Apple's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) starts next week, and will run from May 21 to 25 in San Jose, California, US.

The emphasis of this year's conference is on Apple's latest operating system (OS), Mac OS X. Developers are invited to over 100 in-depth technical sessions and hands-on labs on the OS. At last year's event, Apple was paving the way for Mac OS X with the release of the fourth developer preview of the software.

Speculation is mounting that an update to Apple's Mac OS X Server will be released at this year's WWDC. Industry sources say that it should ship on May 21, after Apple CEO Steve Jobs' opening announcement.

Macintosh Manager There have also been rumours that Macintosh Manager 2.0, the network-management software, will ship with the updated Mac OS X Server.

This year's WWDC, a five–day event, costs $1,595 to attend. The price covers Steve Jobs' keynote session, the labs, talks on Mac OS X migration and Apple's Sixth Design Awards.

Four awards will be presented in the following categories: Best New Mac OS X Product; Most Innovative Mac OS X Product; Best Mac OS X User Experience; and Mac OS X Technology Adoption.

Last year's WWDC was attended by 3,500 developers, the most in the event's history.