Apple Web browser makes Macworld debut

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Apple Web browser makes Macworld debut

Apple Computer chief executive officer Steve Jobs introduced Safari, the company's own Web browser, during his keynote address at the Macworld trade show yesterday.

Safari is available now in beta as a free download at the Apple Web site. It is built on open-source code and includes integrated Google search functions in the toolbar.

Jobs claimed Safari outperformed Internet Explorer, Netscape and Chimera in a variety of speed tests on an 800MHz G4 Mac.

Jobs also rolled out iDVD 3, an update to Apple's DVD-burning software, iMovie 3 for home-moving making, iPhoto 2, for digital photographs and iTunes 3.

All four software products will be available from 25 January in an integrated package called iLife, which will cost $49 (£31), and be bundled with new Macintosh computers. Users will be able to download for free all of the new iApp upgrades, except iDVD.

The other new software Jobs demonstrated is Keynote, which sells for $99 and is available now. The presentation application will compete against PowerPoint. "Keynote was built for me," Jobs said, adding that he has been using beta versions of it during keynote speeches over the past year.

The software allows users to set presentation themes, create data tables, charts and graphs from within the application and to use a host of transitions and image effects when designing presentations. Keynote can also import and export files into PowerPoint and PDF, creating a level of Windows compatibility.

Jobs also showed off a dizzying number of new PowerBook computers - a 17-inch Titanium G4 that will sell for $3,299 and a 12-inch PowerBook for $1,799 or $1,999 with a SuperDrive.

The two notebooks constitute the largest and smallest notebooks available from Apple, and are part of an effort increase its share of the notebook market. About 32% of all the computers Apple sold in 2002 were notebooks. Jobs said notebook sales would reach about 35% this year.

The 17-inch Titanium G4 features a landscape 1440 x 900 display and borrows display technology from the flat-panel iMac.

The 17-inch Titanium PowerBook features built-in Bluetooth wireless technology, and also is the first to introduce Apple's new FireWire 800 technology, which is said to run twice as fast as the original technology.

True to Apple's innovation in design, the notebook also features an industry first - a keyboard with fibreoptic back lighting - which enables the keys to light up automatically when the computer detects that it is in a dark environment.

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