Steve Jobs, who has dropped the "interim" from his title as CEO of Apple Computer Inc., demonstrated publicly for the first time the client version of Mac OS X and new Internet tools before a packed and cheering auditorium here.
Jobs, clearly upbeat during his Macworld keynote address last week, despite a few failures during the demonstrations, showed the new user interface for the Macintosh that will begin shipping this summer. It will be preloaded on Macintoshes in January 2001.
The new products aren't directly targeted at Apple's business users, who are primarily in the publishing industry. However, John Swart, a consultant to The Associated Press in New York, said Apple's improved ease of use and its superior ColorSync technology, along with the Macintosh's entrenched position in publishing, should help it hold on to its share of the desktop market.
Jobs also announced that Apple has invested $200 million in Pasadena, Calif.-based EarthLink Network Inc. and will include it as the default Internet service provider preinstalled on Macintoshes beginning this year. He also said the company shipped 1.35 million Macintoshes in the last quarter, the most yet in any one quarter.
"Apple's resurgence will appeal to IT, but the Mac remains largely a graphics platform," said Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif.
Paul Holzman, creative director at Eureka Studios, a San Francisco video production company, said he agreed. "Jobs is doing a good job focusing Apple on core products and a core vision," said Holzman, whose shop uses Macintoshes.
Software developers announced their allegiance to Apple and OS X at the show.
Kevin Browne, acting general manager at Microsoft Corp., said, "We are fully behind Steve, and we'll be there for OS X."
Internet Tools Debut
Jobs also unveiled a series of consumer-oriented Internet tools designed to work with Macintosh server and client technology. Available as new services on Apple.com, iTools, iCard and iReview will, for example, include a database of acceptable sites for children. Instead of filtering out unwanted sites, as current protection software does, the database will include only permissible sites. It currently has 50,000 sites reviewed and approved by teachers and librarians.
The keynote had the feel of a rock concert, with Grateful Dead music playing and attendees lining up for hours before the event. First in line were three 16-year-old boys from Fargo, N.D., who arrived at 3 a.m. to get seats at the standing-room-only event. One said they came so early because "Mac rules and Windows sucks."