Steve Jobs WWDC 2006 Keynote - It's All Here - Includes Leopard Preview

« Previous article.
Next article. »


By: switchtoamac at: 1:33 PM on August 7, 2006 | Comments (0)
At the 2006 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at San Francisco's Moscone West, Apple Computer's CEO Steve Jobs kicked off the event with his usual keynote.  Jobs touched on numerous topics such as tid bits on the conference, Apple Retail Store data, and new Hardware announcements.   Most of the attention, however, was on the OS X 10.5 Leopard preview that Apple demonstrated to the public for the first time.  Jobs stated that the public release of Leoaprd is targeted for Spring 2007.  Developers attednding the conference will be provided with a developer preview copy of Leopard that includes all technologies and features shown during the demo.  Of note, there was no "One More Thing" announcement from Jobs.

Tid Bits

Jobs used his keynote to provide numerous updates and key metrics on the company and the conference.

  • Jobs mentioned that this year's WWDC had over 4200 registered attendees, the highest ever.  That's an increase of 20 percent over last year's WWDC.
  • Jobs also mentioned that developers from over 48 countries were in attendance and were part of the 3/4 of a mlllion registered developers for Mac
  • Jobs then went on to discuss Apple's retail store success and progress.  Jobs mentioned that the company has 157 stores and he went on to mention the 5th Avenue store in New York City.  Jobs also stated that that Apple retail stores saw 17 million visitors during the previous quarter.
  • Jobs then discussed market share and how Apple sells 50 percent of Macs to consumers new to the Mac.  Jobs also went on to state that the Mac growth rate is dramatically faster and the company is gaining market share.  He even mentioned that the Mac's market share skyrocketed in June.
The Intel Transition is Complete

Jobs then focues the crowd's attention to Phil Schiller who announced that the transition to Intel processors was complete.  This was done by introducing the MacPro.  Apple mentioned that the transition was finished and it took just 210 days.  Phil Schiller took the stage and gave an overview of the new Mac Pro as the PowerMac said its good bye.  Some of the specs of the Mac Pro are as follows:

  • Same PowerMac case but two optical drives, all dual core but the inside is entirely new
  • Intel Woodcrest processors that are based on the Core 2 Duo architecture
  • Up to 3 Ghz and 64 bit
  • 16 GB memory
  • Radeon x1900 or FX4500 graphics
  • Wireless BT & Airport
  • 4 MB shared L2 cache
  • 128 bit vector engine
  • 4 PCI express slots
  • More I/O on the front and back

The Mac Pro represents a big jump in performance when compared to the prior generation PowerMac G5 systems.  The Mac Pro has room for up to four hard drives and 2 TB of internal storage.  Next came the announcement of the new Xserve that utilize Xeon processors and have quad performance, similar specifications to the Mac Pro.

Focus on Leopard

Jobs stressed that Leopard is the sixth major release of Mac OS X and it will ship in the Spring 2007.  Jobs stated that Apple has 19 million active OS X users.  Jobs went on to reiterate the 210 day transition from a software perspective and how 86 million lines of source code were ported to run on Intel processors.  There are now over 3000 Universal Binary applications for Mac OS X that can run on both Intel or PowerPC based build of the OS X operating system.

Betrand Serlet then took the stage and started to poke fun at Microsoft's copying of features found in Mac OS X Tiger.  There was a reference to the 2004 banner, "Redmond Start Your Photocopiers", and a mention of how Microsoft was copying features OS X features.  There was even a presentation of slides that showed screen shots of Tiger and Windows Vista the the numerous similarities.

Jobs then retook the stage and mentioned that the company was only going to preview Leopard as the operating system has some top secret features that cannot be shown yet.  Jobs also mentioned that it's not a good idea to start photocopiers too early, a clear stab at Vista.  The remainder of the keynote showcased ten major features included in Leopard.  Jobs then introduced Scott Forestall, Apple’s Vice President of Platform Experience.


Forestall described how Leopard is a truly 64-bit operating system by stating, “We’ve now got 64-bit Unix”.  Forestall explained that Leopard can run 32-bit applications side-by-side with 64-bit applications without emulation and no need for translation.  Leopard is a full 64-bit application top to bottom.

Time Machine 

Time Machine is a truly versatile backup solution that automatically backs up a Mac to either a server or another hard disk.  It will automatically configure a hard drive for back up once plugged into a Mac running Leopard.  You can restore everything or specific files.  Time Machine allows you to get files back by going back to a specific a date or time and there is also a timeline on the right side of the application.  The software can also automatically find old files with a touch of a button.  The cool thing is that Finder windows can move through the timeline and you'll see your Mac travel to a previous point in time.  It's really cool.  Time Machine can work with third-party applications as well as Apple's own software such as iPhoto.

Complete Package

Jobs retook the stageand  then went on to discuss how Apple will deliver the complete package with Leopard.  Jobs stated, "We’ve got applications as beta, applications as separate downloads, we’re going to ship all of them with Leopard".  He went on to discuss Boot Camp and how it will ship as part of Leopard.  Overall, the reaction to Boot Camp has been very positive with over 500,000 downloads.  Leopard will include the next generation of Front Row and Photo Booth and you'll be able to access all of your media stored on a Mac from across a room.  Jobs also stated that Apple will expand the number of web cameras that can work with Photo Booth.

Spaces - Virtual Desktops

Jobs then went on to introduce Virtual Desktops, what Apple calls Spaces.  Spaces allow you to create different desktop spaces for different groups of applications and work environments.  You can group applications into a Space and switch over to that space to do work.  For example, you can group Mail and Safari together and when you launch Mail, you are automatically taken to the Mail and Safari Space.  Jobs described Spaces by stating its “a new way of working on your Mac”.  You will be able to drag and drop across spaces.  You can drag and drop files, folders, and even applications across Spaces.


Forestall retook the stage to describe Spotlight.  He states that Spotlight will see several advancements and improvements in the upcoming Leopard operating system.  A great feature will be the ability to search other machines on the same network (with permission).  This is great if you own several Macs.  There will also be advanced search options (boolean, file type, etc).  Spotlight will include an application launcher that will buffer recently used applications to allow easy access and launch.

Core Animation

Forestall also described this new feature by stating that it will "dramatically increase" the production value of applications.  He stated, "You define a start state, a goal state and possibly keyframes in between."  All that needs to be done is that the developer need to define the layout, Core Animation will do the rest. A demo was performed.

Universal Access

Jobs then went on to state that Apple wants to provide everyone the chance to use OS X and that Apple is focusing on access for all Leopard users.  Jobs gave a demonstration of the new VoiceOver, Apple's text-to-speech technology.  The newly improved VoiceOver has a natural-sounding voice.  There is also closed captioning support for QuickTime, Braille support, and more. Leopard enables users of all types to be able to access all the features within the operating system.


There have also been major enchancements to Mail, Apple's email application for OS X.  Mail has been updated to include HTML based stationary, notes, and To Do's.  Mail now has the ability to take any incoming email and turn it into a To Do complete with features such as priority, due dates, and alarms.  There is a new special mailbox in called "Notes".  Jobs demoed the new Mail features.  The features can be integrated with other Apple applications and it is already integrated with iCal.


There are currently 2500 Widgets available for Tiger.  Dashcode, a developer tool, allows developers to easily create Dashboard Widgets by allowing them to design, develop and debug Widgets via templates.  Dashcode also functions as a CSS visual editor and JavaScript editor/debugger. Leopard users can turn any part of a web page into a Widget with "Web Clip", a demo was provided.


iChat has seen major enhancements.  It now has tabs, multiple logins, animated icons, video recording, invisibility, and live Photo Booth effects.  Once again, we saw the usual iChat video conference demonstration with Apple's Phil Schiller.  The demo showcased transitions and effects.  iChat now includes the ability to put in photo and video based "Backdrops" to allow you to change the look of where you are, there are even motion backdrops.

You can view the Keynote at Apple's site.


August 8, 2006

  • Corrections and content modification 

Speak your mind - Leave a Comment