Panther begins to snarl
Panther begins to snarl The new release of Mac OS X, version 10.3 or the "Panther" release, will ship before the end of the year, for $129.99, Jobs said. "And it will be one kick-ass release," Jobs added. Panther will boast over 100 new features, Jobs said, including a fast unified file system and support for IPv6 protocols."Wait a minute, what was wrong with the old Finder?" Jobs asked rhetorically. "The old Finder, it was computer-centric. We did the best we could, but the old Finder was computer centric. The new Finder is user-centric." Apples new Finder searches out resources available to a user on other machines, not just the local computer. An integrated search function, at least on Jobs demonstration, proved blisteringly fast, reporting results before he had finished typing. The new Finder architecture will interact with iDisk,s Apples virtual storage for .mac customers. Files stored on an iDisk will be designed to synchronize immediately as soon as the client computer is in range of a network. Changes to an iDisk can also be propagated out to other clients when they connect as well, Jobs said. The Finders utility is also preserved in FontBook, a font management tool. The "Panther" release will also include "FileVault", a technology requested by corporations that encrypts and decrypts files on the fly to protect company electronic documents. Jobs did not provide further details. Apples Mail application will include built-in Safari HTML rendering, and an improved "Preview" application will render Adobe Acrobat PDF files faster than Adobes Acrobat 6 reader software. Users will be able to "print" documents directly to PDF files, Jobs said. Possibly the biggest cheers were reserved for two deceptively simple innovations: "Expose", and fast user switching. When multiple applications are running, their windows have a tendency to clutter the desktop. With a click of a key or a mouse movement, those windows can either be minimized or thrust to the background, highlighting the windows that the user wants to see, Jobs said. Panther will also support fast user switching, preserving the desktop configuration preferences of individual users. While Jobs admitted that Windows XP had beaten Apple to the punch, Jobs demonstration of Apples fast user switching brought deafening cheers: the entire screen "rotated" like a cube, swinging the new desktop into view. To speed development, Apple will ship a new set of developer tools, called Xcode, which can begin precompiling as a user codes, Jobs said. The GCC 3.3-compliant toolset is still beaten by CodeWarrion in compiling time, but Apple "rewrote the rules of the game," Jobs said. Xcode can also use processing power elsewhere on the network, almost matching CodeWarriors compile time when a second host CPU is added, Jobs said. Jobs also said that later today Apple expects to sell its millionth iPod, and sold 5 million songs via its ITunes store last Saturday. Meanwhile, new Apple stores are expected in San Francisco, Chicago and Tokyo by next year.
Panther also boasts an improved Finder application, mimicking the way in which Windows XP organizes its files from its "start" menu.