The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
, commonly abbreviated WWDC
, is a conference
held annually in California
by Apple Inc.
The conference is primarily used by Apple to showcase
its new software and technologies for developers
, as well as offering hands-on labs and feedback sessions. The number of attendees usually varies between 2000 to 4200 developers; however, during WWDC 2007, Steve Jobs
noted that there were over 5000 attendees. WWDC 2008 is the latest conference, held at the Moscone Center
in San Francisco, CA
on June 9 of 2008.
All attendees have to sign a non-disclosure agreement covering the sessions and other material handed out at WWDC. In the past, the keynote was also covered by the NDA, but Apple in recent years has webcast the keynote address to an audience much wider than just developers. Before 2002, WWDC was not a place for hardware announcements, but Apple deviated from that principle in 2002 when it announced the rack mounted server Xserve, in 2003 with the introduction of the consumer-oriented iSight and the Power Mac G5, in 2004 with the introduction of redesigned Apple Cinema Displays, in 2005, when an announcement was made that Apple Computer would start the transition of their computers from IBM's PowerPC microprocessor line to Intel's line of x86 processors, and in 2006 with the release of the Xeon-based Mac Pro and Xserve.
In 2003, WWDC was merged with another Apple trade show called QuickTime Live. The number of QuickTime sessions was increased, and the Apple Design Awards were joined by Apple Design Awards for QuickTime Content. At the same time, more enterprise-oriented content was added, focusing a lot on the Xserve and Mac OS X Server operating system.
The first WWDC was held in Monterey, California in 1983. Until 2002, WWDC was held in mid-May. From 2003 to 2005 it was held in June to better distribute Apple's show commitments. In 2006, WWDC was moved to August due to scheduling conflicts at the Moscone Center. Since 1998 the conference generally starts with a keynote presentation which has been delivered by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, resulting in the event becoming known as "Stevenotes." Recent WWDC's have focused on demonstrating and distributing preview versions of upcoming Mac OS X versions.
WWDC'96 focused almost entirely on the Copland
project, which by this time was able to be demonstrated to some degree. Gil Amelio
stated that the system was on-schedule to ship in beta form in later summer with an initial commercial release in the very late fall. However, very few "live" demos were offered, and no beta of the operating system was offered.
WWDC'97 was the first show after the purchase of NeXT
, and focused on the efforts to use OpenStep
as the foundation of the next Mac OS. The plan at that time was to introduce a new system then known as Rhapsody
, which would consist of a version of OpenStep modified with a more Mac-like look and feel
, the Yellow Box
, along with a Blue Box
that allowed existing Mac applications to run under OS emulation.
The show focused primarily on the work in progress, including a short history of the development efforts since the two development teams had been merged on Feb 4. Several new additions to the system were also demonstrated, including tabbed and outline views, and a new object-based graphics layer (NSBezier).
In response to developer comments about the new operating system, the "big announcement" at WWDC'98 was the introduction of Carbon
. Carbon was effectively a version of the "classic" Mac OS
API implemented on OpenStep
. Under the original Rhapsody plans, classic applications would run in sandboxed installation of the classic Mac OS, (called the Blue Box) and have no access to the new Mac OS X features. To receive new features, such as protected memory and preemptive multitasking, developers would have to rewrite their applications using the Yellow Box API. Developer complaints about the major porting effort to what was then a shrinking market and warnings that they might simply abandon the platform, led Apple to reconsider the original plan. Carbon addressed the problem by dramatically reducing the effort needed, while exposing some of the new functionality of the underlying OS.
Another major introduction at WWDC'98 was the Quartz imaging model, which replaced Display PostScript with something akin to "display PDF". Although the reasons for this switch remain unclear, Quartz also included better support for the existing QuickDraw model from the classic OS, as well (as it was later learned) as Java2D. Supporting QuickDraw directly in the graphics model also led to a related announcement, that the Blue Box would now be "invisible", integrated into the existing desktop as opposed to an entirely separate window.
WWDC'99 was essentially a "progress report" as the plans outlined in WWDC'98 came to fruition. Three major announcements were the "opening" of the operating system underlying the new OS as Darwin
, improvements to the Macintosh Finder
, and the replacement of QuickDraw 3D
as the primary 3D API. The system formerly known as OpenStep, and referred to during development as "Yellow Box" was formally re-named "Cocoa". 2563 developers attended.
Much the same as WWDC'99, 2000 was another "progress report" on the way to the upcoming release of Mac OS X
. Recent changes included a modified Dock and improved versions of the developer tools. "Developer Preview 4" was released at the show, with the commercial release pushed back to January 2001. Additionally, WebObjects
was dropped in price to a flat fee of $699 US. Approximately 3600 developers attended.
Mac OS X had only recently been released, but WWDC'01 added the first release of Mac OS X Server
shipping and WebObjects 5. Over 4000 developers attended. Leather jackets with a large blue "X" embroidered on the back were distributed to attendees.
Mac OS X v.10.2 and QuickTime 6 was presented. Apple also said farewell to Mac OS 9 with a mock funeral, and told the developers that there would be no more Mac OS 9 development, reinforcing that the future of the Mac was now entirely on Mac OS X.
WWDC'03 demonstrated the Power Mac G5, distributed a preview of OS X Panther (10.3), and the introduction of the "iApps". Rendezvous (now known as Bonjour
) was also announced. Attendees received an iSight
WWDC 2004 took place from June 28
to July 2
. Steve noted that 3500 developers attended and that was a 17% increase from 2003. New displays were introduced in 23 and 30-inch widescreen. Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) was also previewed. All attendees received a developer preview of Tiger, a simple grey t-shirt with the Apple logo on the front and "WWDC2004" on the back, a backpack capable of holding a 17-inch PowerBook, and a copy of Apple Remote Desktop 2.0.
WWDC 2005 took place from June 6
to June 10
. After a basic market update, Jobs announced that Apple would transition to Intel processors and the x86 platform. The keynote featured developers from Wolfram Research, who discussed their experience porting Mathematica to Mac OS X on the Intel platform. 3800 attendees from 45 countries attended the event. There were 110 lab sessions, 95 presentation sessions, and 500+ Apple engineers on site.
WWDC 2006 took place from August 7
to August 11
in Moscone West
, San Francisco
with the keynote presentation hosted by Steve Jobs
As expected, the Mac Pro was announced as a replacement to the PowerMac G5 that was previously Apple's "prosumer" desktop computer, and the last remaining PowerPC-based Mac. The standard Mac Pro featured two 2.66 GHz dual core Xeon (Woodcrest) processors, 1 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive, and a 256 MB video card. An Xserve update was also announced, based as well on the dual core Xeons. Redundant power and Lights Out Management were additional product improvements to Apple's server lineup.
While certain key Mac OS X improvements were kept "close to the vest," there were 10 improvements announced for OS X in its next iteration, Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard", including: Full 64-bit app support, Time Machine, Boot Camp, Front Row, and Photo Booth packaged with the OS, Spaces (Virtual Desktops), Spotlight enhancements, Core Animation, Universal Access enhancements, Mail enhancements, Dashboard enhancements, including Dashcode and iChat enhancements. Leopard was announced to most likely be released for sale in Spring 2007.
In addition to Leopard features that were announced, a major revision to the Mac OS X Server product was announced. Some new features in this product included: A simplified set-up process, iCal Server (based on the CalDAV standard), Teams (a set of web-based collaborative services), Spotlight Server, and Podcast Producer.
4200 developers from 48 countries attended the event. There were 140 sessions and 100 hands-on labs for developers. There were over 1000 Apple engineers present at the event.
WWDC 2007 took place from June 11
to June 15
in Moscone West
, San Francisco
with the keynote presentation hosted by Steve Jobs
. Apple showed off a feature-complete beta of Mac OS v10.5 "Leopard", though its release date was pushed back to October. Jobs announced that Safari will now be available for Windows and announced support for third-party development for the then upcoming iPhone
. Jobs also announced the launch date for the iPhone, which he was widely expected to do, as June 29
. Additionally Jobs noted during the keynote that over 5000 attendees were present at WWDC07, breaking last year's record.
WWDC 2008 took place from June 9
to June 13
at Moscone West
, San Francisco
Apple reported that, for the first time, this conference is sold out. There are three tracks for developers, iPhone, Mac, and IT.
Announcements at the keynote included the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch, the stable version of the iPhone SDK, a subsidized 3G version of the iPhone for Worldwide markets, version 2.0 of the iPhone OS, Mac OS X v10.6, and the replacement/rebranding of .Mac as MobileMe.