“Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs opened Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday with a keynote that put an end to weeks of speculation about new products and features in the next generation of Mac OS X. The announcements Jobs made can be broken down into four major areas: information about Apple, the new Mac Pro, the new Intel-based Xserve and a preview of Mac OS X Leopard, which is due out by next spring,” Ryan Faas reports for Computerworld.

“As I expected, there was no mention of new iPods or an iPhone. This was an event for Mac software and hardware developers, along with other Mac IT professionals. The focus of the keynote was correctly all Mac,” Faas reports. “I’d like to focus not just on yesterday’s announcements, but on what the upcoming changes mean for Mac professionals — both those who work in the IT field and those who use Macs as part of their daily job.”

Faas reports, “The Mac Pro includes two dual-core Xeon processors, effectively giving it the power of four Xeon processors — more than double the computing power of any other Intel Mac (and setting it higher than most Intel PCs) and twice as fast in real-world tasks as the Power Mac G5 Quad it replaces. One reason for the additional power might be that many professional Mac users work with applications such as the Adobe suite that are not yet Universal apps. This extra power should provide significant improvements when running such applications under Rosetta emulation. It also simply provides professional users with more raw power, thus differentiating the Mac Pro from Apple’s other desktop offerings and most PCs. (A comparable Dell PC would be as much as $1,000 more than a standard Mac Pro.)”

Fass covers much more in the full article, including Xserve, Mac OS X Server Leopard, and many upcoming Leopard features like Time Machine which when “paired with a dedicated backup server, could eliminate the need for third-party software. This could easily cut the cost of developing an extensive backup strategy.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “vitaboy” and “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]