Expect Mac OS X to be a hit here in Japan, probably taking off even faster than in North America.
OS X demos at Apple’s booth at Macworld Tokyo were packed, the largest I’ve ever seen at any expo demo. The Japanese trade show is also the place where Hewlett Packard unveiled its OS X drivers, the only printer manufacturer to publicly do so. HP showed graphics printing on various DeskJets from OS X.
Meanwhile, Richard Northcott, president of the Enfour software company, told MacCentral that the next generation operating system should bring back equity to the Japanese print language. Previous versions of the Mac operating system only offered a reduced set of Asian characters, he said.
“This has taken something away from the Japanese culture,” Northcott added. “This is coming back with Mac OS X, which is great news for people in the publishing business.”
Prior to X, the lack of a full set of Asian character support for the Mac operating system caused problems in the printing of manuscripts, particularly older ones, he said. Plus, there wasn’t even full support for some Japanese names. There have been workarounds — Enfour has been filling in the gaps for years — but those should be eliminated or reduced with Mac OS X.
When X ships on March 24 in North America, it will also ship in Japan, as Steve Jobs announced during his Feb. 22 keynote. What’s more, Apple’s CEO said that the company had licensed the “most beautiful Japanese fonts around,” with 17,500 characters, and would be bundling them with OS X. No longer would you have to pay a “fortune” to license such fonts on a per-computer basis, he added.
“There’s never been good Japanese fonts shipped in an operating system before,” Jobs aid.