Flash analysis: Takeaways from Jobs keynote; 64-bit Leopard is big; Safari on Windows

Summary:Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a bevy of key items at his WWDC keynote. Here's what's important in order:This live coverage can be tracked in a few areas, but Engadget and MacRumors.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a bevy of key items at his WWDC keynote. Here's what's important in order:

This live coverage can be tracked in a few areas, but Engadget and MacRumors.com and News.com seem to have the best.

1. Safari on Windows: Jobs said Safari is coming to Windows. This is an interesting development and if Safari even comes close to the success of iTunes on Windows the browser race will be interesting again. Jobs claims that Safari is faster than both IE and Firefox. Biggest plus: The ability to drag tabs to their own window.

2. Safari + iPhone = developer kit: Jobs says Safari will be the engine used to develop iPhone apps. Very interesting move here. Apparently developers can start developing apps when the iPhone launches June 29. 3. Leopard's new look: Jobs keynote finally put Leopard to the fore. Leopard was basically given short shrift to get the iPhone out on time. Biggest move: Leopard is going 64-bit. That's a big move for a mainstream OS since others have been half stepping on the switch to 64-bit. Why can Leopard go 64-bit? It doesn't have to sweat all those reverse compatibility issues.

Among the key items for Leopard:

  • Developers outside of WWDC are screwed. No copies of Leopard for developers outside of WWDC.
  • Boot camp will be built in and run XP and Vista. Jobs noted that Boot Camp is a complement to Parallels and VMware;
  • A new finder;
  • Stacks that will use core animation to create new ways to view items, say a vacation folder or most recent items;
  • Dock is also updated;
  • Leopard has a new sidebar with search embedded;
  • Tiger OS X 10.4 has been a big success with 67 percent of Mac users on Tiger.
  • Leopard will come in one price--$129.

4. Games: The Apple is getting games back. Electronic Arts noted that it will offer key titles for the Mac, including Madden 08. More on this development will come at E3, but it's huge for mainstream adoption of the Apple platform and getting more Windows switchers on board. Gamers are a relatively small audience, but they buy PCs (and now maybe Macs) with all the frills.

5. Back to Mac: Broke this out as a Leopard feature. Apple appears to Back to Mac to better network other computers. It ties items together remotely. Most interesting item: Back to Mac knows IP addresses and hops over to other Macs on a network. It works with PCs too.

6. Widgets (lots of them): Jobs talked up Widgets and Safari. Is this just eye candy? It's great for developer relations though.

7. What wasn't said: No Google mention. No Eric Schmidt appearance. No .Mac overhaul. That'll teach us to pay attention to leaked transcripts translated from German. Perhaps Jobs is saving Google for another time, one in which it would be the only news of the day.

Topics: IT Employment, Apple, Hardware

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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