Welcome to Macintosh

Taking the 'Mac' Out of the Macworld Expo

- 2007.01.12

Bong! . . . :-) . . . Welcome to Macintosh!

In 1984, the introduction of the Macintosh not only changed the world and the way we looked at the personal computer, it eventually led to something equally important for Mac fans - the Macworld Expo. Macworld has been an institution since 1985, a way for the nation and the world to see what's new in the world of Macintosh.

Macworld Expo 2007

This past Tuesday, the Macworld Expo in San Francisco began with a Steve Jobs keynote. Time for a little checklist - iPhone, Apple TV, iTunes Store hits 2 billion tracks sold, iTunes Store adds movies from Paramount, new iPod ads, AirPort Extreme 802.11n, Apple Computer Inc. becomes Apple Inc....

What am I missing here? Oh yeah, no Mac updates and no look at Leopard, the next version of OS X. This is a disgrace. Macworld this was not, friends.

The iPhone? Sure, it's revolutionary and runs a "mini" OS X. It's a cell phone that can double as a camera (like a lot of cell phones), is touch screen based, can run the full blown Safari browser, and it's also an iPod - plus a lot of other cute crap most people will never use. $499 for the 4 gig version, $599 for the 8 gig version.

$499 to $599 for a cell phone? I could be wrong, but I don't see it changing the cell phone world, at least not at that price. Try coming down on the price for "the rest of us", Apple, and you'll hear me talk more at length about it.

Apple TV? It shows promise. Basically it's like TiVo without a tuner. And you can stream music and movies acquired from the iTunes Store. At $299, it includes a 40 gig hard drive, works with Macs and PCs, includes an Apple Remote, and will only connect to high definition or enhanced definition TVs. The jury's still out on this one.

iTunes hits 2 billion in sales. Fantastic, but it gets old after a while.

More movies added to the iTunes Store, from Paramount to be exact. Blah, at least to me.

New iPod ads. More funky dancing in the light and more funky dancing in the dark - no thanks.

AirPort Extreme 802.11n, a great step forward in wireless networking. It's based on the new (draft) standard in wireless networking 802.11n. It's Mac related, but nothing to get excited about - more of a "want" than a "need".

Apple Computer Inc. is now Apple Inc. Just what we need, another Sony.

No mention of a update to any of the Mac lines! Not even a new look-see at the upcoming Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5).

'Macworld Is for Macs'

Apple, are you listening? Macworld is for Macs. This isn't the iWorld Expo pr Appleworld Expo. Get the iCrap out of your ears!

I can already hear the whining: "What are you talking about? This is great for Apple and will extend the reach of the Mac and OS X."

I'm not arguing that point. A valid one it is. But why can't there be an different expo for the gadgets?

For the newcomers to Apple, this will fall on deaf ears, but to those who've been Mac aficionados for years, this will ring a bell. As Apple continues to diversify and become more gadget oriented, the Mac is no longer the heart and soul of Apple. It seems that it's becoming more of an afterthought.

I think it's great that Apple's getting all this exposure, but the added exposure is coming at a high price - the neglect of their core audience and the core of the company, Macintosh.

More whining: "That's not true, because the Mac is the center, the digital hub."

To each his or her own I guess. I never thought I'd see the day when the Macworld Expo would turn into GadgetWorld.

I'm seeing a change in Apple and its direction that I take serious issue with. This is only part of it. Apple is, in effect, becoming this generation's Sony.

I never have been and will never be fond of Sony. In my eyes, Sony has always been grossly overrated. Apple is becoming another consumer electronics company.

I don't completely berate Apple for diversifying; it makes sense from a business standpoint. I like Apple and their products, but when they don't even update at least one of the Mac lines at a Macworld Expo, it tells me that Apple is little-by-little shunning the Mac.

And that is the biggest disgrace of all.

I welcome your thoughts; send them to thomas (at) lowendmac (dot) com. And come back next week for my take on today's Mac. LEM

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