Macworld Show Opens in New York

Steve Jobs was a no-show, but Apple's hardware marketing boss talked up the company's new desktop systems and Mac OS X rev at Macworld CreativePro.

NEW YORK—In a virtual re-run of Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs Worldwide Developers Conference address, Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak opened Macworld CreativePro here today with a demonstration of the forthcoming generation of Apples desktop hardware and Mac OS X.

Besides singing the praises of the forthcoming Power Mac G5 and the "Panther" version of Mac OS X, Joswiak made a couple of announcements aimed at the media professionals that comprise the core of the shows audience.

In response to Adobe Systems Inc.s recent announcement that it is ceasing Mac development of its Premiere video-editing package, Joswiak said that Premiere owners will be able to switch to Apples $299 Final Cut Express for free or get a $500 rebate on the Mac makers $999 Final Cut Pro 4 package. Buyers of new Mac models will be able to purchase Final Cut Express for $99.

Joswiak also announced the August availability of Soundtrack, software that can be used to assemble background audio for videos or web sites. Previously available only as part of Final Cut Pro, the stand-alone Soundtrack package will cost $299.

"Adobe has embraced it with their very best applications: Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator," Joswiak said, apparently discounting the importance of Premiere to the market.

Joswiak kicked off his presentation by addressing the state of migration to OS X. Claiming 7 million users of the operating system, he touted the recent release of QuarkXPress 6.0, the long-awaited Mac OS X-native version of Quark Inc.s flagship page-layout application.

The rest of Joswiaks presentation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here echoed WWDC in San Francisco, where Jobs rolled out the 64-bit Power Mac G5, due to ship this summer, and Mac OS X 10.3, a k a Panther, which sources have predicted will arrive in September. Joswiak repeated Jobs WWDC assertion that the new Power Macs, which will initially top off with a dual-2GHz configuration, will reach the 3GHz mark within the next 12 months.

This weeks show marks the first domestic Macworld without a Jobs keynote presentation since the Apple co-founder took the helm of the company in summer 1997. Apple declared its intention to scale back its commitment to the East Coast show in late 2002, ostensibly in response to show organizer IDG World Expos plans to relocate the event to Boston in 2004.

Macworld Expo CreativePro continues through July 18.