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MWSF - OS X To Be Available March 24th, Pre-Installed In July

by , 3:45 PM EST, January 9th, 2001

It isn't now, but it isn't the World Wide Developer's Conference in May either. Apple split the difference and announced that OS X 1.0 will be available March 24th, 2001, and should be pre-installed on shipping Macs come MACWORLD NY '01.

The most important news regarding OS X to come out of today's keynote was not the ship date, but the addition of several new features that the beta using public has been screaming for. Of note, Apple has moved the blue Apple from the center of the menubar and put it back in the top-left hand corner where it is traditionally found in OS 9. While the Apple menu under X does not include the exact same functionality as its OS 9 counterpart, the Dock has a new feature that will also help replace functionality found in the classic Apple Menu.

Users can now place folders or drives in the Dock, and be presented with a hierarchical menu of all that folder or drive's contents by "right clicking" or by clicking and holding. This provides one-click access to any location on a user's drive, and greatly simplifies file navigation and management.

According to Apple:

Apple® today announced that Mac® OS X, the next generation Macintosh® operating system, will ship on March 24, 2001 for a suggested retail price of US$129. Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system, combining the power and openness of UNIX with the legendary ease of use and broad applications base of Macintosh.

Mac OS X features:

  • an open source, UNIX based foundation called Darwin;
  • Apple’s new Quartz™ graphics engine based on the PDF standard for stunning graphics and broad font support;
  • OpenGL for spectacular 3D graphics and gaming;
  • integrated QuickTime™ for streaming audio and video;
  • the Classic API, which runs most existing Mac® applications “as is”;
  • the Carbon™ API, which runs “tuned-up” Mac applications with the full Mac OS X features;
  • the Cocoa™ API, which runs advanced object-oriented applications, providing developers the fastest and most powerful way to create applications for Mac OS X;
  • the full Java 2 API, providing developers the most advanced Java 2 client available; and
  • the Aqua™ user interface, an entirely new user interface with superior ease of use, amazing new functionality and a stunning, elegant new appearance.

“Mac OS X is the future of the Mac, and we hope it will delight our customers with its unrivaled power and ease of use,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The Public Beta has generated incredible feedback and support from Mac users and developers, which has helped us to make Mac OS X the most advanced operating system ever.”

Apple has shipped more than 100,000 copies of Mac OS X Public Beta since its release in September and has received more than 75,000 individual user feedback entries from Mac users and developers worldwide. The reaction to the Public Beta has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly in response to Mac OS X’s incredible stability, Aqua user interface, easy installation and compatibility with existing applications. Direct input from customers has also helped Apple enhance key aspects of Mac OS X with powerful improvements to the Dock, Desktop, Finder™ and networking technology, making Mac OS X more customizable and familiar to Mac users.

More than 400 leading developers, including Adobe, Alias|Wavefront, Macromedia and Microsoft have committed to delivering more than 1,200 applications built for Mac OS X. In addition, more than 100 developers will announce new Mac OS X products this week at Macworld. A complete listing of applications built for Mac OS X is available at http://guide.apple.com/macosxlist.html.

Mac OS X is built upon an incredibly stable, open source, UNIX based foundation called Darwin and features true memory protection, preemptive multi-tasking and symmetric multiprocessing when running on the dual processor Power Mac™ G4. Mac OS X includes Apple’s new Quartz 2D graphics engine (based on the Internet-standard Portable Document Format) for stunning graphics and broad font support; OpenGL for spectacular 3D graphics and gaming; and QuickTime for streaming audio and video. Mac OS X also features an entirely new user interface called Aqua. Aqua combines superior ease of use with amazing new functionality such as the Dock, a breakthrough for organizing applications, documents and document windows.

Mac OS X is the first operating system designed from the ground up for the Internet and includes a number of key Internet applications including Microsoft Internet Explorer:mac 5.1 Preview Release; Apple’s new, easy-to-use Mail client compatible with the most popular Internet email accounts; QuickTime player; and Sherlock® Internet search tool. Apple’s innovative suite of Internet Services will be fully integrated into Mac OS X, providing all users with an automatic iTools account and access to new features such as quick access to their iDisk Internet storage folder.

OS X will be available March 24th, 2000 for US$129. You can find more information, complete with today's demonstrated changes, at the Apple web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

OK, now we feel as though we've been teased. The changes Jobs demonstrated during this morning's keynote included many of the fixes that beta users have been screaming for in e-mail lists and forums.

Pop-up menus in the Dock should eliminate some of the complaints about the lack of pop-up folders, and the Apple Menu and menubar clock are additions that many beta users added through third-party utilities.

Apple has clearly listened to the masses, and we are hoping the final result is a polished OS that is comfortable for both new and old users. It certainly looks as if it is heading that way.

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