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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Hopper Disassembler 4.3.16- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Default Folder X 5.2.2 - 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 on... Read more
EtreCheck 4.0.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.9 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
QuickBooks 17.2.25.638 R26 - Financial m...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Monosnap 3.4.10 - Versatile screenshot u...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Vivaldi 1.14.1077.50 - An advanced brows...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Viber 8.2.0 - Send messages and make fre...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device, so... Read more
QuickBooks 17.2.25.638 R26 - Financial m...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.9 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »
Check out this awesome hands-on with the...
Well, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has come out on mobile. This isn't a clone, this isn't a riff on the battleroyale mechanics of the game, it's the official mobile port by Tencent. But there's a little bit of a hitch. [Read more] | Read more »
Hostage Negotiator (Entertainment)
Hostage Negotiator 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: Official app of the board game by AJ Porfirio and Van Ryder Games. In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $250 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $949.99, $250 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished 12″ Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 10″ and 12...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Apple Canada offers Certified Refurbished Mac...
 Canadian shoppers can save up to $560 on the purchase of a 2017 current-generation MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air with Certified Refurbished models at Apple Canada. Apple’s refurbished prices... Read more
Sale! 13″ MacBook Airs for up to $180 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $50-$120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $... Read more
Sale! New 8-core iMac Pro for $4799, $200 off...
Adorama has the 8-core iMac Pro on sale for $4799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. Read more
Sale! Walmart lowers prices even more on 9″ i...
Walmart has lowered their sale price on 9.7″ Apple iPads to $80 off MSRP for a limited time. Sale prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: – 9″ 32GB iPad: $249.99 $80 off – 9″... Read more
Roundup of 13″ MacBook Pro sales, models avai...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their prices are the lowest available for these... Read more
Roundup of 15″ MacBook Pros sale, models up t...
B&H Photo has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
How to save up to $350 on the purchase of a 2...
B&H Photo has iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off MSRP – 27″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113501424 Norman, Oklahoma, United States Posted: 15-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate about Read more
Senior Program Manager - *Apple* Music - Ap...
# Senior Program Manager - Apple Music Job Number: 113393020 Seattle, Washington, United States Posted: 02-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.