Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations Ron Okamoto gave Macworld a preview at the forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, June 28-July 2.

Apple will offer developers an "exciting week", he explained, adding that an increasing number of new developers are coming to the platform. "Last year almost half the WWDC attendees were first-timers."

Information about attending WWDC is available here.

"We are seeing a growth in the number of developers attending WWDC from the Java, Unix, Linux and our traditional cross platform communities," Okamoto explained.

Continued success in the sci-tech markets is stimulating interest from developers beyond traditional sectors, underpinning Apple's move to introduce special sessions for enterprise developers at this year's event, Okamoto said.

"Since the news about Virginia Tech's cluster appeared, we have been hammered with requests from all different directions – government, education and private industry asking how they can do this," he said. "There are connections between the super-computing and enterprise IT areas," he confirmed.

Apple's system-level support for Unix, Java and a huge set of essential standards adds appeal for enterprise developer, he confessed. "Enterprise developers have been deep into OS X over the past year," he said. And they are returning to Apple's dev relations team happy, he smiled.

Initial fruits of the new rapprochement between the enterprise and Apple emerged last week, when Symbiot announced its 'Intelligent Security Infrastructure Management Systems' (iSIMS) platform for corporate networks. This is hosted on Xserve G5s and is capable of both detecting and responding aggressively to network attacks.

Innovation is key

With what Okamoto describes as the company's positive relationship with the open source community, developers are enjoying "more options for innovating on the Mac", he said. This could mean a wide tranche of Mac solutions will emerge – and standards support reduces necessary development time for new products, he indicated.

"In three years of Mac OS X we now have over 10,000 applications available for the platform," he said, stressing Apple's applications development push.

Apple introduced its own suite of developer tools at last year's WWDC, Xcode. And the toolkit – which was custom-built to offer developers real time-savings because Apple analysed what they did and how they worked in order to ensure Xcode delivered such value – is being embraced by the developer community, Okamoto said.

Declining to name names, he told Macworld: "We know that some segments of the Mac market have transitioned completely to it for applications building".

"All these things are nothing but good news for us," he said.

Macworld's complete interview with Mr Okamoto is available in the next printed edition of the magazine, available later this month. Information about Macworld UK subscriptions – both online and in print – is available here.