Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, has outlined the company's new Internet strategy, which includes new iTools Internet services and a redesigned Apple.com website.
He also provided the audience at the Macworld show in San Francisco on Wednesday with a glimpse of the forthcoming MacOS X.
But while he surprised analysts by failing to announce any new hardware products, Jobs stressed that the most likely business model for Apple in the near future was dealing with hardware and software integration.
"There's no other company that can bring innovation to the marketplace like Apple can. Apple is the last company in our industry that makes the whole widget," he claimed.
He also said that the MacOS X would be handed over to developers this spring. The new operating system (OS), which he claims will be easier to use and have a new interface called 'Aqua', will include colour and translucent dropdown menus for applications. The bottom of the computer screen will include a modified tool bar to enable users to monitor applications running in the background, and in addition to the traditional Icon and List views, a new browser view will also enable customers to save the details of their navigational history and return to any point in the sequence, Jobs explained.
The first four iTools services, on the other hand, which comprised Kidsafe, Mac.com, iDisk and Homepage, were free of charge and required the MacOS 9 to run, he said.
Kidsafe is intended to prevent children from viewing inappropriate Web material. Rather than using filtering software, it includes a database of more than 50,000 websites that have been approved by teachers and librarians, and it can disable chat rooms, email messages and downloads.
Mac.com, an email service run by Apple, provides users with an exclusive Internet address and works with standard POP email clients such as Outlook Express, Eudora and Netscape Communicator.
IDisk offers customers 20Mb of personal storage on Apple's Internet Server so they can store, transfer and share files over the Web, while Homepage enables them to build personal websites in less than 10 minutes and host them on Apple's servers.
The newly redesigned Apple.com website, meanwhile, includes iReview, which was billed as a website review guide, and iCards, an electronic greeting card site. iReview contains more than 250 related sites that have been reviewed and rated by Apple, while iCards provides greeting cards that can be sent and viewed as standard email.
"Our new iReviews, iCards and iTools offer amazing new ways for Mac users to take full advantage of the Internet. Mac users can now do things on the Internet that Wintel users can only dream of," Jobs attested.
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