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Apple has several software updates it discussed during Macworld

In addition to the usual hardware announcement during Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple also had several announcements regarding its software.

Since its release, Apple iTunes has offered songs for $0.99 -- and has done well, becoming the top online music retailer in the United States -- but will drop DRM for at least 8 million songs.  The price tier will change from a single $0.99 to $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 per music track.

The Cupertino-based company introduced a new version of iLife, a program designed so users can easily manage photos, make movies and create DVDs.  Two crucial updates to the newest iLife includes the ability to organize and look for photos using face-recognition technology and easy access to share photos through Facebook and Flickr.

iMovie received an update to include a precision editor, animated travel maps, and dynamic themes.  Hand-held movie camera footage will become clearer with the new video stabilization feature that removes the shakiness of users.

The Apple iWork software suite includes Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet and the Keynote presentation tool, and the presentation of the new "Magic Move" technology able to change the position, scale, opacity and range of images, graphics and text.  All 3D charts used in the program also have support for cylinder shapes, new textures, four new 3D build effects and beveled-edge pie charts.

iWork '09 is shipping today for $79 for a single license, $99 for a family pack, or $49 when purchased on a new Mac.

iWork users can also make use of iWork.com, a new online service -- available for free while it's in beta -- so multiple people can share and collaborate on the same project.  Users can comment, edit and save files they are working on with other iWork users.




"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer



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