Developers will receive a pre-release build of OS X 10.7.4 before the end of the week, it has been claimed.

Apple Insider reports that Apple is preparing the first external betas of OS X 10.7.4 to a limited number of developers, though a wider release to all members of the Apple Developer Connection could happen by Friday.

Though it is expected to bring a number of enhancements and fixes to OS X Lion, it isn't known exactly what OS X 10.7.4 will bring, or when the official update will go live - normally there are several beta versions before the full version is released.

OS X 10.7.3 was released in early February, addressing stability, compatibility, and security issues.

Support for languages including Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian was added, as was Safari 5.1.3. Apple this week issued Safari 5.1.4, which among other things brings improved JavaScript performance.

Opinion: 10 exciting system changes in Mountain Lion

Apple has already stated its intention to release the next iteration of OS X - Mountain Lion - over the summer, at around the same time as Microsoft will be launching Windows 8.