Well, for the first time in ages, there is a top tier x86 OEM that provides a real choice for a better OS. Apple today unveiled two new Intel Core Duo systems, which you can read about at OfB.biz. The new MacBook Pro laptop looks like it should be a really serious competitor to the current premium ultra-light laptop contenders. It will come with up to a 1.8 GHz Core Duo dual-core processor and a whopping 256 megs of video ram. The system is 1” thick, includes Apple's amazing backlit keyboard, a new ExpressCard slot, and an extra bright (Cinema Display bright) screen. I want one, although my trusty 12” PowerBook isn't ready to retire just yet — I may wait for the rumored 13” widescreen Apple laptop, which is more the size I like to haul around. The new iMac was a bit of a surprise release, but looks even better than the recently updated iMac G5.
The new iLife '06 suite looks great, with serious improvements for vidcasting, photocasting and podcasting, a new application (iWeb), and some major upgrades to the program I use the most: iPhoto (which now can manage up to 250,000 photos). The improved real time special effects in iMovie look great to me too. iWork '06 isn't such a dramatic improvement, but looks good. I have not yet bought a copy of the latter, which maybe I shall do in the coming weeks (along with an upgrade to the new iLife).
As a side note, as of today, I am now the proud owner of a small chunk of Apple. A crumb, really. Or a fraction of a crumb. I managed to buy 10 shares of Apple stock right before the keynote began. I've been thinking I should buy some shares for several years — and had I bought 10 shares a few years ago, I would have made a nice chunk of change. Where the stock will go from here, I don't know, but I made $30 today as the stock went up during the keynote. Maybe I'll buy 10 more shares a few weeks before WWDC '06.