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Apple – QuickTime – WWDC 2006 Keynote – Intel Transition complete and Leopard preview

WWDC 2006 KeynoteApple – QuickTime – WWDC 2006

Finally the 7th of august arrived, and the WWDC 2006 Keynote has been delivered. It’s available as a stream from the link above, but expect sluggish performance for some time, everybody seems to be tuning in.

And boy was this one hyped event, as the “Joy of Tech” pointed out, it seems like all tech web-sites, even non rumour sites, were turning into rumour sites.

Come on, this is WWDC, it’s about developers, and I didn’t expect anything besides the unveiling of Leopard.

And the anticipation was building with banners bashing Microsoft and calling Leopard Vista 2.0.

With the Keynote kicking off with the “PC” from the “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” commercials asking the Mac developers to take a long break, or come help him out with Vista – we need it!, the tone was set.

Steve Jobs took the stage to give his “state of the union” speech, and Mac sales are going really really well.

No talk about iTunes and iPod, this is about Macs!

On to the introduction of the other speakers, and that was a surprise, we knew that two software VPs were to join Steve Jobs on stage, but first up was Phil Shiller, and he took the stage to introduce the new Mac Pro computers, quad 64-bit processor monsters, but that wasn’t enough because next up was the announcement of an Intel based Xserve Mac as well.

Apple wasn’t wasting time! “Transition complete”, that was what the secret banners were reading, a mere 210 days after the introduction of the first Intel Macs, that is impressive. I hope that Apple’s design department now will have some time to think about new designs, or are they busy working on consumer products?

After this surprise it was time to talk about the next version of Mac OS X: Leopard, more fun being poked at Microsoft…We’ve been doing 6 major releases and our competition has been working on a single release, now know as Vista.

One of the first things Steve Jobs pointed out, was that the preview today didn’t show some supposedly “top secret” features, to prevent the “photocopiers in Redmond” from going to work, hmm…I’m not convinced, the scope of Vista is firmly fixed and not likely to change now the truth is probably that a lot of Leopard features aren’t ready yet, and the the scope isn’t fixed.

Apple promises that 32- and 64-bit software will run seamlessly side by side, this is great news, but we’ll have fatter binaries I suppose!

The biggest – unveiled – news in Leopard seems to be a new type of integrated backup application called Time Machine. It looks promising, but details on how it works weren’t given, besides the fact that it can use external storage. For sure it’s time to target the number one security problem with pcs today, the lack of easy to use and transparent backup software.

Time Machine is utilising some rather cool new animation effects, that are utilising a new core technology in Mac OS X, called Core Animation. Core Animation promises to ease the creation of complex animations.

iChat and Mail will be changed quite a lot, I guess this is good news for consumers, but it’s not of great interest for me. The application sharing being build into iChat seems to be taking pages from Redmond’s play-book however, they do have photocopiers in Cupertino as well. All the effects in iChat are cool, but hardly useful. But it leaves MSN in the dust, that’s for sure. I really wish that Apple would acknowledge the huge market lead of MSN, and make it possible to communicate with MSN, and other, clients from iChat.

Spotlight will be able to search on networked storage, if given proper permissions, this is good news, and could be considered a “Vista 2.0 feature”, after the de/rescoping of WinFS.

The introduction of Webclips to Safari, a feature that makes it easy to generate widgets using web-pages as a sort of template, is a rather cool idea. Combine this with the release of the previously leaked Dashcode widget development tool, that includes an integrated JavaScript debugger, the creation of widgets will be highly simplified.

Of more interest for developer is the next version of Xcode, version 3.0, and it should be a very significant new release. I’m just beginning to learn Xcode and Objective-C, and I’m not feeling quite at home with the programming paradigm in Xcode yet, any improvement in Xcode will be welcomed, and Xcode is a powerful development tool and it’s free.

There weren’t much mention of the next version of iCal, but it looks like it has server and multi-user ambitions, which could be exiting news, since the iCal format is open.

I’m not disappointed by the Keynote, but I’m eagerly anticipating the things that are “top secret”, and hidden from the “photocopiers”. What happened to the “new Finder” for instance?

But…Leopard seems to be on track, Apple is very relaxed and confident – even smug(?), targeting the Leopard release to go head to head with Vista in spring of 2007, it will be very exiting, but from what we saw today Leopard is no Vista 2.0!

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