Apple unveils new MacBook Pro, iLife/iWork suites at Macworld

Also drops DRM from iTunes, adds online collaboration to iWork at 'subdued' Macworld

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ILife '09, which will be available later this month, will list for $79 as an upgrade and for $99 for a family pack that comes with a five-Mac license. The new suite will be bundled with all new Macs starting at the same time, Schiller said.

Apple's iWork application bundle also got a refresh, and Schiller walked Macworld attendees through a demo that highlighted a full-screen view in Pages, the suite's word processor; a new mail-merge function and 40 new templates in Numbers, the spreadsheet application; and Keynote Remote, a 99-cent iPhone and iPod Touch application that lets users display a Keynote presentation on the device and control a Mac running a slide show from the device.

Unlike iLife, iWork '09 goes on sale today, said Schiller, at prices of $79 for a one-license copy and $99 for a five-license family pack. Customers who order it along with a new Mac, however, will pay $49.

"The most interesting part of all this, though, is," said Gottheil, referring to the online component that Apple will release at an undetermined future date. "Right now, it looks like a reasonable commenting-style way of collaborating. It's no breakthrough, but if they continue to develop this, it will potentially be a lever to move into the collaboration market.", which is available now free of charge as a beta, allows users of iWork '09 to upload, then share, documents with others, as well as add comments to shared documents.

Apple has not set a timeline for's release, nor has it said what it will charge for the final version.

Missing from Apple's keynote -- other than its CEO, who yesterday revealed that he is undergoing treatment for what he called a "hormone imbalance" -- was any word about a slew of rumors that had raced through the Apple community for the last several weeks. Subjects that went undiscussed included anticipated refreshes of the iMac and Mac Mini desktop machines, a smaller or cheaper version of the iPhone and a netbook-style computer.

"I expected to see a netbook," said Gottheil, who had speculated last month that Apple would announce a pair of smaller, lighter laptops to counter the growth of the cheapest PC notebooks.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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