WWDC - Apple eyes the enterprise at WWDC

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is no Mac pep rally. It's a gathering of geeks ready for a deep dive into a pool of technologies. But WWDC also has a tradition of new product intros, and last week was no exception, with two major hardware offerings and a tantalizing look at Mac OS X 10.5, code-named Leopard.

Steve Jobs' keynote highlighted two new 64-bit Intel Xeon-based systems, Xserve and Mac Pro. Both are based on Intel's just-released Core Microarchitecture Xeon and are offered at price points well below the PowerPC-based systems they replace.

The pair's baseline models share some breathtaking specs: two dual-core Xeon 5100 Series CPUs with 4MB of shared Level 2 cache; dual 1.33GHz front-side buses; 1GB of 667MHz, ECC DDR2 memory; two Gigabit Ethernet ports; one 300Gbps SATA hard drive; and PCI Express expansion slots. The key differences: The standard-issue Xserve comes with 2GHz CPUs, three FireWire ports, and two USB 2.0 ports; the standard Mac Pro has 2.66GHz CPUs, a 256MB NVidia GeForce 7300 GT graphics card, and a 16x SuperDrive DVD burner.

Xserve's new Internet Protocol Management Interface 2.0-compliant coprocessor responds to administrators even when Xserve is powered down or the OS fails to boot. A rack server, Xserve is scheduled to ship in October, with initial deliveries bundling OS X 10.4 with an unlimited client license. The standard retail price will be US$2,999, competitive for an Intel-based rack server -- plus, Apple's server software costs US$999, a bargain compared with commercial Linux and Windows Server.

Much of the forthcoming Leopard OS remains secret, but Apple did offer intriguing details. Leopard, a 64-bit operating system, will permit the blending of 32-bit and 64-bit code at the executable, object code, and device driver levels. By contrast, Microsoft's 64-bit Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server both require 64-bit drivers.

Another Leopard standout is Time Machine, a smart approach to file system snapshots for rapid file recovery that sports a visually stunning and extraordinarily functional UI. Other enhancements include an improved iChat, a new API for animated 3-D graphics, and a stunningly natural text-to-speech feature. And admins will love the new Server Assistant, which will allow them to deploy Leopard servers as easily as desktops.

Clearly, Apple has been busy. It's hard to believe that Leopard will ship next spring, but Apple aims to ruin Vista's chances of early traction. During the keynote, an Apple exec cleverly demonstrated how much Vista has borrowed from the current OS X. The message is clear: By the time Vista and Longhorn Server catch OS X 10.4, Apple will have pushed the goalposts all the way out to the parking lot.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Yager

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?