At his keynote address at Macworld San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off a host of free Macintosh-centric Internet services that turns Apple into a content provider and supplements Mac OS technologies on user’s desktops with Internet-based server technologies provided by Apple. Apple’s primary Internet application will be iTools, which will integrate with Mac OS 9 on users desktops to provide free email (via the mac.com domain), Web home pages featuring areas like a photo album and movie theater, and free Internet storage via iDisk, which enables a user’s 20 MB of Internet storage to appear on the desktop just like a normal storage device. Apple’s services will also include KidSafe, which will integrate with Mac OS 9’s Sherlock and Multiple Users features to control children’s access on the Internet to a whitelist of more than 50,000 sites approved by teachers and librarians. Though these free services aren’t revolutionary, they promise to be exclusive to (and tightly integrated with) the Macintosh user experience, adding more value to using a Macintosh over other platforms, particularly for consumers, first-time buyers, and home users.
Apple also announced two Internet content services: iCard, an Internet greeting card business, and iReview, featuring ranked Web site reviews written by Apple editors with added commentary and ratings by Internet users. These services – along with iTools – will be promoted on a tab-based navigation bar to appear on nearly every page of Apple’s corporate site, along with prominent links to the Apple Store and other resources. Apple also announced a multi-year partnership with EarthLink to provide Internet access for Macintosh users; EarthLink will be the default ISP for all new Macs.
Steve Jobs also dropped the word "Interim" from his title, finally cementing his long de-facto status as CEO of both Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios. Despite rampant rumors, Jobs did not announce any new Apple hardware.