Apple's worldwide developer relations chief Ron Okamoto says that 40 per cent of developers attending WWDC 2005 (Apple's best-attended developer conference yet) "had only worked with Mac OS X; they were only here because of OS X."

This new breed of Mac developers has come from the open-source, Linux and Unix communities, according to Okamoto. "People are coming from all over the place," he claimed.

Okamoto was speaking with Macworld UK about the company's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (August 7-11).

He confirmed that Apple will show developers"the next big thing" at the event – a major release of its Mac OS X operating system, currently called 'Leopard'.

Okamoto stressed what the preview and conference together means for developers: "Our engineers will be there, the people who actually write the code," he explained.

This means Apple's developer community will actually be able to learn how to work with the new features built into the forthcoming operating system upgrade.

Okamoto talked about Apple's success in multiple geographies and multiple markets, and promised a huge range of seminars, workshops and face-to-face meetings to help drive the new renaissance of the platform along.

The interview is published in its entirety in Macworld's August issue, which is available at newsagents now.

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