In a typically upbeat, applause-gathering keynote today, Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs kicked off the MacWorld conference with details about the rollout of Mac OS X, good news about the company's first fiscal quarter, and an announcement that the company will be partnering with ISP (Internet service provider) EarthLink Network Inc.
The Mac OS X -- which Jobs said "will bring the Mac legacy into the next century" -- will have a new user interface dubbed "Aqua" and will be rolled out over the year. The operating system will be in beta testing throughout the second quarter and will be released in the third quarter. Apple machines will be preloaded with the new OS in 12 months. The "X" by the way, is the Roman numeral 10 and not the letter of the alphabet.
Discussing the company's Internet strategy, Jobs said that Apple is making a US$200 million investment in EarthLink. Apple machines will be configured so that EarthLink will be the default ISP for Mac users.
Jobs also touted a strong first quarter, which closed at the end of December.
"For the first time we're firing on all cylinders," Jobs said. The company sold 1,350,000 Macs in the quarter, "more Macs than were sold in any quarter in Apple's history," he added.
Finally, the CEO also said that he was dropping the word "interim" from his title -- the Apple founder took over the helm of the company as interim CEO more than two years ago.
Apple, in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-996-1010, or at http://www.apple.com/.