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Apple Upgrades iMacs, Software Suites, .Mac Online Service

Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a point of contrasting the typical PC, tangled in cables, with the clean design aesthetic of the new iMac, which is housed in aluminum and glass.

Apple rolled out a batch of new products Tuesday, including a redesigned aluminum and glass iMac, a new version of its iLife and iWork software suites, and a renovated .Mac online service.

"The iMac has been really successful for us," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "We'd like to make it even better."

Jobs made a point of contrasting the typical PC, tangled in cables, with the clean design aesthetic of the new iMac. "Why do people still put up with this kind of stuff on the desktop?" he asked, standing in front of a projection screen depicting cable spaghetti.

Housed in aluminum and glass that can be easily recycled, the new iMac comes in two models: a 20-inch model for $1,199 or $1,499 and a 24-inch model for $1,799. They feature Intel Core 2 Duo processors running up to 2.8 GHz with 4-Mbytes of shared L2 cache and up to 4-Gbytes of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory.

Apple also upgraded its iLife digital lifestyle suite with new version of iPhoto and iMovie, which are designed to let users more easily manage and share photo and video collections. iLife also includes iWeb, widgets such as Google Maps that can be used to enhance Web sites, and improved music creation software called GarageBand.

Jobs noted that Apple "invented this whole category of digital lifestyle applications many, many years ago" and said the company intends to keep improving it.

Apple may raise some eyebrows with its new iWork application suite. In addition to Pages, a word processor, and Keynote, a presentation program, Apple has added its own spreadsheet, called Numbers. Said Jobs: "It's the spreadsheet for the rest of us."

The company has sold 1.8 million copies of iWork so far, Job said.

Apple also added a .Mac Web Gallery to its .Mac online service to let users share photos and movies on the Internet, and it boosted .Mac storage to 10 Gbytes.

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