Steve Jobs to speak at WWDC; a look back at past shows

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference has made some big news in recent years

Apple Inc. today announced, as it has for years, that CEO Steve Jobs would kick off next month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company's annual confab for IT professionals and application developers. It's scheduled for June 11-15 in San Francisco.

Details of what Jobs will talk about are -- as always -- state secrets at the Cupertino, Calif., company. The only hint: "Apple plans to show developers a feature-complete version of Mac OS X Leopard and give them a beta copy to take home for final testing."

Sure to outshine any talk of Leopard, however, will be whatever Jobs says about the new iPhone, Apple's entry into the mobile smart phone market. The iPhone, which has siphoned developers from Leopard, is to go on sale in June. Leopard, by contrast, was due out this spring, but has been delayed until the fall.

But just because Computerworld doesn't know what Jobs will say doesn't mean it's forgotten what he did say at WWDC events in the past. So with an eye on the upcoming conference -- which costs $1,595 a person -- take a spin through the WWDC Wayback Machine for a trip down memory lane.

WWDC 2006: Jobs unwraps an early look at Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard; promises that "secret" features will be revealed only when the new operating system ships. "We don't want our friends in Redmond to start their photocopiers just yet," Jobs says. Cost per person for WWDC last year: $1,595.

WWDC 2005: Jobs drops the bombshell, telling a crazed audience that Apple will migrate its hardware from PowerPC processors to chips made by Intel. His promise: "We intend to release Leopard at the end of 2006 or early 2007, right about the time Microsoft expects to release Longhorn [nee Windows Vista]." Cost per person: $1,595.

WWDC 2004: Jobs talks up the next Mac OS X, Version 10.4, dubbed Tiger, which will replace the Panther in the first half of 2005. He touts Tiger's new Spotlight search technology. Apple pokes fun of rival Microsoft with banners that read "Redmond, start your photocopiers" and "Redmond, we have a problem." He also signals disappointment with IBM as Apple's processor supplier, presaging his big announcement a year later. "IBM has done very well relative to the rest of the industry, but less than we'd hoped." Cost per person: $1,595.

WWDC 2003: Jobs lauds the upcoming Power Mac G5 as the world's fastest personal computer. And it's "just the beginning," he says. He also promises that Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) will be out by the end of the year and talks up iTunes, the online music store Apple had launched just eight weeks prior, saying it's already sold five million tracks. Cost per person: $1,295.

WWDC 2002: Jobs wears black -- big surprise -- to hold mock funeral for Mac OS 9. "Today we say farewell to OS 9 for all future development, and we focus our energies on developing for Mac OS X," Jobs says. Jaguar, aka Mac OS X 10.2, will be out by the end of the summer. Cost per person: $1,295.

WWDC 2001: Jobs gives his reason for returning to Apple. "I came to Apple almost four years ago, and one of the big reasons I came was because I didn't want to use Windows for the rest of my life. That involved making some better hardware and software." Mac OS X, which Apple debuted two months before the conference, now sports more than 600 native apps, boasts Jobs. From now on, he says, all Macs will ship with Mac OS X. Cost per person: $1,595.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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