iChat, the capacity to open Word documents using TextEdit and the best yet implementation of Mail.

Despite Apple's consistent delivery of strong reasons to move to new generations of its operating system, readers consider the company's tardiness in delivering a version of Safari all OS X users can employ as reason to question Apple's business practices.

Drawing a comparison, a reader asked: "Is Apple now all about shareholders, marketing and sales?"

Should Apple deliver Safari for all versions of Mac OS X? Have your say.