[MD1] Jobs keynote report
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[MD1] Jobs keynote report

This just in from:

Raines Cohen, Editor of NetProfessional, (editor@netprolive.com):

Greetings from NYC! Here's some observations minutes after the Jobs keynote
here at Seybold, in case you can use 'em (I expec this will be a lot
wordier, less analytical, and more play-by-play than the MacWEEK story).
Feel free to use this in full or part with attribution to me, on MacDev-1
if you care to: (it's nonexclusive, sent to a few folks)

Craig Kline, Seybold VP of Content, introduce Eric Hippeau, chairman of
Ziff-Davis, who introduced Jobs as a "technologist" - "still pretty young
as industry icons go."

As expected, the keynote led off with all 3 recent Apple commercials: Think
Different, the snail, and the bunny-suit one. The snail got notable
applause, and the new "toasting the Pentium" one really big applause. [note
that the Javits Center main lobby features several new Think Different
people, including Ansel Adams]

Jobs spoke of publishing technology as "one of four things we do," and
promised to talk about Software (ColorSync, WebObjects, AppleScript and
QuickTime 3) and Hardware.

ColorSync: Accomplishments include Version 2.5 ship; AppleScript and
multi-processor support, and calibration improvements. It'll be in Internet
Explorer 4.1 for the Mac, due in April. It'll be available for Windows by
late this year or early next. As a result of going cross-platform, Adobe
committed to fully support ColorSync in all its publishing products,
including the PDF ones, PageMaker, and Premiere.

Adobe CEO John Warnock joined Steve onstage, praising the Windows support.
"A lot of us prefer one machine over another, so this is helpful to
developers." An Adobe technology demo showed not only ColorSync in
Illustrator but also AppleScript to automate the creation of weathermaps
from ASCII data from weather bureaus, a process that "used to take 45
minutes," done in about a minute for the demo.

Jobs briefly touched on WebObjects, calling it "Just in Time, Just for Me"
publishing. "It's fundamentally a dynamic publishing technology for the
Internet. It can create Web pages on-the-fly dynamically tailored." A list
of new customers includes Adobe, AOL, BBC, Daniels printing, DDB, Seybold,
and World Color. He announced the formation of a consulting and training
operation for WebObjects, and said more than 300 alliance partners have
WebObjects applications already built. He said it is cross-platform, MacOS
and Windows -- but it was unclear whether he was just referring to the
WebObjects adapters in GoLive CyberStudio and WebStar or there really is a
MacOS version available. This would be big news if so, because the industry
was expecting a Rhapsody version, but not a MacOS port.

AppleScript also got a minute of the talk. Jobs listed an Adobe Illustrator
7.0 plug-in for AppleScript, a publishing solutions CD-ROM available at the
booth, FaceSpan 3.0 interface builder (from Digital Technology Inc.), an
AppleScript ColorSync droplet, and committed to native AppleScript in
Allegro. "We believe in AppleScript," Jobs said. "It's this wonderful
object-oriented script language. It's easy enough for mere mortals. We're
working on speed and getting it more integrated into the system."

QuickTime 3 is "just about ready to ship," Jobs said. As we move into the
era of digital video, "It's a mess. We've got standards coming out of our
ears," he said, listing some of the different standards for Audio CDs,
music creation, and the like. "QuickTime is how creators manage to
repurpose content to these different areas. They're not only sources, but
destinations of content."

QuickTime started twelve years ago at Apple. It is to digital media as
PostScript was to applications and printers. "A few" people at Apple
realized that video could be not just a $1,000 add-in card to the computer,
but instead free, digital software. A first only a tiny window, it got
bigger. The developers at Apple "realized that the coming digital
revolution would be a tower of babble, and they asked what they could do to
insulate users. It's like before PostScript, every application had to know
about every printer. WordPerfect, in its ascendancy, had 500 people writing
printer drivers. QuickTime delivers the power to developers but completely
isolates applications" from the details of the process. For instance, with
the DV support in QuickTime 3, users can just plug in FireWire and download
froma digital camera. "The apps just have it, they don't have to add a line
of code." He summarized QuickTime as "A unifying format and platform for
multi-source and multi-destination content". The International Standards
Organization (ISO) recently picked QuickTime as the basis for the MPEG 4
standard, which will be implemented in "4 to 5 years". The decision was
"hotly contested," Jobs said. "Microsoft had their own stuff which really
isn't real," while Apple, Sun, Oracle, and many others put their support
behind QuickTime. Phil Schiller came out to do Peter Hoddie's standard
QuickTime demo. He showed using Photoshop to do rotoscoping on a series of
frames from a QuickTime movie, and QT3's new ability to play a series of
images as a movie, directly reading the Photoshop files while retaining the
layering, etc.

"We've gotten rid of a lot of cruft," Jobs said. "There's a lot of energy
being focused on these technologies. 3 of the 4 are cross-platform, and
"we're working on taking them all across by next year."

HARDWARE

[I won't reprise the specs of the Apple Studio Display here, but Jobs said
it will be available in May.] He contrasted the $1,999 price to the $3,500
Compaq charges for a flat-screen today.

While Apple invented FireWire (now IEEE 1394), it hasn't released products
based on it for several years. The $299 card he showed will be available in
April, with a Premier plug-in.

Jobs also showed the UltraWide SCSI card, available now for $1,070 over the
standard 4 Gbyte price. It uses Conley's SoftRAID for in-place striping,
mirroring.

On the G3's: "this is fun stuff." He denied rumors that Motorola, IBM and
Apple have had a falling out, and vividly demonstrated how in benchmarks
the PowerPC is "literally twice as fast" as the Pentium II. "A 266-MHz
G3/266 has the performance of a 500-MHz Pentium II, which you can't buy."

For a demo, "let's do a bake-off," he gleefully cackled, comparing a Compaq
Workstation 6100 with a Pentium II/333 at $4,342 to a G3/266 "at $2,169,
half the price." A series of tasks with Photoshop finished 15 seconds
faster on the Mac.

He then showed the 300-MHz G3, available today, breaking the 1,000 barrier
(1060) on MacBench, ten times as fast as the first PowerMac 4 years ago. It
breaks 10.2 bytemarks, "giving you several extra hours with your family
each day."

The technology demo of the G3/400, using IBM's copper fab technology, drew
big applause. Jobs said it'll be available from Apple in early 1999.
"Motorola and IBM are working very aggressively and there will be even
faster processors coming next year." He said it's equal to an 800-MHz
Pentium II, "which they can't even make today." At 13.7 bytemarks, it's 3
times as fastest as "the fastest Pentium II available for love or money
today."

In questioning afterwards by Seybold's VP of Content Craig Kline, Jobs
tried to refute concerns that Apple is losing the education market,
claiming market shares in the 59% range in design & publishing markets and
30-some % in education. "It's going strong in spite of the fact that Apple
does not right now have the least expensive products."

As for the lack of a low-end offering, "It seems strange that Apple has not
built a great consumer product over the last several years - you'll see
that change this fall. Apple is uniquely positioned in some ways to be
there."

As to the Microsoft alliance, "Microsoft is many things. They're a large
application software company. We certainly want their applications on the
Mac. The agreement we announced last fall insured our customers will get
not only Microsoft Office but the best version for the next many years. As
for the system software platform, we have to recognize that Microsoft plus
Apple equals 100% of the market. If we can agree on a few things, it makes
it easier for customers." Technologies from both will be adopted by the
other. "We're not giving away the company store here, and neither is
Microsoft. ColorSync can help the Microsoft world. We work with Sun on Java
as well. We want the Mac platform to the best. It doesn't really matter in
the end if we can integrate it together to be the best platform. We control
some of the technology, and that's important."

As to publishing customers moving to NT and Windows: "You can take the best
PC or NT system, run worse version of the applications, spend all your time
futzing with cards and install files all day long. When you get all done
with it you're gonna run half as fast. This is America - people should do
what they want to."

On the lack of Mac internet server software: "More people are suing NT than
Macs as servers. Because Apple's not in the server business today per se.
We don't sell beefy servers. Sun is giving [Microsoft] a run for their
money. Apple is traditionally not a server company - they're a client
company. Netscape says that 25% of the computers taht come to their site
are Macs. Apple's market share is lower than that. A disproportionately
higher # of people are using the internet than on the Windows side. That's
why Netscape, and Microsoft are constantly vying to work with us because we
have a large market share. We don't measure our success by which internet
tradeshow you see more Macs at."

On Rhapsody: "We have a software devleopers conference [WWDC] mid-May.
You'll hear a very clear layout of our software roadmap at that time. So
come, please."

On Columbus: "It's anti-gravity technology. It gets 300 miles to the
gallon. I can't talk about that stuff." [he did early mention a new
announcement of something in Spring]

"It was supposed to be something extraordinary this morning - but it was
just a faster Mac," said Dave Burstein, DTP System Director for Exedi
Printing Inc., a pre-press manager based here. "As someone who spent many
hours of my life waiting for Photoshop, a faster Mac is itself
extraordinary."

 

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