|Kyle D'Addario has prepared an in-depth summary of the MACWORLD Expo keynote to complement our Live Keynote Coverage.
During a memorable Keynote address at MACWORLD Expo, with the introduction of the iBook, the present and future of Apple was laid out.
To a standing ovation, actor Noah Wyle kicked off the keynote by doing his best Steve Jobs impersonation. As Wyle began to speak, Jobs appeared on stage and gave the actor some stage directions, to the laughter and applause of the audience, and then the keynote began for real.
Jobs first point of business was to update us on the financial standing of Apple. As many Mac users know who followed Apple's Q3 results announced last week, the news was universally positive. Mr. Jobs announced that Apple reported almost US$200 million in profits for the last quarter, and had nearly US$3 Billion in cash reserves.
QuickTime dominated the first half of the keynote, with Jobs announcing that over 10 million copies of QT4 have been downloaded, and over 23 million copies of the Phantom Menace trailer have been downloaded in QT4 format making over 4 Terabytes of data.
A summary of the QuickTime streaming strategy followed, and Apple is calling it QuickTime TV. QTTV is based on a server that has open standards, allowing content providers to use the QT4 streaming technology without having to pay a tax. Jobs claims that now QT4 is the best, and most cost effective, way of providing streaming content today. Jobs also announced a deal with Akamai, a company that serves as a global rebroadcast system. Akamai has over 900 servers worldwide, allowing QTTV content to be reached at a server with close geographic proximity to the user. This will eliminate many of the bandwidth problems found in today's streaming media according to Apple.
One of the more interesting subplots of the keynote is the close ties Apple has established with The Disney Corporation. Disney has joined the bandwagon of QTTV content providers, along with partners ABC, ESPN, Rolling Stone, and VH1. There was also multiple mention of Mr. Jobs' other company, Pixar, and the coming release of Toy Story 2, which happens to be a Disney movie. With the persistent rumors of Apple merging with another company, Disney's name frequently surfaces. The keynote will do nothing to dispel any of that talk.
Jobs also announced the release of MacOS 9, which is going to ship in October for $99.00. In one of the truly neat demonstrations during the keynote, Sherlock 2 was shown using it's new Shop feature. One can enter the name of a product, and Sherlock 2 will list sites where that product is available, the price, and allow the user to click directly to the relevant product's page. Shopping online is going to change forever.
One of the minor, but very "cool" announcements was made by Bungie, introducing the new game Halo. The real-time rendered demonstration of Halo had the crowd cheering halfway through, with some standing at the end. Halo is impressive, and is going to be released sometime in the Spring.
The Big News of the keynote was of course the P1. Mr. Jobs announced the device as the iBook.
The iBook is a stunning device, and power packed. Sporting a 12.1 TFT screen, a G3/300 processor, a 3.4 Gig hard-disk, 56k modem, 10/100 ethernet, and a USB port, Jobs claims that the iBook is the second fastest notebook computer in the world. In the "iMac's little cousin" theme, the iBook is going to be available in Blueberry and Tangerine for the incredible price of $1599 starting in September.
The iBook is also going to have a wireless feature call Airport. Airport allows the iBook to transfer data at a rate of up to 11 Mbits/second at distances of up to 150 feet from the base, the Airport Base. The Airport card, which plugs into a slot underneath the keyboard, will sell for $99.00, and the Airport Base, which can support up to 10 iBooks, will sell for $299.00. These will also be available in September.
Check out our MACWORLD Expo Special Report for all of our MACWORLD Expo stories.