Jobs unleashes Jaguar, new applications

Apple Computer Inc.'s always animated developers received a treat Monday with a sneak peek at the next release of the company's Mac OS X operating system, new software tools and news that a rack-mount server is on its way.

Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive officer, opened the company's developer conference here at the San Jose Convention Center, letting users see the next OS X release, code-named "Jaguar," and the new software that will ship with the OS. Thousands of Apple advocates sprinted toward the stage to get as close to Jobs as possible as he demonstrated Jaguar, which is set for release before September.

Jaguar should be the operating system developers focus on from now on as Apple has stopped developing on OS 9 internally, Jobs said.

"Please join me in a moment of silence as we remember an old fried -- Mac OS 9," Jobs said during his keynote. "It isn't dead for our customers yet, but it's dead for you."

Jobs put OS 9, represented by a giant software package, to rest in a black coffin that rose up from underneath the stage.

To complement Jaguar, Jobs unveiled new e-mail software, an instant messaging application, technology for identifying different computing devices on a network and a handwriting recognition application, called "Inkwell."

He also said the company will announce a rack server next week.

"On May 14th, we are introducing our first dedicated server in a long time," Jobs said. "It's a rack-mount server, but I can't you give you many details." Jobs would not release any technical specifications for the server, saying users will need to wait until next week.

Jaguar was built on top of one of the latest versions of the FreeBSD Unix operating system and will give rise to a host of new software tools.

Apple will roll out a handwriting recognition application called Inkwell with the Jaguar release. This software prompts a virtual notepad to appear on the screen and turns text entered with a pen into a font recognized by the computer. The Inkwell technology works across applications, allowing a user, for example, to change the text in a headline of an Adobe Systems Inc. PhotoShop document or to write several paragraphs in Microsoft Corp.'s Word application.

Jobs also said that Apple will ship the new QuickTime 6 software with support for the MPEG-4 standard used to stream media files with Jaguar.

In addition, Apple has updated features in its e-mail software, including better spam filtering and improved tools for categorizing messages. The company complemented the e-mail advancements with new iChat software for instant messaging. Apple users will be able to use their Mac.com screen names as identification for chatting, and the Apple messaging product also works with AOL Time Warner Inc.'s popular AIM instant messaging program.

One of the most interesting additions to Jaguar will be Apple's Rendezvous technology that lets computers and devices share data with each other. In a demonstration, Jobs' desktop computer was able to see and play all of the songs on a laptop several feet away. As soon as the laptop was turned on, it used Rendezvous to tell the desktop it was present and then used a wireless connection to let the computers share music files. The technology also makes it possible for computers to share files with a printer or handheld such as Apple's iPod MP3 player.

Jobs also demonstrated the Quartz Extreme middleware feature for working with 2-D, 3-D and video images. Apple decided to handle many imaging related tasks directly on the graphics card and "free up the CPU" to work on other jobs. During the presentation, Apple showed several 3-D objects rotating over 2-D pictures with video running in the background, and the software appeared to run smoothly at every step.

"We think we are at least two years ahead of the other guys here, maybe further," Jobs said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashlee Vance

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?