TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 00 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: Viewpoint

WWDC Report

by Jordan Dea-Mattson

Steve is in the House...

Flanked by giant posters featuring film great Francis Ford Coppola and Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, and with Big Band standards playing loudly in the background Steve Jobs entered stage left and came forward to operate his patented "reality distortion field" on the masses of developers gathered for his keynote at this year's WWDC.

The question on everyone's mind as Steve started to speak was two-fold. First, everyone was wondering what Steve would say. Like the Children of Israel gathered before Moses on Mount Sinai as he prepared to read the Ten Commandments, we all wondered what "laws" Steve would be laying down for us in the coming year. What would be in and what would be out? Second, in the back of everyone's mind was the omnipresent question that any sane person asks themselves when dealing with Steve Jobs: how will this story map into reality?

Since the "Return of Steve" I have been present for each and every one of his keynotes. This one appeared to have even less spin and more substance than any of his previous keynotes. While some of his announcements looked to the future, they were backed with solid deliverables in the here and now.

The Master of Substance

Steve's keynote, even more so than his previous ones, was a presentation emphasizing substance over style and hype.

Steve kicked off his focus on substance by giving what I have come to think of as his "State of the Company" address, where he lays out his proof that Apple is financially healthy, that things are getting better with each day, and that Apple isn't going away any time soon.

At WWDC the "State of the Company" address was filled with comparisons of units, revenues, and earnings to the other major players - Compaq, Dell, Gateway - in the PC industry. The clear purpose of these comparisons was to illustrate that Apple is not only financially healthy, but that it is doing better than any other major PC company.

As a reality check on Steve's numbers - following WWDC - I performed an independent financial analysis of Apple comparing it to Compaq, Dell, and Gateway. By almost every measure Apple is besting the competition across the board. The only two things holding back Apple's stock are a — not, given Apple's history, totally unfounded — fear that things might return to the "bad, old ways" and a legitimate concern over how big Apple's business can grow in the face of the WinTel duopoly.

Following the "State of the Company" portion of the keynote, Steve focused in on four areas of obvious importance to him and Apple going forward: iMac, QuickTime, WebObjects, and Mac OS X.

The iMac section of the keynote focused on the twin themes of platform growth and Internet adoption.

<P> First, Steve laid out statistics showing that each quarter the iMac is bringing more first time buyers and WinTel switchers into the Macintosh fold. In the last full quarter prior to WWDC 45% of all iMac buyers where new to the Macintosh. This is important to us as developers, because new users by and large are the source of new software sales.

Second, Steve focused on positioning the iMac as the easiest way to get onto and use the Internet. In support of this position, he trotted out statistics showing that a full 88% of iMac users are up and running on the Internet with 66% having made a purchase via the Internet. My post WWDC research shows that these numbers compare very favorably with what is happening in the WinTel world in terms of Internet usage.

Moving to the QuickTime front, Steve focused on pushing QuickTime as "The Leading" multimedia standard on the Internet. Speaking to this issue he bombarded us with statistics on the number of downloads, adoption in CD-ROMs, lists of standards supported and features available, and a plug for Disney's now "famous" Toy Story 2 CD distribution via Frosted Cheerios boxes. All in all, it is clear that a lot is happening in the world of QuickTime. If QuickTime isn't "The Leading" multimedia standard, it is definitely "A Leading" standard with a strong shot at the Number 1 slot.

It's the Web Stupid!

In my viewpoint that appeared in MacTech the week of WWDC I let you in on Apple's best-kept secret: WebObjects. I am glad that I did it then, because following WWDC the last thing WebObjects is "...is Apple's best kept secret".

Leading up to WWDC Apple promised they were "turbo-charging" and would let us in on the details at WWDC.

Well, Apple has definitely taken the wraps off WebObjects and is letting the world in on the WebObjects secret.

First and foremost, they announced they are cutting the price of WebObjects. In the past to get an unrestricted WebObjects deployment license for a multi-processor system cost a cool $50,000. Despite this price tag, because of the power of WebObjects, it is the Number 1 web application service on the market with over 3,000 high-profile customers. But Apple wants to grow this market and their new price of $699 for a development and single deployment license is going to blow things open.

Second, they announced that WebObjects is going to be a pure Java platform with the advent of WebObjects 5 For Java. As part of this move they will be qualifying WebObjects for a Linux platform (likely Red Hat Pro 6.2) in addition to the already supported Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Windows NT, Solaris, and HP-UX 11.

Apple backed up its WebObjects rhetoric with 18 WWDC sessions focused on WebObjects. Though they were in the smaller "J" facilities, the space allocated to them on the WWDC schedule and the standing room only crowd of developers at most WebObjects' sessions testified to how serious Apple and its developers are taking WebObjects.

If Apple — in the iMac — has the best Internet client around, they have definitely matched it on the server side with WebObjects. It will be interesting to see how they work to combine the two and continue to move "beyond the box" in the future. In any case, it is clear that Apple gets that "It's the Web Stupid!"

A Little Slip? Or is it?

Steve closed off his keynote by focusing our attention on Mac OS X. The highlight of this section was his announcement of a "developer ready" — "...with 99% of developers finding 100% of the APIs they need..." — Developer Preview 4 (DP 4) of Mac OS X and a "slight" revision to its schedule.

Throughout his overview of Mac OS X and the demos Steve stressed again and again that Mac OS X is "developer ready", and that you can start developing for Mac OS X today. That said, he also made clear that Apple is listening to customer and developer feedback and revising Mac OS X based on our feedback. He gave proof to these words when he showed off the changes in Aqua that has resulted in a much improved user interface that were driven in large part by customer and developer feedback.

Steve also announced a revision to the Mac OS X schedule. Instead of Mac OS X 1.0 shipping this summer as announced as MacWorld SF, we will be treated to a public beta of Mac OS X starting sometime this summer. Mac OS X 1.0 will ship in January of 2001 and will be available, "on some systems", as a "pre-load option".

The real news here isn't the shift to a public beta this summer. The reality is - as I noted in my post-MacWorld SF Viewpoint - that no matter what it is called, the first release of Mac OS X will be treated as a public beta. We won't be seeing wholesale adoption of Mac OS X until well into the year 2001.

Rather, the real news is that Mac OS X 1.0 will not be pre-loaded on all systems starting in January 2001. For me this begs the questions: "When will Mac OS X be pre-loaded on all systems?" and "What does Apple expect the Mac OS X adoption rate to be?"

So, did Apple — as the rest of the press trumpeted — slip the schedule for Mac OS X? In name, I must say yes. But in reality, I would have to say no. That said, they are slowing down what was an extremely aggressive adoption strategy by not pre-loading Mac OS X on all systems starting in January 2001.

The Bottom Line

So, what is the bottom line out of this year's WWDC? Simply put, things are going well. The Macintosh is alive and well, Apple is growing, and we can expect to be able to gather in San Jose for WWDC the foreseeable future.


Jordan Dea-Mattson (jordan_dea-mattson@webappfactory.com) long a fixture at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference and MacHack is a long time member of the Macintosh developer community. He recently joined WebAppFactory, Inc., a WebObjects consultant and application developer, as President and CEO. Prior to joining WebAppFactory, he was engineering manager for ePaper Developer Technologies at Adobe Systems Incorporated. He is probably best known for 13 year long tenure at Apple in various developer-related positions. His two major claims to fame are being the "Metrowerks Man" at Apple from 1992 to early 1999, and the Jordan of "It's all Jordan's fault!" from MacHack.

 
AAPL
$98.63
Apple Inc.
-0.39
MSFT
$43.92
Microsoft Corpora
-0.05
GOOG
$585.19
Google Inc.
-5.41

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more
Acorn 4.4 - Bitmap image editor. (Demo)
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
Vienna 3.0.0 RC 2 :be5265e: - RSS and At...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.1.5 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more
TinkerTool 5.3 - Expanded preference set...
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Note Review
Note Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TOO SIMPLEiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Note is a note taking app that’s a little too short on features to be worth its asking price... | Read more »
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & Ther...
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & There’s a Chance to Win a Copy of the Original Board Game Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Tiny Tower Vegas
If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower... | Read more »
Z Hunter Review
Z Hunter Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RIGHT ON TARGETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad While it might not necessarily break new ground, Z Hunter has enough tricks up its sleeve to ensure that... | Read more »
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New...
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New Stages Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now....
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now. Seriously. Posted by Rob Rich on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Frog Orbs 2 Review
Frog Orbs 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THIS MAGIC IS A TAD MONOTONOUS Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Frog Orbs 2 is repetitive, but younger players should enjoy it nonetheless.   | Read more »
Puzzix Review
Puzzix Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NICE IDEAUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A little like Tetris, Puzzix is all about piecing together blocks and watching them vanish. It could do with... | Read more »
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works Wit...
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works With Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, and AOL Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
To The End Review
To The End Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A VICIOUS CYCLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad To The End will test players’ patience, timing, and dedication as they try to navigate all 13 levels in... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Updated MacBook Pro Price Trackers
We’ve updated our MacBook Pro Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on the new 2014 models from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers as well as... Read more
Apple updates MacBook Pros with slightly fast...
Apple updated 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros today with slightly faster Haswell processors. 13″ models now ship with 8GB of RAM standard, while 15″ MacBook Pros ship with 16GB across the board. Most... Read more
Apple drops price on 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro b...
The Apple Store has dropped their price for the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro by $100 to $1099 including free shipping. Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 MacBoo...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2013 MacBook Pros, with model now available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 To Support DuckDuckGo As...
Writing for Quartz, Dan Frommer reports that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 operating systems version updates will allow users to select DuckDuckGo as their default search engine. He notes... Read more
U.K. Hospital Using iPods and iPads To Record...
British news journal GazetteLive’s. Ian McNeal notes that the old “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” proverb is being turned on its head at http://southtees.nhs.uk/hospitals/james-cook/ James... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $1099,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $1099.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $100 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros, th...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. Their prices... Read more
Record Mac Shipments In Q2/14 Confound Analys...
A Seeking Alpha Trefis commentary notes that Apple’s fiscal Q3 2014 results released July 22, beat market predictions on earnings, although revenues were slightly lower than anticipated. Apple’s Mac’... Read more
Intel To Launch Core M Silicon For Use In Not...
Digitimes’ Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai, report that Intel will launch 14nm-based Core M series processors specifically for use in fanless notebook/tablet 2-in-1 models in Q4 2014, with many models to... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.