CEO Jobs Two Shows in One

PowerBooks, browser, multimedia applications unveiled at Macworld.

After promising "two Macworlds worth of stuff," Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs kicked off last weeks Macworld Expo here by introducing 17- and 12-inch versions of Apples professional PowerBook portable, a new Apple-developed Web browser, an Apple-branded Macintosh presentation package, and a variety of new and enhanced consumer multimedia applications.

The 17-inch PowerBook features a 1,440-by-900-pixel, wide-screen display with a 16-by-10 aspect ratio and a backlit keyboard that automatically senses ambient room light. It is 1 inch thick, and its anodized aluminum frame weighs 6.8 pounds. It supports Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless networking as well as 800M-bps FireWire, and it packs a SuperDrive, a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor with 1MB of Level 3 cache and a GeForce 4 440 Go graphics chip. The device will ship next month for $3,299.

Meanwhile, Apple rolled out a 12-inch version that is 1.2 inches thick and weighs 4.6 pounds. It features a full-size keyboard, a slot-loading combo drive, a 10-by-7 display, an 867MHz G4 chip, a GeForce 4 420 Go graphics chip and built-in Bluetooth support.

The system is slated to ship in two weeks for $1,799; an 802.11g option will cost $99, and a SuperDrive-equipped model will cost $1,999.

Apple also released AirPort Extreme, an 802.11g-compliant base station with a throughput of 54M bps and support for 50 users, plus Universal Serial Bus printing and wireless bridging. It costs $199.

As rumored on the Web before the show, Jobs took the wraps off Safari, a fast Web browser that he said the company based on KHTML, an open-source HTML rendering engine popular in the Linux market. Jobs said Apple will make the Safari enhancements to KHTML available today as open source.

Safari, which features a minimal user interface in the brushed-metal motif that has become an Apple trademark, downloads HTML, runs JavaScript and performs other tasks significantly faster than competing products, such as Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer, Netscape Communications Corp.s Netscape Communicator and the open-source Chimera. It features a bug-report button as well as controls for navigating through multipage sites and managing bookmarks. Safari runs atop the Version 10.2 "Jaguar" release of Mac OS X; a public beta version is available now for free download.

In a surprise move, Jobs announced Keynote, a new presentation application for Mac OS X that he revealed he secretly used to create every public presentation he gave last year.

Keynote features a variety of typographic effects, graphics features with full alpha-channel controls and compositing capabilities that tap Mac OS Xs Quartz imaging technology, and built-in tools for creating a variety of multimedia-rich tables and charts.

Keynote runs on Mac OS X 10.2 and is available now for $99.

Jobs also touted Apples recent efforts to lure Windows users into the Macintosh camp. He said that last month, the companys 51 retail stores in the United States generated $148 million in revenues. Fifty percent of the computers sold via the outlets were to Windows "switchers," he said.

Repeating a key Apple theme of the past couple years, Jobs continued to promote the companys ongoing campaign to migrate the platform from the classic Mac OS to the Unix-based Mac OS X.

Meanwhile, Jobs aimed a thinly veiled barb at Quark Inc., whose QuarkXPress page-layout package is now the major professional Mac application still available for Mac OS 9 only. "The Mac OS 9 transition is basically over," Jobs said. "Weve got a few laggard apps—we all know which one were talking about," he said, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Jobs predicted that 9 million to 10 million users will have standardized on Mac OS X by the end of this year.

Building on Apples vow to end Mac OS 9 booting in new Mac models, Jobs announced that all new versions of Apples application software will boot in Mac OS X only.

Matthew Rothenberg is online editor for Ziff Davis Medias Baseline and CIO Insight magazines. He can be reached at