Macworld Expo: Jobs offers Keynote

by Steve Anglin

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Macworld Expo: Jobs offers Keynote. No, I'm not talking about the keynote speech, but Keynote, the application. In this report covering the Macworld Expo in San Francisco today, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs talks about his company's latest offerings, including a new presentation application, called Keynote.

"'We built this for me, and so I wanted to share it with you,' Jobs said, adding that he used test versions of the software for all his Macworld presentations in 2002. The program conceivably would compete with Microsoft's version of PowerPoint for the Mac. 'Keynote imports and exports PowerPoint,' Jobs said. The program also supports Adobe's PDF and Apple's QuickTime formats. Keynote will be available starting Tuesday for $99."

Given the end of the Apple-Microsoft software partnership agreement last year that dated back to 1997 as part of a "bailout" deal, Apple is now "free" to develop and sell applications like Keynote to its customers. Look for this to be the beginning of an Office-like bundle that could also include a word processor, spreadsheet, and email. I expect that Apple will likely develop internally, but may consider possible acquisition or use of Corel's WordPerfect and Quattro Pro suite or even Sun's StarOffice.

Also announced in today's keynote: Safari. No, it's not the O'Reilly Network Safari bookshelf, but Safari, Apple's new turbo-charged Web browser to replace Apple's prior use of IE. Apple's Safari should suit the multimedia user.

This may leave Microsoft out in the cold when it comes to Apple. However, Microsoft is still a factor in the Apple universe, and .NET may be the key. It's no coincidence that Microsoft's Rotor project allows .NET applications to be developed and used on FreeBSD based systems and that Mac OS X is based on a FreeBSD-like kernel.