During his keynote speech at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2002, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the company will make Mac OS X the default operating system on all new Macs, starting immediately on some products, and expanding to all products by the end of January.

The Unix-based Mac OS X is Apple's next-generation operating system, which is more robust and powerful than Mac OS 9 and previous versions.

Apple claims that there are more than 2,500 native applications for Mac OS X from companies such as Microsoft and Adobe. Plus, there's support for digital devices now available from Canon, Epson, HP, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Palm, Panasonic and Sony.

'Time is right' "The time is now right for most Mac users to make Mac OS X their primary operating system," said Jobs. "Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system, marrying the power of Unix with the simplicity and elegance of the Mac. With thousands of native third-party applications and support for almost every popular digital device on the planet, it’s now time to make the switch."

Mac OS X has been included, along with Mac OS 9, on all Apple systems shipped since May of 2001. Mac OS 9 will continue to be shipped on all computers, enabling users to run Mac OS 9 applications in "Classic" mode from within Mac OS X, or have the option of booting into Mac OS 9 if they choose.

Apple’s iPhoto and recently shipping iDVD 2 both require Mac OS X.

Mac OS X requires a minimum of 128MB of memory, and is designed to run on the following Apple products: iMac, iBook, Power Macintosh G3, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube, and any PowerBook introduced after May 1998.

Software developers support X "Adobe has five great Mac OS X applications shipping. And with Photoshop around the corner, our customers should switch to Mac OS X today," said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.

"By tightly integrating the power of Office with Mac OS X, we’ve been able to create an incredibly compelling upgrade for our Mac customers," said Kevin Browne, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft. "Macintosh users who buy Office v. X will love being able to work in the Mac OS X environment all the time," he added.

"Mac OS X is the ideal operating system for Mathematica. It combines the two roots from which Mathematica grew: Unix and Macintosh," said Theodore Gray, co-founder of Wolfram, who demonstrated the product during Jobs' keynote address. "The stability and power of Mac OS X provides the ultimate environment for data analysis, symbolic computation, number crunching and plotting in the most comprehensive collection of functions available anywhere."

"Palm takes full advantage of Mac OS X version 10.1 to provide improved stability, accelerated launch time and Mac-only features including control capabilities within the Dock to our customers," said Todd Bradley, COO, Palm, who also joined Jobs on stage to demonstrate his X-ready product. "We see the Mac as a strategic platform for Palm because we share a common vision of the digital lifestyle by focusing on mobility and ease of use."

"Corel and procreate Macintosh customers can adopt Mac OS X version 10.1 knowing the platform is rock solid and our creative applications run natively. Our aggressive support of Apple’s next-generation operating system is one of the best business decisions we could have made," said Derek Burney, president and CEO of Corel.

"With Mac OS X version 10.1, Apple has made an already impressive operating system even better," stated Richard Zulch, chief technical officer at Dantz. "The features, performance, and stability of Mac OS X v10.1 have paved the way for us to complete Retrospect, and we will soon give customers a world-class backup application for Apple’s elegant and powerful new operating system."

"As a leading provider of Mac-connect peripherals, HP is proud to offer a full range of Mac OS X native solutions," said Hugh Amick, program manager of HP Mac-connect.

Visit our Expo round-up pages and picture gallery from the show.