Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president of Hardware Engineering at Apple, spoke to Macworld UK about the Apple G5. While declining to comment on unannounced products, he did concede that the possibility of a G5 PowerBook was simply “an issue of good, solid engineering”.

He made it clear, however, that the current crop of G5 processors are designed for desktop machines, and a cooler-running version of the processor would be needed for a PowerBook. But he did point to the fact that a few years ago, nobody thought it would be possible to get a G4 processor in a PowerBook.

Rubinstein also spoke of the capabilities of the G5 processor. He suggested that improving the performance of software to take advantage of the new powerful processor should be relatively easy. The tools Apple provides to developers can help them find the parts of their applications that would benefit most from recompiling with the G5 in mind. Some developers claim to have doubled the performance of their programs using these tools.

Ken Bereskin was also on hand to reveal some more details of the upcoming Panther release of OS X. Like previous versions of OS X, PDF is an integral part of the operating system. But Panther will allow specific settings such as PDF/X, a standard for PDF for print. Panther will also support Dolby Digital 5.1 sound when used with the G5 optical audio output.