Steve Jobs, long-standing interim chief executive of Apple, has praised developers for standing by the manufacturer during its downturn in fortunes as it unveiled two notebooks, along with updates to the Macintosh operating system.
At the Worldwide Developer Conference held last week in Silicon Valley, Jobs told the audience of about 2,500 Apple partners and developers that the Macintosh had 'again become the centre of innovation in personal computing and our developers deserve a great deal of the credit for this'.
He added there were now more than 3,100 updated Mac software titles that have been announced during the past year.
Apple also unveiled two Powerbooks, powered by copper-based 333MHz and 400MHz Power PC G3 processors. According to Jobs, the notebooks provide 'true desktop performance' and run up to twice as fast as the processors in Pentium II-based notebooks.
The Powerbook line comes with 14.1in LCD screens and include industry standard USB, 10/100Base-T Ethernet and 56K v90 modem ports.
Apple also announced the immediate availability of Mac OS 8.6, a significant upgrade to the Macintosh OS which Jobs revealed was free to owners of Mac OS 8.5. Improved features include an easier to use and more powerful Sherlock search feature, system stability improvements, and better USB and Firewire integration.
Phil Schiller, vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple, said: 'Mac OS 8.5 has been a hit with Mac customers all over the world and Sherlock has changed the way people access information on the internet.'
Jobs also revealed that OpenGL for Macintosh, a version of Silicon Graphics' application programming interface (API) and software library for 3D graphics was shipping. OpenGL is a 3D software library that offers a set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other visualisation functions.
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