Apple used Paris as the launchpad for its Mac OS X Beta release, a new iBook range, and the addition of the ATI Radeon graphics card to the range. Available immediately in English, French and German for £24.95, Apple says the beta release sports "state-of-the-art" technology including advanced Internet and graphics technologies, a new user-interface called Aqua, and an open-source UNIX-based foundation called Darwin.
Mac OS X - due for release early next year - will feature true memory protection, pre-emptive multi-tasking, and symmetric multprocessing that takes advantage of Apple's new multiprocessor G4 workstations. Mac OS X includes a new graphics engine - dubbed Quartz and based on PDF technology - that offers a wide range of font and 2D graphics support, plus OpenGL for 3D graphics. It also sports one of the most controversial interface overhauls in recent history, with the Aqua interface creating an unprecedented online buzz.
Following Apple's much-publicized spat with graphics-card provider ATI, Apple has finally relented and allowed the high-end Radeon chip into its workstations. Apple was rumoured to have announced the addition at the previous Macworld Expo held in New York. The Radeon is available for all G4 Cube and Power Mac G4 workstations.
Apple also used the event to bump the iBook line - it's range of consumer laptops. New colours, FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports, more hard disk space (up to 20GB) and a faster graphics chip with 8MB of VRAM are included in the upgrade. The iBook Special Edition also sports a DVD-ROM drive.