RealTime IT News

Apple: Mac OS X to Ship March 24

You can book it -- Apple's long-awaited Mac OS X will ship on March 24, the company promised Tuesday at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.

Priced at $129, Mac OS X is purported to be the world's most advanced operating system, as it combines UNIX capabilities with Macintosh applications. Mac OS X will be available through The Apple Store March 24.

To be sure, the release is still later than some had expected. And Apple doesn't plan on pre-loading the new OS in new product shipments until the summer -- when a bulk of the new OS-X applications will be available.

Still, Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he was confident in the public's reception of the new OS.

"The Public Beta has generated incredible feedback and support from Mac users and developers, which has helped us to make Mac OS X the most advanced operating system ever," Jobs said.

Mac OS X features:

  • an open source, UNIX based foundation called Darwin
  • Apple's new Quartz graphics engine based on the PDF standard for graphics and broad font support
  • the Aqua user interface, an entirely new user interface with ease of use, new functionality and a new appearance

Apple has also garnered quite a bit of support for the new OS: More than 400 leading developers, including Adobe, Alias-Wavefront, Macromedia and Microsoft have agreed to deliver more than 1,200 applications built for Mac OS X.

In related news Tuesday, Apple also introduced something of the Recording Industry Association of America's and Hollywood's worst nightmare -- the speedy new Power Mac G4 with 733 megahertz processors, which specializes in burning CDs and DVDs. Armed with 5 memory slots, the Power Mac G4 line features CD-RW drives in all models. In addition, Apple unveiled SuperDrive, a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive that can burn DVDs for consumer players.

Also looming large on Apple's plate was a new one-inch-thick Titanium PowerBook G4 for lovers of mobile computing. The notebook features PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engines running up to 500 MHz, a 15.2-inch (diagonal) mega-wide display, slot-loading DVD drive and 5 hour battery -- all in a Titanium enclosure weighing 5.3 pounds.

Jobs claimed the product is thinner and sexier than most thin notebooks made by rivals IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp.