WWDC 2006 Keynote summary


Apple’s 2006 World Wide Developer Conference kicked off today with Steve Job’s Keynote. First up was an update on sales. The last quarter was the best Mac quarter ever with over 1.3 million Macs shipping and a growing market share. Intel-powered Macs accounted for 75-percent of Macs shipped.

Then Steve and team moved on to the new products. As widely expected, the PowerMac line is being replaced by the Mac Pro. The rumours of a new case are neither wrong nor right – The outside stays the same but the inside is completely new. For example, the drives come with carriers that let you insert them without tools. Dual Xeon processors up to 3Ghz, up to 16 GB of RAM, 64 bit OS and up to 2TB of internal storage using four hard drive bays. Only one standard configuration will be offered for $2499 USD: Two Xeon processors, 250GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, a Geforce 7300 GT video card with 256MB and a 16x SuperDrive. From there, it’s up to you to configure the system you want.

The transition to Intel processors has been completed in 210 days as the Xserve server line will also move to Intel Xeon processors. The Xserve servers will be entirely built to order. Along with the new processors, the new Xserves will feature a redundant power supply.

On the software side, Apple has had 5 major OS releases since 2001 and is previewing the sixth (Leopard) today (with a shot at Microsoft that they have been at work on Vista for 5 years). The demo revealed the following details:

  • Leopard will let users run both 64 and 32-bit applications with no emulation or translation required.
  • A new application called Time Machine will help users by doing automatic backups. It will let users restore everything right down to a single file if necessary. A visual timeline tool will also let users step back in time to earlier versions of files. A preview feature will even let users see the file prior to it being restored.
  • Boot Camp (to let you dual boot into another OS) currently in beta will be included.
  • Virtual Desktops will let you group applications into separate spaces.
  • Updated versions of FrontRow and Spotlight which will let you search other desktops (as long as you have permissions) as well as yours.
  • Core Animation, a new tool to create animations.
  • Improved accessability including updates to VoiceOver, Braille support and other tools.
  • Improvements to mail, including addition of stationary, Notes (with their own Notes mailbox) and To-do lists (tied into iCal)
  • Improved support for Dashboard widget developers
  • Enhanced iChat messenger with support for multiple logins, animated icons, video recording and tabbed chats

Leopard will ship next Spring.

And with that, the Keynote wrapped up!