Main Keynote: Steve Jobs & Avie Tevanian

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-06-22 devin

Conference Attendance

Up 43 % from previous year
  • WWDC '98 had 1,763 attending
  • WWDC '99 had 2,514 attending
    • 200 student developers attending
    • People from 48 states
    • People from 38 countries


New Software
During his keynote presentation at the conference, Apple's interim CEO Steve Jobs revealed that over 3,100 new or updated Macintosh software titles have been announced during the past 12 months.

Dragon Systems Speech Recognition Software
He started the speech with the surprise announcement that Dragon Systems finally will be bringing its speech-recognition software to the Mac OS. An American English version will ship by the end of 1999, with British English, French, German and Japanese versions to follow next year.


Steve Jobs gave some information about Apple financial status
  • Profits
    Apple has seen continued healthy profits from the previous conference
  • Units
    Apple has also see continued healthy unit sales.
  • Inventory
    Apple has reduced their inventory from 30 days to 1 day. In the last three quarters have beat Dell in inventory.
  • Cash
    The cash has continually improved over the last year.


Product Strategy
  • Consumer
    • iMac
    • Consumer Portable
  • Professional
    • Power Macintosh G3
    • PowerBook G3 
  • Who's buying the iMac?
    • 32 % are first time computer buyers
    • 13 % Wintel converts
    • In Japan 49% are first time computer buyers
  • Sears
    Confirming earlier reports, Steve Jobs also announced that Apple would be expanding its retail distribution to Sears locations nation wide beginning on Memorial Day Weekend. Jobs praised Sears as a beneficial outlet for Apple sales and held high hopes for a bright future and relationship between the two companies and their customers.
    • 844 Sear Stores
    • 32 Million Households
Power Macintosh G3
  • Nothing new announced

PowerBook G3

"The new PowerBooks are the fastest, lightest and longest battery life full-featured notebooks in the industry," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "We hope our customers are delighted with these great new PowerBooks." 

The new PowerBook line features
  • Thin and light design - 5.9 pounds with CD and battery, 5.7 pounds with battery and weight saving module;
  • Fast 333MHz or 400MHz PowerPC G3 processor;
  • Brilliant 14.1-inch active-matrix display;
  • Up to ten hours of battery life through dual lithium-ion batteries
  • Support for up to 384MB of SDRAM;
  • Built-in ATI Rage LT Pro video controller and 8MB of video memory;
  • VGA and S-Video ports for dual display and video mirroring;
  • Two USB ports for connection to the latest generation of computer peripherals;
  • Support for FireWire® via Newer Technology's FireWire To Go CardBus Card;
  • Built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet;
  • Easy access to RAM expansion and removable hard drive through flip-up keyboard;
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM option with onboard DVD-Video support and hot swappable expansion bay.
Pricing and Availability
The following configurations of the new PowerBook line are available from the U of U Bookstore and The Apple Store™ (
  • 4.1-inch TFT display/333MHz/512K L2 cache/64MB/4GB hard drive/24x-speed (max) CD ROM/Ethernet/ 56K modem U.S. ERP $2,499;
  • 14.1-inch TFT display/400MHz/1MB L2 cache/64MB/6GB hard drive/2x-speed
  • DVD-ROM/Ethernet/56K modem U.S. ERP $3,499.
Consumer Portable
Jobs disappointed those anxious for a 'consumer portable' announcement today, saying that it would be announced "a little later this year."

PowerBook Give Away
Jobs then went on to announced that Apple would be giving away 50 PowerBooks to WWDC attendees during the course of the conference; one every hour; he issued the first two while on stage.


Jobs announced that Apple is shipping OpenGL today, and that it should be available from Apple's website sometime today. Phil Schiller came on to demonstrate an OpenGL enhanced version of X-Plane, which looked pretty neat.

OpenGL is a robust and mature 3D software library that offers a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other powerful visualization functions, and also provides for close coupling with powerful graphics acceleration hardware. OpenGL is recognized by 3D application developers worldwide as the premier API for developing leading-edge 3D applications, and is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the continuing evolution of graphics hardware.


The latest MRJ is 5 times faster than the version it is replacing, at over 7000 caffeine marks.

Java on the Wintel platform is currently running at about 8600 caffeine marks. Jobs mentioned at one point in time Apple had actually beating Microsoft in terms of Java performance, but just as suddenly had lost the lead due to new

Avie Tevanian talked a little bit about Java 2 and perform some demonstrations of Apple development software that crushed the Pentium III in terms of Java 2 performance. The 400MHz Macintosh G3 was actually 4 times faster than the 500MHz Pentium III.


There have been over 10 million downloads of the Star Wars QuickTime trailer to date, and Jobs emphasized that even though a low-quality version of the trailer was available at about 5MB the majority of the people who downloaded the trailer all choose to wait for the higher quality version at about 25MB.

To date, there have also been 1 Million downloads of QuickTime 4.0 beta. Jobs promised that Apple will be adding more QuickTime 4.0 Streaming Content partners in the coming week and a little later in the presentation Phil Schiller announced that Apple has just added National Public Radio as a QuickTime 4.0 Streaming Content partner.

Phil Schiller also performed a variety of QuickTime Streaming demonstrations while Avie Tevanian talked about the Open Sourced QuickTime Streaming Server.

Mac OS 8.6

Jobs announced that Apple has shipped over 3.6 million copies of Mac OS 8.5 to date, and then went on to finally introduce Mac OS 8.6, which is now available from Apple's FTP servers free of charge.

In terms of advancements in Mac OS 8.6, Jobs advocated greatly improved battery life on PowerBooks running Mac OS 8.6 as opposed to Mac OS 8.5 One PowerBook running Mac OS 8.5 sustained battery life of about 3 hours and 10 minutes, while an identical unit running Mac OS 8.6 kept ticking for about 4 hours and 20 minutes.


Steve Jobs had the pleasure of announcing a sneak preview of Sonata. Apparently Apple has not decided what they would like to call the product yet. Jobs stated that Sonata features over 50 major feature enhancements and then, with the help of Schiller and Tevanian, went on to demo two of the: 
  • Sherlock II - Next Generation Sherlock
    • Allows users to create sets of sherlock plugins.
    • Supports LDAP Servers - Allowing Sherlock to search for People on the Internet.
    • New Interface with plugins tray that is Similar to the QuickTime 4.0 bookmarks tray. The actual application appears to have gained some weight as well
    • Search results open directly in the Sherlock window (below the criteria field), and not in a separate results window.
    • Sherlock II also supports eCommerce sites like eBay and and displays pricing of specific search criteria in the Sherlock results. Steve touted this as "The easiest way to shop on the Internet."
  • Multiple Users - A Mac OS X Feature
    • Mac OS X Style Login Screen
    • Voice Signature Log On
    • Each user on Sonata retains separate Finder preferences, Internet preferences, font preferences, etc.
    • Each user may have separate and private files as well.
  • Keycain
    • The Keychain will make its debut as an integrated feature in Sonata. Will also allow users to encrypt files using new Apple encryption technology.

Mac OS X

As of today Apple is posting a completely functional version of Darwin in the form of a binary on their website.

Apple also announced Quartz -- a whole new imaging and graphics model for Mac OS X, built around Adobe standards such as PDF. Phil Schiller performed a demonstration of an application taking advantage of Quartz as Jobs stated " developers do not have to reinvent the wheel."

Jobs then announced that Apple has renamed the transparent BlueBox: Classic. The YellowBox has been renamed Cocoa, which now contains the Java layer, allowing developers to write full fledged applications for Mac OS X in pure Java calling the Cocoa APIs.

To date 5,500 apps have been carbon dated, Jobs said, and went on to mention that as an average, 90% of the code in all these applications were already Carbon compliant. Avie Tevanian later stated that Carbon is nearly completed and soon to be frozen.

To vouch support for their new APIs, or "to eat their own dog food," as Jobs likes to say, Jobs announced that Apple is developing a new products for both Carbon and Cocoa: For Carbon, Apple is developing a brand new Finder. The new Finder, which was demonstrated on stage, finally integrates network volumes directly into the Finder application. In other words, the day of the Chooser is no more.

Mac OS X will include an integrated e-mail system written in by Apple entirely in Cocoa. When demonstrated, the e-mail application rendered PDF documents right in the body of the e-mail window via Quartz. E-mail searching was performed using integrated Sherlock. As the user is typing, Sherlock begins searching the message database. There is no need to even hit the return key, The new e-mail application, along with its built-in Sherlock technology, also allows searching of contents of PDF attachments, and so forth.

Mac OS X Schedule
With just a few minutes left to go in the keynote Steve Jobs began to unveil Apple's latest software release schedule for Mac OS X Client. He announced that Developer Preview 1, which basically consists of the Mac OS Client System, is available today. Developers at the conference were able to pick up a copy as they left the keynote this afternoon.

In the Developer Preview 1, Apple has replaced Mach 2.5 with 3.0, added the Quartz imaging and graphics model, and changed the Mac OS X compiler (to EGCS).

Developer Preview 2.0 in due later this fall, with Mac OS X Client retail due sometime in early 2000.


In closing Steve hoped that Apple's software strategy was beginning to seem a little boring without drastic changes being made every year. In fact he noted that "zero" changes have been made to Apple's strategy since last year, a positive foundation to begin building a much healthier Macintosh platform.