Jobs Delivers Upbeat Macworld Keynote — During his keynote at last week’s Macworld Expo NY, Steve Jobs emphasized the health of Apple and the Macintosh, addressing what he termed the "Apple Hierarchy of Skepticism" and by again outlining Apple’s four-part hardware strategy of focusing exclusively on creating desktop and portable Macintoshes for consumer and professional audiences. (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 it will ship with 56 Kbps modems, rather than the 33.6 Kbps modems originally planned. Microsoft’s Ben Waldman revealed that Microsoft will offer a $100 rebate to iMac purchasers who also buy Office 98, or copies of Bookshelf and Encarta to those who have purchased the educational version of 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 several features of the forthcoming Mac OS 8.5 (due this September), including Sherlock, a new Internet-savvy searching functionality based on Apple’s AIAT technology (better known as V-Twin). The first attempt to demonstrate Mac OS 8.5’s network copy performance on 100Base-T Ethernet failed due to a misconfigured server having gone to sleep, but a second try showed the Power Mac narrowly beating a 400 MHz Pentium II system. Jobs also noted that 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 that 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, plus news about USB devices later in this issue). So, although the Macworld keynote lacked any stunning announcements, it was well-received by Expo attendees as an affirmation of the vitality of Apple and the Macintosh. [GD]