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Apple Newsbites

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As the legendary computer company kicks off its WorldWide Developers Conference, Apple makes some big and some little news.

There won’t be a more heavily covered Apple story this week than the now-official company switch from PowerPC to Intel processors for its computers, unless Steve Jobs starts signing copies of iCon in front of the Moscone Center and giving them away.

During Mr. Jobs keynote address at WWDC, Apple brought out a Mac running Mac OS X Tiger. That Mac had Intel inside, according to the company. It’s a significant change for Apple developers, who have built applications for the PowerPC platform for a decade.

Developers will be able to purchase a Developer Transition Kit for $999 from Apple, which will let them build for PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Microsoft and Adobe, two hugely important pieces of the Mac software community, voiced their support for the microprocessor switch.

The change in chip providers gives Apple more of a push into the laptop market. Laptops have begun to outsell desktop machines for home users now. Intel’s chips run faster and generate less heat than the PowerPC versions. And a switch to Intel may bring Apple’s premium pricing down, though probably not to the level PC users have become used to seeing.

Tiger Roars

Apple received more good news in operating system sales. The company expects to sell its 2 millionth copy of the Tiger update to OS X. Tiger 10.4 has become Apple’s fastest selling OS release ever.

“The response to Tiger is off the charts,” said Mr. Jobs. “Critics are raving, customers are delighted and developers are creating hundreds of widgets and applications that take advantage of Tiger’s incredible innovations like Spotlight, Dashboard and Automator.”

Tiger delivers more than 200 new features and innovations including Spotlight, a revolutionary desktop search technology; and Dashboard, a new way to instantly access important information using a new class of applications called widgets.

QuickTime Updated

QuickTime 7 for Windows previewed at WWDC. Apple says it is the industry’s first mainstream H.264 solution for streaming and playback of high-definition (HD) video.

The H.264 video codec allows for streaming high quality video to everything from 3G mobile phone handsets to HDTVs. QuickTime 7 also supports 5.1 and 7.1 audio. The Pro version includes support for VBScript, to enable QuickTime workflow automation, and new settings for authoring movies.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Apple Newsbites
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