Apple announced the release of Darwin 1.0 Open Source, the development application for the system core that drives OS X, at Internet World.

The release will allow Darwin developers to begin work modifying and extending Apple software, including the BSD (Unix) layers of Mac OS X.

The open source Darwin Streaming Server, an alternative to Apple’s QuickTime Streaming Server software, was also announced and will be available in May. Non-Mac OS versions of the server are also promised.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, said: "The core of Mac OS X is the only mainstream operating system following an open source model. The new Darwin posting includes some of the most advanced operating-system technology available, and it’s open to customers and developers so we can collaborate on the future of the Mac OS."

Darwin 1.0 can be downloaded from Apple’s Web site.

Also at Internet World, Apple said that it has chosen Kanisa’s e-service solution to offer online customer service and support for Macintosh users. Apple has invested $15 million in Kanisa.

Apple and Kanisa will create an automated online customer service area, that will guide Macintosh users through Apple’s service and support Web site at www.apple.com. The intention is to make the site easy and more effective to use, so Mac owners with technical questions can find answers swiftly, whatever their computer skills.

Apple also announced the addition of new QuickTime channels, reporting that more than 32 million downloads of QuickTime have been made.

Steve Jobs was due to make a keynote speech at Internet World, but cancelled just weeks before the show was due to start.