Apple preparing war against Microsoft with Office compatible suite.
As many sites have already noticed, Apple is very aggressive with Microsoft since last year and some executives at Microsoft are fed up with Apple's moves. It seems that Apple doesn't want to depend on Microsoft's Mac products strategy any longer. That's why it has released a lot of software that is competitive with Microsoft products, one of them is iSync which allows Mac users to synchronize their Palm as well as other devices with their Mac.
So what's next ? Some rumor sites have talked about a new release of AppleWorks that would help Apple to become completely independent of Microsoft. Apple has actually a new AppleWorks suite under development and this time the upgrade will be huge!
According to sources who have some inside information on the development of AppleWorks, the new suite may even include transparent compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. Some sources even told us that Apple may give a new name to AppleWorks and that this new name could be something like Mac Office, Apple Office, iOffice or similar. A name like this should allow PC users not to get lost in case Microsoft discontinues its products for the Mac, while Microsoft won't be able to sue Apple for using it because it's a general word and no one can register it as a brand. One source talked about separate applications possibility: iWord, iCalc and iPresent ?
This new release of... let's call it iOffice, will probably be available in
two versions. A basic free version that will be shipped with every Mac,
and a professional edition for users who need more advanced features. The professional edition should have as many features as Microsoft Office.
By acting this way, Apple is either going to cut relations with Microsoft
or stimulate the software giant to make even better software for the Mac. But
who can actually make the best software for the Mac ? Who makes the killer
iAppz that have no counterpart in the Windows world ? If Apple makes it's next
Office suite a killer application like iTunes or iMovie, then Microsoft
will have a big problem, they'll definitely have to make a choice: doing better than Apple or giving up.
Don't hesitate to drop a mail here if you know more.
July the 17th 2002
MacWorld: Apple charges even new Mac users $19 for Mac OS X 10.2 upgrade, $129 for the others.
Can we say MacWorld NY was disappointing this year? No! We knew how it would be already. Apple must be thankful to all Mac rumor sites that prepared Mac users with bad news before the event, to not be disappointed then.
For me, the most disappointing thing wasn't the lack of PowerMac upgrade, but the price of Jaguar for current Mac OS X users. I had predicted on an earlier article that it should be free or almost free like 10.1 and that it would be released in late August or early September. I was wrong for the pricing. According to what I could understand on Apple's site, Mac users that buy Mac OS X 10.1 or a new Mac from today will actually be charged $19 for the upgrade to Jaguar and others will have to pay the full price of $129 even if they own Mac OS X. Please stop sending me mails asking me to tell you were to get Jaguar for free! Jaguar isn't free you must admit it. If you want to get it illegaly it's your problem but I will neither help you nor advise you to do so. If you don't like Apple's pricing policy, switch to Windows but you must know that Microsoft's pricing policy isn't better. As for .Mac, there is already a petition running asking Apple to not charge us money for mac.com email.
We didn't have only bad news or disappointements though. Apple dropped the price of the 5Gb iPod and released new 20Gb iPod with many new features which is really great news. Apple also released the long rumored 17 inch TFT iMac and dropped the high-end iMac's price $100. I thought they would drop $100 all the iMac TFT line but it's understandable, they have to keep margins up to stay alive.
For this year, the most accurate rumor site was ThinkSecret, they predicted almost everything for MacWorld, congrats!
To conclude, I can say that these days Apple wants Windows to Mac switchers so much that it forgets Mac users. I hope for Apple that a lot of Windows users will do the switch but I guess a lot of Mac users may switch to Windows too but it's not so bad after all ;) Apple prefers getting 95% of the market than keeping 5%.
July the 14th 2002
Jaguar 6C9X build! A preview of what Steve Jobs is going to show us at MacWorld NY.
During this week end, thanks to sources close to Apple, I could finaly have a hand on a 6C9X build. So I can show you something that looks like what Steve Jobs will demonstrate us during the MacWorld New York 2002 keynote.
Before starting with the 6C9X preview, I suggest you to take a look at our french friends' site, macosxtech.com, who have just posted an exclusive article with screenshots of Mac OS X Server 10.2 6C8X builds! As it's in french, I'm simply going to make you a quick summary: It's fast, it has Apache 2.0 pre-built but not set activated by default and many new features that you can see by yourself on the screenshots. Hey it's time to learn french!
Now lets get back to client 6C9X build which has changed boot screen again for a slightly smarter one. The first thing I can tell you once booted and tested for 10 minutes, is that this build is amazing in terms of performance, features and stability, it's still not a Golden Master but it's almost perfect. It is as fast as Mac OS 9 on my Mac and some friends even suggested it was sometimes quite faster than Mac OS 9. To give you an idiea I can say with no hesitation that it's 40% faster than current 10.1.5, on Finder as well as on any other application. Old crappy G3 owners will be very happy, it's like if their G3 has been upgraded to G4.
This seed fixes a lot of little bugs noticed in earlier builds, like a bug on the windows which had the bottom scroolling arrow hided. It also has some minor changes like a new and smarter Adressbook icon (again!) and a new wheel appearance. To finish with screenshots, take a look at the general preference pane which adds text anti-aliasing settings in recent builds.
It seems Apple has decided to make of Mac OS X a 100% standards based OS. New standards like LDAP are now supported as well. Some slight Apple modifications of BSD have been dropped, probably because it made Unix fans unhappy.
This amazing build shows us well that Apple is listening to its customers feedback to make of Mac OS X the best OS ever made. Apple has to show it to Windows users. They are going to be really sad. All that make me be less sceptic that I was last time about CNET's article claiming Jaguar will be released in early August. Let's say mid-August to end August.
July the 7th 2002
An exclusive look at Mac OS X Jaguar 6C85 build! UPDATED!
Thanks to some sources, I could recently play with one of the latest builds of Mac OS X Jaguar 6C85. The same sources told me that a 6C87 build also exists and that it's mainly a localisation update. I'll maybe be able to play with this new build soon.
In the installer of this seed, you can choose to install only the printer drivers you need (Epson, HP, Canon or other brands of printers). The first thing I noticed when I booted 6C85 is that it resets monitor's geometry during boot.
First, let's look at the Desktop, here you can see some of the new applications' icons like Adressbook which now has a smarter icon. You'll notice the new standard background image too, though it's not so important.
Now let's see the System Preferences which have been quite re-organized. The first time the System Preferences were launched, it showed re-organized version of panes and when I tryed to launch System Preferences later, the old organisation appeared but some new panes have been added on a new category called "Other" (Disks & Drives, Music, Photography and Video) , though these new panes don't seem functionnal at this moment. On the first launch, (with the new organisation of the panes) I noticed a new pane called "CDs & DVDs". It allows you to set the behavior of Mac OS X when you insert a CD or a DVD.
I'm not sure if it's a new feature on 6C85 but in Internationnal/Input Menu preferences, there is a new item at top called Character palette, as you click on it, a separate application launches. This application has a list of keyboards and a Font select box. When you click on one of the keyboards, it shows the available characters for each keyboard and font selected.
Since 6C75 seed, I noticed that Classic launches in only 30 seconds which is a major performance increase.
I guess this build has a lot of debugging code because I noticed that 6C85 is really slower than the last build I tested (6C75).
Neither 6C85 build I've just tested nor 6C87 I'll probably test soon seem to be close to the Golden Master. According to me there is still a lot of work to do and I'm quite sceptic about CNET's article that Mac OS X Jaguar will be released in early August. I see this release closer to late August or early September as I have mentionned in a recent article.
July the 2nd 2002
Some details on Jaguar 6C75 seed with screenshots.
One of the latest seed of Jaguar is 6C75. Our friends from Thinksecret and MacOSRumors have already posted some information about 6C7X seeds so I'll try to give you as exclusive stuff I can, followed by some screenshots.
This seed is much faster and has much more complete localisation than 6C48 we had tested. It comes with the latest version of Internet Explorer that points to Apple's site and not to MSN.
Apple System Profiler has some interface changes too. The Devices and Volumes tab looks clearer as shown on the picture.
On the Sharing preferences pane, you'll notice, the "Rendezvous Name" field and as on previous seeds, the Internet sharing preferences. Internet sharing on Jaguar is really cool and easy to use.
Some of you noticed that Roxio's Toast didn't work on last seeds of Jaguar. It works very well with this seed.
In terms of performance, it's really fast, especially when several tasks are running. It was tested on a PowerBook G3 @ 233Mhz and on a PowerMac G4 @ 400Mhz and we can say Finder 20% to 25% faster than earlier seeds.
In terms of stability, it's not so good, there are some problems with install packages and once installed, after some hours of tests and reboots, the system doesn't want to boot anymore on one of the Macs we tested it on.
Finally, on all screens, you can see that interface is now really smarter, especially the buttons which are thinner and more refined.
July the 1st 2002
Sources comfirm Alias/Wavefront purchase rumor! Apple also in talks with Newtek?
Not even 24 hours after the release of our article about Alias/Wavefront possible aquisition by Apple (see on June the 30th 2002), we already have two more sources comfirming that "Apple is willing to purchase Alias/Wavefront". Notice that "willing to purchase" doesn't obviously mean that Apple has been in talks with Alias/Wavefront. It may just be an idea that has been spread around by Apple executives.
One of the new sources even talks about another company that Apple would like to aquire, this company is Newtek, the makers of LightWave 3D software. According to the source, Apple doesn't want to depend on Avid and can't stand waiting for Autodesk to port its products for Mac. That's why Apple feels the need to aquire several 3D and video editing software companies since early 2002.
At the moment, it's impossible to say if these two new sources are reliable because they are new sources to macosXrumors.com. Many of you asked us if we are sure of what we posted. So all I can answer is that the Alias/Wavefront rumor is actually not totally comfirmed. Anyway, it will be comfirmed only when Mr Jobs himself will announce the official news. It's so for all the rumors that are posted here and on similar sites.
Our sources were asked to try to have more details, so you'll be informed as soon as there's something new. And your mails are welcome here.