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Jobs announces new MacOS, becomes 'iCEO'

January 5, 2000
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT)

In this story:

Focus on iMovie


The new OS



SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Apple iCEO Steve Jobs opened his keynote presentation Wednesday morning here at Macworld Expo with some good sales news: more than 1.35 million Macs sold in the past quarter, which Jobs said was the highest quarterly sales volume in Apple's history.


Mac Compatible

Jobs also offered some compelling numbers for the consumer side of the four-part Mac product matrix. He characterized the iBook as a "phenomenal success" and said 11 percent of iBook purchasers have been first-time computer buyers and 17 percent Wintel "switchers."

Even better news for Apple fans, Jobs announced that he is finally taking the reins as the official CEO of Apple, dropping the "interim" portion he's kept for more than two years.

Jobs quipped that he'll be using the title, "iCEO" instead. He will not be changing his duties at Apple or at the other company he heads, Pixar, the creators of "Toy Story 2."

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For 56 percent of iBook customers, the iBook was their first portable computer in the home, and 90 percent of iBook users are on the Internet. During the past quarter, first-time computer users and Wintel "switchers" accounted for 30 percent and 14 percent, respectively of iMac buyers, Jobs said.

Jobs next touted a new assortment of third-party Mac products, including the debut of Internet Explorer 5.0. "I heard some hisses," Jobs said when he introduced the latest version of Microsoft Corp.'s Web browser. "Au contraire. I think it's the best browser on the platform." Jobs also said that AppleWorks 6.0, due in February for $79, will pack more than 100 new features, including presentation capabilities.

On the hardware side of the third-party equation, Jobs hailed a Scalar USB microscope; a VST 100GB portable RAID drive that includes four 25GB drives and accommodates a PowerBook battery; and a compact new USB scanner powered by the Mac.

Focus on iMovie

Next, Jobs showed off three new TV spots -- two of them narrated by actor Jeff Goldblum -- pitching iMovie, the company's new consumer video-editing solution. Announcing that he would use the morning's presentation to "move beyond the box," Jobs announced that he would unveil Apple's Internet strategy, which he said the company had been framing over the past two years.

Reviewing the components of the strategy to date, Jobs cited four key "Internet assets in place:" QuickTime 4.0, which includes extensive Web streaming capabilities and supports QuickTime TV; Mac OS 9, which includes the enhanced Sherlock 2 search capability;, which he said draws 9.5 million users per week; and the Apple Online Store, which Jobs said brought in more than $300 million in sales over the past quarter.

Jobs said there have been more than 25 million downloads of QuickTime 4 to date, and he cited a Nielsen NetRatings survey from November of top streaming technologies that showed QuickTime with a 33 percent share of the market -- behind RealNetworks, which garnered 53 percent, but far ahead of Microsoft Media Player, which had 14 percent of the market. In addition, Jobs said, 30 percent of users under 21 opted for QuickTime, putting it at No. 1 in the category. By contrast, RealNetworks' offering was in third place among these younger users, which Jobs said make a disproportionate number of online purchases. "RealPlayer's looking a little like your father's movie player," he joked.


To build on this Internet foundation, Jobs unveiled a reworked Apple Web site that features a tab bar for easier navigation and includes three new types of content: iReview, a collection of ranked Web-site reviews generated by Apple; iCards, a service for generating custom greeting cards; and iTools, which Jobs characterized as a "new class of Internet services" tailored specifically to Mac users.

The first four iTools, Jobs said, include KidSafe, software for protecting children from inappropriate Web material. Instead of filtering for inappropriate materials, KidSafe includes a database of more than 50,000 Web sites approved by teachers and librarians throughout the United States and Canada. Jobs said 10,000 new sites would be added each month. The feature can disable chat rooms, e-mail and downloads, Jobs said, and it supports the multiuser capabilities of Mac OS 9. is an e-mail service for Mac users that works with Outlook Express, POP mail and Eudora. Jobs also announced a far-reaching deal with Earthlink. In the deal, Earthlink gets a $200 million investment, and Apple gets a cut for each new Mac Earthlink user. Jobs encouraged Mac users to sign up with Earthlink to show solidarity.

iDisk provides Mac users with 20MB of storage space on Apple's servers. The service places an icon on the user's desktop; allows users to transfers files by dragging and dropping; and includes a public-folder capability for sharing files.

Finally, iTools' HomePage service will let neophyte users create personal home pages in less than 10 minutes by clicking and dragging content to Apple's servers.

The new OS

Jobs formally announced MacOS X, the next iteration of Apple’s celebrated operating system. The final beta version will go to testers and developers in spring, and will be on sale in the summer. In January 2001, Apple will start pre-loading it on new Macs.

The new OS stresses graphics, the Internet, and a "gentle migration" for current MacOS 9 users.

Sure to be appetizing to Linux users, MacOS X is open-source, and uses some FreeBSD code in its kernel, called Darwin. It is crash-resistant, using compartmental techniques to keep the system running even if an application crashes.

Graphics in OS X are tri-layered. 2D work is done by the engine called "Quartz," which is PDF based. PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a very popular file format invented by Adobe. It sports on-the-fly PDF rendering and built-in transparency functions. OpenGL is the preferred 3D renderer, with QuickTime handling media functions.

The APIs, Applications Programming Interfaces which developers use to make applications, have three levels in order to promote an easy switch for OS X newcomers. The Classic API runs MacOS 9 apps in OS X with no enhancements. Carbon gives MacOS 9 apps some new interface features, but will take developers one to three months extra to add. The final API, Cocoa, is completely object-oriented and dedicated to OS X-native applications. According to Jobs, developers will save a lot of time writing applications for Cocoa rather than previous technology.

The new user interface for OS X, aptly referred to as Aqua, is a slick new look for Mac. It uses many shades of blue, reorganizes staples like the Mac Finder, takes advantage of OS X's transparency functions, and borrows some of the most useful features from Windows 98. It also uses the celebrated Apple G4 velocity engine, with lots of whiz-bang features and flashy graphics.

Jobs' speech kicks off several days of Expo fever -- a welcome affliction for the Mac faithful.

A flurry of other announcements were rumored to be in the works, ranging from an iMac with a bigger, 17-inch monitor, a G4 server computer running two processors, an enhanced Internet strategy and a bug-fix update to Apple's Mac OS 9.

Apple stock was well above $100 per share Wednesday, reflecting analysts high hopes for the new year and their high regard for Jobs' stewardship of the once-foundering company.

Macworld Expo opened Tuesday with a day of technical conferences, and the cavernous exhibition hall at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center opens today. The show runs through Saturday.

This report was compiled from IDG News Service and staff reports.

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