During his keynote at this week’s Macworld Expo NY, Steve Jobs emphasized the health of Apple and the Macintosh, addressing what he termed the "Apple Hierarchy of Skepticsm" in mainstream media by again outlining Apple’s four-tiered hardware strategy, consisting of desktop and portable Macintosh models for the consumer and professional markets. (See "Apple Hardware Strategy: Alluring PowerBooks and iMac" in TidBITS-429.) Jobs also announced that the iMac will be available 15-Aug-98, and that iMacs will ship with 56 Kbps modems, rather than the 33.6 Kbps modems originally planned. Microsoft’s Ben Waldman also revealed Microsoft will offer a $100 rebate to iMac purchasers who also buy Office 98.
In addition, Jobs demonstrated a DVD drive for PowerBook G3s, using a sleek onscreen interface and a PC Card that handled MPEG decompression. Apple’s Phil Schiller demonstrated features of the forthcoming Mac OS 8.5 (due this September), including the ability to save Internet queries and a new searching functionality based on Apple IAT technology (formerly known as V-Twin). The first attempt to demonstrate Mac OS 8.5’s network copy performance on 100Base-T Ethernet failed, but a second try showed Power Macs narrowly beating 400 MHz Pentium II systems. Jobs also noted Rhapsody 1.0, which Apple plans to release in the third quarter, will be renamed Mac OS X Server, possibly to alleviate confusion between Rhapsody and Mac OS X and help convince developers Rhapsody isn’t a dead-end release. (See "Mac OS X: Rhapsody a Mac Developer Could Love" in TidBITS-430.) Throughout the keynote, Jobs emphasized continued strong sales of G3 systems, numerous recent announcements of new Macintosh applications (including games), and growing support for USB devices on the Macintosh (see "USB and You" in TidBITS-436). So, although the Macworld keynote lacked any stunning announcements, it was well-received by Expo attendees as an affirmation of the vitality of both Apple and the Macintosh.