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Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco last night. During a keynote speech that has, perhaps, attracted more attention than any other in the company's recent history, Jobs did not disappoint.

The company today confirmed months of speculation that it is to adopt a new processor - delivering the most powerful personal computer ever shipped. Utilizing IBM's PowerPC 970 chip, the new G5 systems offer 64-bit processors but run 32-bit applications natively. They also offer 400MHz 128-bit DDR memory, AGP Pro 8X graphics, 133MHz PCI-X slots, Serial ATA hard drives, and use HyperTransport interconnect technology. All models ship with DVD-R SuperDrive as standard.

The new Power Mac G5 systems - which ship in August - are available at 1.6GHz, 1.8GHz and dual-processor 2GHz configurations, with up to 160GB hard drives. Jobs calls them the "fastest PC money can buy". They ship in an all-new aluminium chassis, and 3GHz models will be available in "12 months", promised Jobs.

A single-chip 1.6GHz Power Mac G5 (with 80GB hard drive, 64MB NVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra video card) will cost £1,549 (including VAT). A 1.8GHz Power Mac G5 (with 160GB hard drive, 64MB NVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra) comes in at £1,849. And the big-daddy Power Mac G5, boasting dual-2GHz G5 processors, 160GB hard drive and 64MB ATI Radeon 9600 Pro video card will cost £2,299.

Panther power The company also introduced developers to its new upcoming operating system, OS X 10.3 (Panther). This offers a host of improvements for Mac users, including faster Preview, Mail, a more elegant Finder, a new Windows navigation manager (Expose), coloured labels for files, a fast user-centric Finder, automatic back-up, and - for .Mac subscribers - a sophisticated back-up facility.

For developers, the company introduced Xcode, a completely new set of developer tools.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther will cost £99 when it ships before the end of the year.

Apple also introduced a zero-configuration FireWire webcam for Mac users, iSight, and a new video and voice-conferencing-capable version of iChat - iChat AV, a beta version of which is available from today. iChat A/V will cost $29 to Jaguar users, or ship as part of Panther.

Apple also shipped the first full version of its "turbo-charged" Web browser, Safari.