NEW YORK — Apple CEO Steve Jobs meandered casually onto the stage at the Jacob Jarvits Convention Center to kick off MacWorld 2001 Wednesday, and the jam-packed hall roared its devotion at the denim-outfitted king of all things Mac.
The audience’s giddiness could hardly be contained. After all, Apple has been busy of late. And Jobs wasted no time by first introducing the crowd, via a prepared video, to the company’s new retail outlet in Minneapolis. Shortly thereafter, he announced the company’s goal was to open 25 Apple stores across the United States by year’s end.
“The results so far have been terrific,” exclaimed Jobs, as the word ‘terrific’ appeared simultaneously on the huge display screen behind him.
Apple’s “Think Different” slogan has been expanded to attract the consuming masses to “Shop Different”. The retail stores include an in-store help desk cleverly called the “Genius Desk”.
“If the genius behind the counter can’t answer your question,” Jobs remarked. “There’s a hotline that goes directly to Apple in Cupertino, California they can access.”
But the real thrust behind Job’s keynote speech wasn’t to laud his company’s recent efforts, it was to thrill the gathered Mac enthusiasts with future applications announcements and the unveiling of the first major upgrade to Mac OS X.
“Within the next 10 months, we’ll be able to add a significant number of new apps to Mac OS X,” he said.
“You’ll be pleased to know that 10.1 is founded on performance, performance, performance. You name it, it is faster.”
Indeed, Mac OS 10.1 is fast when it comes to opening any file, image, application or otherwise, Jobs as he demonstrated the OS’s performance.
Jobs also welcomed 10 guest speakers from various software providers to introduce their individual wares. These included Microsoft, Adobe, QuarkXPress, Alias/Wavefront, Worldbook, IBM, and Conne ctix Group.
“Microsoft Office 10 can run only on the Mac OS X and it’s a warmer version of Word,” explained Kevin Browne, general manager, Mac business unit, for Microsoft Corp. “We’ve redesigned 700 tool bar buttons, the formatting power is much improved and the Aqua interface helps make the apps more accessible.
“But there’s more to OS 10.1 than the Aqua interface, it can produce graphically-rich and stunning documents. It puts the tools you need at your fingertips.”
Kurt Schmucker, vice-president of product management for Connectix Group, also sang Mac OS 10.1’s praises.
“The virtual PC for OS X is available today,” Schmucker said. “All versions of Windows can run on this version and you can run as many (as you want) simultaneously, as long as you have the RAM for it.”
Richard Kerris, the former director for Maya Technologies and spokesperson for Toronto-based Alias/Wavefront, said Apple computers and the Mac OS 10.1 were the necessary cornerstones for the running of strong 3D graphics applications and the tool of choice for 3D professionals.
Apple also introduced and a new line of G4 towers, called QuickSilver and a number of new iMac configurations at the show.