Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is drawing closer and company executives say that innovation from Apple and its developers will be the highlight of this year’s event. Among other sessions, Apple has promised to show, for the first time, Mac OS X Leopard during the conference.
“Innovation is one of the things that we strive for and something that we believe is part of the culture of our developer conference,” Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, told Macworld . “It’s about inspiring people — at the end of the day we think that developers have more fun working on our platform.”
As it surpasses 500,000 active members, Apple’s developer program looks to be in good shape for the future. Each year 40 percent of the developers attending the conference have OS X only experience, meaning that they have only starting developing on the Mac since the release of
OS X. Apple also said that 25 percent of conference participants in the last two years have been first time visitors.
Looking to the future of Mac developers Okamoto said that student registration for WWDC 2006 is very strong — international student registration was especially strong, according to Apple.
Intel and Mac OS X Leopard
Last year’s developer conference featured Apple’s biggest transition in years — the move to
Intel processors. While Intel will play an important role, the focus of this year’s conference will be on the next-generation operating system, Mac OS X Leopard.
Apple this week updated its developer Web site with information on 100 sessions that will be available to developers at WWDC. That number will grow to 130 by the time developers arrive in San Francisco, according to Apple.
It is during these sessions that developers get to use newly introduced technologies for the first time. In addition, developers get one-on-one access to the Apple engineers that work on these technologies — this allows developers to get pointers and help integrating their application with new technologies.
“We think this is a great event for our developers to come to,” said Okamoto. “They [developers] really like the focus that we have — it is about developers and our technology, it’s not about marketing.”
Focusing on the technology and working with other engineers is what Apple thinks brings innovation to the market — something Okamoto believes helps everyone. “When developers use innovations as their strategy, we do well together,” he said.
The role of Intel processors will still play a huge role in this year’s developer conference. Besides talking to existing Mac developers, Apple said it has received a great deal of interest from Windows developers because of the company’s Intel transition.
While the release of Boot Camp brought attention to Apple’s hardware as a dual booting machine, Apple said that Windows hardware compatibility is not the big thing — it all comes back to the Mac.
“For the vast majority of people, it’s OS X, the hardware and the technologies,” said Okamoto.