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Glowing After Spectacular 3Q, Apple Introduces New Operating System

Apple's Mac OS X Lion on a Macbook Air.
Apple's Mac OS X Lion on a Macbook Air.

Last night, Apple stunned Wall Street with much better than expected third-quarter earnings. Here's Fox Business on that news:

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company posted third-quarter net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per share, more than doubling the company's year-ago earnings of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per share.

Revenue rose to $28.57 billion, compared with year-ago sales of $15.70 billion.

The Street had high expectations for Apple's results, which the company easily topped; analysts were looking for earnings to rise 66% to $5.85 a share on revenue of $24.99 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Today, Apple unveiled updates to key products and rolled out OS X Lion, a new version of its operating system. Time's Techland says updating to Lion will set you back $29.99 and features "a more iPad-like interface, automatic document backups, new touchpad gestures, a universal full-screen mode [and] a braindead-simple way to wirelessly exchange files with other nearby Macs..."

The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg says Lion is "radical" and represents a "big, big leap" in operating systems. Mossberg said he likes it, but as with anything "new and major," it will take some getting used to:

... Lion will require a major adjustment even for veteran Mac users, though it will be easier for those who use iPhones or iPads. Lion will significantly increase the learning curve for Windows users switching to the Mac.

One of the biggest changes is in scrolling. Instead of moving the top of a page upward by dragging the scroll bar down, or moving your fingers downward on the touch pad, you do the opposite—you just push the page up. A scroll bar appears only while scrolling. (Older programs may still have the traditional scroll bar.)

Apple announced that it is discontinuing its white MacBook and replacing it with a new MacBook Air, part of its line of ultra-thin laptops that start at $999. Apple also introduced what it calls a Thunderbolt display, which Wired describes as new kind of docking station for Apple's laptops. The 27-inch screen will retail for $1,000.

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