Apple's OS bundle keeps OS9 alive

Wins out in new dual-boot option

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Apple WWDC Apple began bundling Mac OS X with all new Macs today, although the venerable OS 9 will continue to remain the default OS. Although this fulfills an earlier promise to 'pre-load' the new OS by the summer, it falls short of the promise from less than a year ago that OS X would 'ship as standard'.

Given the scarcity of drivers for the Apple's new pride and joy, there's little else the company could realistically do without (metaphorically) crippling punters.

CEO Steve Jobs also promised that a free copy OS X would be bundled with all Macs currently in the channel. In true Jobs fashion, the move was hailed as proof of Apple shipping "two months ahead of schedule" - which brought a great cheer from the WWDC audience at the San Jose Convention Center. (But not, we suspect, from anyone who paid $129 for OS X on Saturday...)

The bundling deal gives consumers a chance to dabble with OS X, however that's probably all they'll do until native productivity, video, audio and graphics applications ship begin to arrive in numbers.

Apple also announced OS X Server edition, as expected, with $499 for a ten-user licence, or $999 for an unlimited licence. The neglected WebObjects gets its annual revamp to 5.0, for a minimal fee.

Jobs announced a new 17in LCD monitor for $999, and cut the price of the 21in by $500 to $2499 and the 15in by $200 to $599. Many graphics professionals will now be obliged to use non-Apple monitors to complement their Apple kit. The 17in CRT monitor is to be discontinued, as Apple promised a fortnight ago, leaving Apple with an all-LCD monitor range.

If you wonder why color-fussy graphics professionals don't use LCDs, and you're sat at one, just try rocking from side to side.

Both Jobs and Tevanian recognized that performance is a concern - generally, and with specific developers - and also used a marathon two and a half hour keynote to give NeXT-derived technology a higher profile than it's seen before. More details shortly. ®

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