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Apple to release beta for delayed OS on Sept. 13

CEO Steve Jobs speaks at the Seybold Seminars trade show, announcing that the public test version of the OS X operating system will be released in just over two weeks.

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple plans to release a public test version of its OS X operating system Sept. 13, chief executive Steve Jobs said today.

OS X, one of the most significant revisions to the Mac operating system, has been subjected to several delays. Originally set to be offered to consumers in 1999, it was pushed back to early 2000. The release date was pushed back even further earlier this year, with Apple promising to have a "public beta" ready for release this summer and a final version of the software on shelves early next year.

OS X enhancements include a watery user interface code-named "Aqua," numerous graphics additions and expanded crash-proofing features.

As expected, Jobs did not introduce any new products during his keynote speech today at the Seybold Seminars trade show here. The talk was largely a rehash of Jobs' address at Macworld in New York last month.

Jobs showed off the G4 Cube and other recently introduced desktop computers, noting that Apple has already shipped tens of thousands of the 8-inch, cube-shaped computers.

He also demonstrated the forthcoming OS X. At one point, Jobs wanted to show a new feature that improves the speed at which a Mac laptop can resume work from the sleep mode.

But the computer froze.

"When it works, it actually wakes in about one second," Jobs said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

OS X's public test, or beta, version will be released during the company's next big event, the Apple Expo 2000 from Sept. 13 to 17 in Paris.

Jobs also invited Adobe Systems executives onto the stage for a demonstration of Photoshop 6, which was introduced yesterday.