Apple is preparing the ground for the Worldwide Developer's Conference, 2003.

The annual event takes place May 19-23 in San Jose, California. Traditionally, Apple discusses forthcoming technologies with developer's at the show ? under strict secrecy agreements. The company also awards developers whose solutions help push the platform forward at the show with its Annual Developer's Awards.

Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, hinted at the make up of this year's audience during his Power of X keynote at Macworld Expo. "We say there are 5,000 applications available for OS X today," he said. "We have been deliberately conservative in that figure - for example, it doesn't include the thousands of Java applications, or many open source applications that have been ported to work on OS X."

Apple's release of X11 for OS X is likely to attract a broad swathe of developers from the open source world, an area in which Apple has been very active in recent years. The company has already added former Eazel, Linux, and Unix developers to its staff.

Schiller said: "People from Unix environments are discovering OS X to be the best available Unix today." Apple has also proclaimed its platform now offers some of the best Java support on any OS.

Apple's commitment to Unix and its new OS is firm, Schiller explained: "This is a ten-year plus product - it's going to move and to grow," he said.