On June 23, 2003 Apple CEO Steve Jobs will kick-off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with the first public showing of Panther, the next major release of Mac OS X. This year’s developer conference will also bring more extensive QuickTime developer tracks, content that has been reserved in previous years for QuickTime Live, a separate conference which was held in Beverly Hills, California.
Originally scheduled for May 19-23, 2003 in San Jose, the conference was moved to the larger Moscone Center in San Francisco from June 23-27, in order to provide developers with a more complete preview release of Panther.
“People are going to be blown away by Panther,” Richard Kerris, Apple’s senior director of Worldwide Developer Relations, told MacCentral.
While Panther is certainly a draw for many attendees to the upcoming conference, this year also brings extensive Enterprise tracks designed for enterprise developers, system administrators and IT managers. Software technologies like Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Java, WebObjects and Directory Services will all be covered. Sessions will explore how to leverage the open source and open standards technology leveraged by Apple, as well.
Apple is also offering information of interest to IT personnel in academia, with the Higher Education Mac OS X Lab Deployment Initiative Special Interest Group (SIG). The SIG will explore some of the issues that come up when OS X is used in labs.
Not surprisingly, media will play an important role at this year’s Worldwide Developers conference. With the inclusion of QuickTime Live, there are over 171 conference sessions at this year’s WWDC — 25 percent of those are focused specifically on QuickTime content. This should ease any fears the QuickTime community may have had when the separate QuickTime Live show was cancelled.
“People that like QuickTime Live can come to the developers conference and have access to everything else that’s going on at the conference, including Steve’s keynote,” said Frank Casanova, Apple’s director of QuickTime Product Marketing. “We think that putting QuickTime Live and the developers conference together makes something better than either one of those conferences were alone.”
Besides Mac OS X Panther, Enterprise and open standards, Kerris said WWDC would be a continuation of what the company showed at April’s National Association of Broadcaster (NAB) conference in Las Vegas. Apple used NAB to release Final Cut Pro 4 and announce DVD Studio Pro 2.0.
“It’s all about media — it’s in the DNA of the company,” said Kerris. “Whether you’re producing a movie, picture, QuickTime, or a song, people do it on a Mac. More people than ever are doing these things on a Mac.”
Kerris also said that Apple has received twice as many entries for the company’s Apple Design Awards, in the OS X category alone. The Apple Design Awards recognize innovation, advanced Mac OS X look and feel, use of Apple technologies in developers’ Mac OS X-based products, and new, exciting, and high quality product entries to the Mac OS X market.
Early Bird registration for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference ends on May 23, 2003. Attendees can get a US$300 break on registration if they register before that date — it costs $1,295 per attendee. After that, the price goes up to $1,595. Visit the WWDC Web site for further details.