It’s no surprise that shareware and freeware products are popping up all over for Mac OS X — and that should only increase with OS X 10.1 in September, according to Ken Bereskin, Apple’s director of Mac OS product marketing.
Not only do you get products from the Mac community, but there are products from Unix and Java developers, as well, he said. And while Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke of some of the improvements in Mac OS X 10.1 during yesterday’s Macworld New York keynote, there are still others that will be revealed later.
Mac OS X 10.1 beefs up performance, with faster application launch times, fast menus and window resizing, faster logins and a more responsive feel overall.
Mac OS X 10.1 features an enhanced Aqua interface, with a moveable Dock that can be placed on the right, bottom or left edge of the screen. Dock menus can enable running applications to present a menu from their Dock icon providing fast access to commonly performed functions; and new menu items for frequently used system controls like battery, AirPort, monitors and sound.
Other new features make Mac OS X 10.1 even more “Mac-like.” Smart scrolling is back. And users can now choose how many recent items and applications show up in the Apple Menu.
Mac OS X 10.1 will offer the ability to create a music library and burn music CDs with iTunes, burn data CDs from the Finder, make movies with iMovie 2, watch DVDs with the DVD Player and create DVDs with iDVD. What’s more, the final Carbonized version of Internet Explorer will ship with Mac OS X 10.1.
“Apple and Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit have worked together to make sure it’s a great browser that offers things like a great Java experience through full support for Mac OS X’s Java 2 runtime,” Bereskin said.
Throughout the operating system, Apple reps say they’ve ensured that Mac OS X 10.1 fully leverages its UNIX-based design, significantly increases performance and provides new features. Bundled apps such as Mail have been improved, especially in regards to performance, Bereskin said.
There’s broadened support for hundreds of third-party peripherals such as printers, cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, rewriteable drives and storage devices. There’s beefed up network integration with Mac, Windows, Linux and Unix environments through AFP/AppleTalk, SMB/CIFS, WebDAV and NFS file services running on Mac OS X Server, AppleShare, UNIX, Linux, Windows NT and Windows 2000 servers.
The upcoming update will see enhanced 3D graphics performance with updated OpenGL software and full support for the NVIDIA GeForce3. Look for a more powerful and efficient iDisk leveraging the Internet standard WebDAV protocol to allow users to stay connected to their iDisk, even behind corporate firewalls. Bereskin said that there are “substantial improvements” to AppleScript throughout the system and full support for Internet scripting using SOAP and XML.
And the future of Mac OS X looks bright. During yesterday’s keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked of “10 on X,” ten “great applications” that he said are coming soon to the next operating system. First of all, Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit, demoed Office 10 for the Mac running on Mac OS X.
“Mac OS X promised it and Office 10 delivered it,” he said. He added that the new operating system lets you do things that you could “never do before” in Office. The MacBU will have a special presentation on the upcoming version of Office tomorrow at MWNY. Look for complete details at MacCentral after the presentation.
To the crowd’s surprise and delight, Shantanu Narayen, Abode’s vice president of worldwide products and marketing, and associates showed Illustrator, GoLive and InDesign running on Mac OS X. He talked of a “new era” of publishing, that will offer the ability to publish across print, Web and more.
“We believe Mac OS X offers a great opportunity for our joint customers,” Narayen. He said that all Adobe’s products are coming to Mac OS X and would take advantage of the “great features and gorgeous Aqua interface” of the operating system.
Perhaps even more surprising was when Brett Mueller, senior product manager of Quark, took the stage to show “for the first time” a future version of QuarkXPress running on Mac OS X. The version will offer layer control and several features that will facilitate print to Web publishing. However, Mueller offered no details on when it would be available.
Dominiqu Goupil, president of FileMaker Inc., showed FileMaker Pro 5.5 and FileMaker Server 5.5 running on Mac OS X. He said that 50,000 copies of the Carbonized FileMaker Pro 5.5, released in May, had already shipped. FileMaker Server 5.5, which is developed in Cocoa, will ship July 30. By this fall, FileMaker will be one of the first companies to have 100 percent of its products native for Mac OS X, Goupil said.
Kurt Schmucker, Connectix’s vice president of Product Manager, demoed a “technology preview” of Virtual PC running on Mac OS X. It’s a free download for any registered user of VPC 4.x. The technology preview can run Windows 2000, 98, Millennium, NT, and even XP (which, amazingly, dosn’t ship until this fall). Schmucker showed AutoCAD, an engineering application not available for the Mac, running in VPC on Mac OS X.
IBM showed ViaVoice running on the new operating system. Toby Maners of IBM Voice and Pen Systems talked of its Aqua user interface, notation into practically any text field or application, and optimization for G4 processors. She said it would be available “later this year.”
Michael Ross, publisher of World Book, debuted the 2002 World Book Encyclopedia on Mac OS X. The demo included some very impressive visuals and audio.
On the gaming front, Frank Pearce, vice president and co-founder of Blizzard, showed the upcoming Warcraft III, running on Mac OS X. A simultaneous release is planned for the Mac and Wintel system is planned.
“Mac gamers have always been important to us,” Pearce said. “Every game we’ve ever developed has been available for the Mac.”
Mike Rogers, president of Aspry, showed Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on the new operating system. He said their goal was to bring the “best games” to the “best computing platform.”
Finally, Richard Kerris, former director of Maya Technologies, showed the Maya technology for 3D graphics on Mac OS X. He said it was the “product of choice” for 3D professionals. Kerris said that 3D animation was everywhere as a medium to education, inform and entertain.
Mac OS X 10.1 will be a free upgrade to current Mac OS X users and will arrive in September. It will be available as a full retail package through The Apple Store, at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $129 (US). Mac OS X v10.1 will be available for current Mac OS X users as a CD upgrade package through Apple’s Mac OS Up-to-Date program for $19.95 (US).
Mac OS X requires a minimum of 128MB of memory and is designed to run on the following Apple products: iMac, iBook, Power Mac G3, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube, and any PowerBook introduced after May 1998.
Meanwhile, Apple has seen 300,000 downloads of the latest Mac OS X upgrade, 10.0.4.