Jobs reveals new PowerBooks in keynote speech

— 2:04 PM on January 7, 2003

Steve Jobs' keynote speech is over, no doubt leaving many Macolytes in an RDF-induced daze. Software took center stage this year, which should come as no surprise. Apple has been beating the software drum to encourage more users to upgrade to the new operating system.

In his keynote, whose details you can find here, Jobs announced updates to many existing iApps, and also a few new additions. "Keynote" is a new presentation tool that should compete with Microsoft's PowerPoint, and "Safari" is a minimalist, open source web browser that's apparently faster than IE, Netscape, and Chimera.

On the hardware side, Jobs announced a couple of new notebooks. 17" and 12" PowerBooks were revealed, featuring 1GHz and 867MHz G4 processors, respectively. The notebooks use graphics chips from NVIDIA, and both appear to support 802.11g "Airport Extreme." The 17" PowerBook, which is limited to a resolution of 1440x990, also supports Bluetooth, Firewire 2, and very cool keyboard illumination system that senses ambient light levels.

If you're interested in Apple primarily for their notebooks or software, there's plenty of good stuff in the keynote. However, desktop Mac users will probably be a little disappointed that Jobs didn't announce any new desktop hardware. There was no mention of any plan to revamp the desktop or workstation line to be more competitive, performance-wise, with PCs, and not even a hint at whether Apple would use upcoming 64-bit processors from IBM or AMD.

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