At the Macworld Expo in San Francisco Jan. 5, Apple unveiled its new Mac OS X, the next generation Macintosh operating system, and also announced a new internet strategy. The company has introduced a new category of internet services called iTools and a completely redesigned Apple.com web site featuring reviews of web sites in a section called iReview.
At the core of Apple’s internet strategy is iTools, a new category of internet services that takes advantage of Apple’s technology on both ends of the internet–Mac OS 9 on the client side and services software (iTools) running on Apple’s internet servers.
Apple’s first four iTools are KidSafe, a way to protect children on the internet; Mac.com, an eMail service run by Apple, giving users an exclusive address on the internet; iDisk, a new way to store, transfer, and share files over the internet; and HomePage, an easy way to build your own web site in less than 10 minutes, according to Apple.
The company’s Mac OS X is a completely new implementation of the Macintosh operating system, featuring state-of-the-art technology throughout, including an entirely new user interface called “Aqua.” Mac OS X is designed to make computing even easier for consumers, while simultaneously extending the functionality for professional users, Apple said.
New features of Apple’s Aqua technology include the “Dock,” a new way to organize everything from applications and documents to web sites and streaming video, and a new Finder which simplifies the storing, organizing, and retrieving of files, while unifying these functions on the host computer and across local area networks and the internet.
In addition, Aqua offers a dramatic new visual appearance. Luminous and semi-transparent elements–such as buttons, scroll bars, and windows–and fluid animation are designed to enhance the user’s experience. Jelly-colored buttons pulsate as if alive, and menu borders are translucent, allowing you to see the documents beneath them.
More than 100 developers, including Adobe and Microsoft, have pledged their support for the new operating system, Apple said. Mac OS X will be commercially released this summer.