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Apple Watchers Expect New Software Announcements

SAN FRANCISCO: Rumors are flying among Apple Computer's faithful as today opens the Apple Worldwide Developer's Forum. If the comments from the Web message boards and rumor Web sites are any indication about what will come from the week-long conference, Steve Jobs will unveil some new hardware -- possibly a new consumer desktop -- and beta versions of new software -- maybe a demo version of the OS X client. Apple followers say that really big news might be split between this show and the Macworld Expo in New York City, which is two months away. Observers expect that interim-CEO Jobs will unveil new hardware and software products, including the actual versions of the Mac OS X client software -- the predecessor of which is the Mac OS X server that was introduced earlier this year. Apple also could announce QuickTime 4.0, which the company has had problems ramping up. The company has already released a beta version of the program and had promised that the real version would be released by July. On Apple rumor sites, reports indicate that Jobs also will unveil the Mac OS 8.6. It is not clear whether Apple will release any of its long-awaited hardware, including a new consumer portable, a new PowerBook and speed hikes on the Power Macintosh G3 line.

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