Because I made post Macworld keynote comments the last couple of years, I felt somewhat obligated to continue the tradition. The big event happened this morning at the Macworld conference in San Francisco and was the culmination of weeks and months of speculation and rumors in the tech community. They perfected the art of building buzz over the years, starting way back in 1984 when the Macintosh was first announced. Today, nobody, and I mean nobody, can build buzz like Apple. I’d be curious to find out how many advertising dollars that ability would translate into…
Anyway, back to the keynote. I haven’t had a chance to watch the video yet, but Steve Jobs’ presentation was well covered by the various Apple and gadget sites on the web. Overall, some stuff was really exciting and some was expected, almost boring. There weren’t any big announcements dealing with Apple’s media strategy, so no new video distribution deals yet, no updated iPods, and, sadly, no media center product launched. I would have loved it if Steve showed off a TiVo killing Mac Mini running an updated version of Front Row, but those rumors turned to to be only rumors. Instead, a really lame FM radio add-on was announced for the iPod. Does anyone really care about FM radio anymore? Satellite radio maybe, but FM?
iLife and iWork were given their yearly updates, but that was to be expected. The big news of the day was the updated Macintosh hardware. There are now two Macintosh products running on Intel processors: a slightly revised iMac and the PowerBook replacing MacBook Pro. The updated iMac will no doubt make an excellent desktop machine, but the MacBook Pro is what everyone is talking about right now. It had been a very long time since the PowerBooks got a big bump in speed, and this is just what everyone was asking for. While a lot of folks don’t like the name MacBook (they think it sounds toyish), everyone is drooling over the tech specs.
One awesome thing Steve did today was overwhelmingly exceed our expectations. Intel-based Macs weren’t scheduled to appear until the middle of the year, but they somehow managed to push them out a full six months early. Maybe that was their intention the whole time, or maybe it was a stroke of luck on their part, but it’s a great gift to Apple fans after the G5 processor blunder a year or two ago. Expect to see a lot of renewed interest in Macintosh computers this year.