Apple's Steve Jobs to deliver keynote speech

The chief executive, currently on medical leave, is on board to announce the company's new software offerings. With video.

By Kim Peterson May 31, 2011 11:49AM
Apple (AAPL) made an unusual move Tuesday in spelling out exactly what will be covered next Monday at the keynote address to kick off the company's annual developers conference.

Normally the company keeps its set list top secret. But on Tuesday, Apple was very clear that the event is all about software, including its new operating system, Lion. Apple will also talk about its next mobile operating system for devices like the iPad and iPhone, and finally its upcoming cloud services product, called iCloud.

And to top it all off, chief executive Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote. That wasn't expected, as Jobs went on medical leave in January. One large Apple shareholder talks about what he sees in the news in the following video.

Post continues after video:
Apple shares jumped nearly 2% Tuesday to $343.09 on the news. Fortune thinks the stock bump was all about Jobs. "The news here is that Jobs, who is on medical leave, is well enough to give the keynote and that he feels that what Apple is introducing is important enough to be given the imprimatur of a Steve Jobs keynote," Philip Elmer-Dewitt writes.

Normally, the developers conference is where we see the newest iPhones and other hardware in the works. The news may be an indication that no new hardware will be announced, guesses John Gruber at Daring Fireball.

But since this is Steve Jobs we're talking about, we know there will be some surprises. Here are a few more details about the software lineup we can expect to see:

Lion. This is the latest operating system for the Mac, scheduled for delivery sometime this summer. Apple is taking a page from the iPad with a new feature called Launchpad, which shows a visual display of the apps on your Mac.

Lion also has a feature called Mission Control, which shows the programs running on your Mac in one place. Apple has a rundown of the new Lion features at this preview site.

iOS 5. The next mobile offering system is a big deal, as Apple is dealing with very tough competition from Google's (GOOG) Android. A horde of new tablets are coming out this year, and Apple needs its iPad to continue to stand out as the best.

According to GigaOm, some of the iOS 5 features widely expected include better notifications, widgets, new voice-recognition technology, and more comprehensive photo-streaming galleries and media libraries.

iCloud. This is the hardest one to guess at, as Apple has kept key details secret. We know the company has been talking to record labels about launching an online music locker, one that lets people listen to their music from different devices. Amazon (AMZN) has done the same thing and tried to gin up interest in its online service last week by offering Lady Gaga's newest album for $1. Google has something similar in the works for Android.

Cnet says Apple has wrapped up licensing deals with EMI Music, Warner Music and Sony Music and is close to finalizing an agreement with Universal Music.
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