Mac OS X, the next-generation operating system introduced by Apple two months ago, is taking its next step toward becoming the predominant OS for the Mac. Apple announced today that it would begin preinstalling the new OS on all of its Macs.
Including OS X on all new Macs was the biggest product news to come out of Apple CEO Steve Jobs's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but it wasn't the only announcement. WWDC, as it's known, provides a forum for Apple to give detailed information about the future of the Mac platform. But Jobs also used his Monday speech to announce everything from a new version of OS X Server to price cuts for Apple's line of LCD monitors.
Developers had expected Jobs to announce that OS X would come preinstalled on Macs--but at this summer's Macworld Expo in New York, not at this week's WWDC event in San Jose, California. Apple had originally planned to begin including OS X on Macs in July.
"We are going to move that up two months, and we are going to be preinstalling today," Jobs said.
OS 9 will still ship on Macs as the default operating system. "But it's so easy to flip, we think many will," he added.
Jobs cited the "fantastic" feedback on OS X that Apple has received from customers as one of the reasons the company is moving ahead with plans to include the OS on all of its hardware.
"This is a total commitment on Apple's part, and we ask the same of you," Jobs told developers. "The train has left the station."
The first announcement Jobs made during his speech was to bid good-bye to CRT displays. Instead, Apple plans to revamp its current line of LCD monitors.
"We will become the first company in the industry to have all-LCD displays," Jobs said.
All of Apple's LCD monitors are active matrix and completely digital. They feature built-in USB hubs and use only a single cable from which they also draw their power.
Apple will introduce a 17-inch display in mid-June. The $999 monitor features a resolution of 1,280 by 1,024 pixels, 16.7 million colors, and a 160-degree viewing angle.
The price on Apple's 22-inch Cinema Display is dropping to $2,499, down from last year's $3,999 price tag.
"Our goal is to try to keep lowering the price so more and more people can keep discovering this display," Jobs said.
Apple also cut the price on its 15-inch flat-panel display to $599. "There's now no reason not to be using one of our amazing displays with your Power Mac," Jobs said.
Apple also released WebObjects 5, the latest version of its $699 application server for Web publishing and enterprise application development. WebObjects has been rewritten entirely in Java; it now includes Mac OS X and Windows 2000 Professional among its qualified development platforms.
In addition, Apple announced a new "industrial-strength" version of Mac OS X Server. The updated server is built on the latest version of the OS X operating system foundation. It integrates server applications such as Apache Web Server, Samba for Windows file sharing, WebObjects 5, and QuickTime Streaming Server 3 for Mac, Windows, and Unix clients and networks. Prices vary from $499 to $3,999, depending on what configuration you order.