Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, touted a new assortment of third party products for the Mac at the Macworld show in San Francisco on Wednesday, including the latest version of Microsoft's Web browser.
But when he introduced version 5.0 of Internet Explorer (IE) to the audience, he exclaimed: "I heard some hisses. I think it's the best browser on the platform."
Microsoft also plans to ship a new Mac version of its Office suite in the second half of 200l, and will port IE and the Outlook Express email program to the next version of the Mac operating system (OS), MacOS X.
But several hundred other Mac products, ranging from digital video devices to the latest peripherals, were also on display at the show.
On the hardware side, Jobs hailed a Scalar USB microscope, a compact USB scanner and a VST 100Gb portable Raid drive that includes four 25Gb drives and accommodates a Powerbook battery.
iRez Video Products, meanwhile, demonstrated its portable video offerings, including the Capsure Card, a full motion analogue capture card in PC Card form, and the Kritter SV portable video system.
Media 100 showed its iFinish streaming media production system, which is based on Windows NT and includes support for Apple Quicktime 4 streaming capabilities.
In the networking and communications arena, Smith Micro Software showcased its new Hotfax Messagecenter Pro voicemail management package, while Pagoo.com demonstrated its Pagoo Call Catcher service, which plays voicemail messages on a PC screen when only one phone line is avaiable and it is being used to connect to the Internet.
Graphics software on show included Binuscan's Watch & Smile photo retouching application for consumers, which has a Quicktime import function and can create interactive slide shows. These can be exported to a dedicated website for viewing by visitors, who have downloaded a free player application.
Storage vendor QPS rolled out its new line of Que USB and Firewire CD-RW and DVD-Ram drives with translucent iMac-style blue faceplates.
And Microtech International demonstrated the IBM Microdrive 170Mb and 340Mb, which it claims is the smallest hard drive on the market. It also unveiled the SmartFDD USB external floppy drive, a digital film reader called the USB Cameramate, and a variety of Compactflash and Smartmedia cards.
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