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Apple previews OSX 10.7 Lion and Macbook Air

Warwick Ashford

Apple has given a sneak peek at the next major release of its Mac operating system, due to be released in mid-2011, and unveiled the latest version of the Macbook Air.

Apple highlighted some of the features of Mac OS X 10.7, codenamed Lion, which is the eighth major release of the operating system.

The features include the Mac App Store, a new way to update desktop apps; system-wide support for full screen apps; and Mission Control, a new view of everything running on a Mac.

"Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive officer.

Unveiling the new Macbook Air, Apple said it was the first of a next generation of lighter and smaller notebooks, which will replace mechanical hard disks and optical drives with Internet services and solid state flash storage for increased speed and reliability.

"We've taken what we have learned with the iPad-solid state storage, instant-on, amazing battery standby time, miniaturisation and lightweight construction to create the Macbook Air," said Jobs.

The Macbook Air, weighing between 2.3 and 2.9 pounds depending on screen size, is 0.68 inches at its thickest point, will be available in 11 and 13-inch models, and has built-in cameras, mice and stereo speakers.

Apple claims up to seven hours of battery life and up to 30 days of standby time. The Macbook Air will be available in the UK with prices ranging from £849 to £1,349.

Apple has also launched a new version of the iLife software suite with major upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband.

iPhoto '11 features new full-screen modes, iMovie '11 includes new tools for adjusting audio levels and adding visual effects, and Garageband '11 includes two new ways to fix or change the timing of recordings.


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