Jobs also said Apple would allow outside developers to write applications for the iPhone by tapping Safari, softening the company's previous position that the device would not support other software due to security concerns.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled Safari versions for Windows XP or Vista operating systems, as he kicked off a Worldwide Developers Conference that the maker of Macintosh computers holds annually in San Francisco. Jobs also said that test versions of the new Safari 3 were twice as fast at loading Web pages.
"We would love for Safari's market share to grow substantially," Jobs said. Safari has 5 percent of the browser market compared to 78 percent for Internet Explorer.
Apple will distribute Safari software as part of its iTunes online store, according to Jobs. A free test version of Safari 3 is available to the public now as a download and the final version will be available as a free download to users of both Mac OS X and Windows in October, the company said.
New Leopard OS
Jobs also showed off the Leopard operating system that will be released in October to replace the OS X "Tiger" platform used on 67 percent of Macintosh computers.
Leopard features showcased by Jobs include Web Clip that lets users easily create software "widgets" small windows on screens that are continuously updated with information from preferred websites.
Leopard's Time Machine backs-up files and lets users recapture information lost or deleted.
Leopard also includes a completely new Dock featuring Stacks, which can help manage a user?s desktop clutter caused by browser and email downloads. With the click of a mouse, users can instantly fan out the contents of a stack to easily see each item. Leopard?s Finder has been completely redesigned, adding Cover Flow as a new way to quickly browse and locate files and applications. Finder?s new Sidebar simplifies the organization of files on a Mac, and adds easy access to shared Macs and PCs on a home network.
Leopard also includes three new technologies that take full advantage of the latest developments in processor hardware: full native 64-bit support to enable applications to take complete advantage of 64-bit processing while still running side by side with existing 32-bit Mac OS X applications and drivers; multi-core optimization and scheduling to take advantage of the latest Intel hardware; and Core Animation, helping developers create animated user experiences in their own applications.
Jobs drew laughs with iChat video conferencing software with special effects features from faux back drops to speaking through moving lips superimposed on any chosen picture.
"Imagine all the kinds of people you could have fun with," Jobs said as an Apple vice president's on-camera image changed to a picture of Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer appearing to profess love for "Macs."
Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard is scheduled to ship in October and will be available through the Apple Store for a suggested retail price of $129 (US) for a single user license. The Mac OS X Leopard Family Pack is a single-residence, five-user license that will be available for a suggested retail price of $199 (US).
Itunes movie rentals?
In related news, according to a story on the Financial Times, Apple is in talks with several studios about launching a movie rental service that would deliver content to consumers for $2.99 per film with a set limit on how long that content would be available to watch before expiring. Steve Jobs said no word about such plans in its speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference.