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Tuesday, January 06, 2004, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Macworld Rumor Overview

For avid readers of Apple rumors sites, this morning's Macworld keynote announcements brought few surprises and some notable omissions.

iPods
True to whispers, Apple unveiled its miniature iPod counterpart, which the company is calling the iPod mini. The business card sized units are available in 5 colors and can retain up to 1,000 CD-quality songs on their 4GB hard drives. Prices of the new pods are $249 (US), slightly higher than the $199 expectations voiced prior to the announcement. Additionally, Apple failed to announce a 2GB configuration of the iPod mini known to exist by several AppleInsider sources. Mumblings that the company may choose to introduce the smaller capacity player in the near future are abundant but currently unconfirmed.

Accompanying the announcement of the iPod mini were a handful of accessories, including an iPod Dock for $39 (US), in-ear headphones for $39 (US) and arm band for $29 (US). Apple also bumped its entry level 10GB iPod to 15GB while retaining the $299 (US) price tag.

Xserves and RAIDs
On the server front, the company introduced a new series of Xserve G5s in 1U enclosures previously described by sources. The servers are available in single or dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, and sport a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory; three hot-plug Serial ATA drive modules that deliver up to 750GB of storage; optional internal hardware RAID; dual PCI-X slots, supporting 133 MHz PCI-X cards with over 1 GBps of throughput; and dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet for high-performance networking.

To compliment its new high-end servers, the company announced a new Xserve RAID storage system, a 3U high-availability, rack storage system that delivers a massive 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity, blazing performance of up to 210 MBps throughput and the industry’s most aggressive price for storage of just over $3 per gigabyte. The new RAIDs also introduced support for Windows and Linux-based computing environments, industry standard Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) connectors and broad industry support from 11 companies including Microsoft, VERITAS, Red Hat, Brocade and QLogic.

iLife
Earlier hints of an overhaul to Apple's digital iLife suite also panned out with the introduction of iLife '04. The updated apps bundle also includes a new title called GarageBand, which appears to be one-in-the-same with the new audio application rumored previous to the expo.

Microsoft Office 2004 and Virtual PC 7
Confirming reports from December, Microsoft announced Office 2004 for Mac and Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Professional. For the first time, the Virtual PC software will ship as part of Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition and as a stand-alone product in the first half of 2004.

Power Mac G5
True to recent skepticism, revisions to Apple's Power Mac G5 line were a no-show at this month's Macworld Expo. According to information received this morning, updates to the Power Mac family are scheduled to take place on or after January 20th.

Attending Macworld?
Are you attending Macworld San Francisco? Hear an interesting piece of information? Feel free to drop us a line at rumors@appleinsider.com.