Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MacWorld KeyNote 2007

Before my introduction into the cult of Apple, I never quite understood the salivation that followed Steve Jobs' Keynote speeches. However, over the last year I have found myself going further down the rabbit hole of Mac fandom and now find myself, like many others of the Apple Legion, waiting with baited breath for Mr. Jobs' announcement. It still amazes me how well Apple plays these things - as consumers, we are just dying to know about the new toys Apple are going to offer us - I can't say I've felt that way about Microsoft since I was 11 and Windows 95 was just on the Horizon.

Anyway, I thought I'd give my 2 cents about this years coming Keynote speech. I am in two minds as to the rumored iPhone - it could be the greatest gizmo since Bread with Bluetooth functionality or it could be just an iPod Nano with a GSM chip. As a Pocket PC user, I would like to see Apple produce a PDA phone with a touch screen, a streamlined UNIX based OS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPs functionality (ideally with TomTom producing a port of their software for it). However, this is a lot to ask of an item on release 1.0. While it is possible that an iDA (or something of a similar name) will appear later today, I think it is far more likely that we will see an iPod Nano with GSM functionality. Most phone on the market at the moment are aimed at 'flash & trash' with very little movement on the functional technology front since 2004. The iPod has since become the killer item to own and I think that mixing up a non-smartphone with a Nano and giving it a GUI similar to that of the iPod would hit it off with the majority of consumers.

Leopard is another item we are all awaiting. I have to say though, I don't see there being an enormous amount for me in it. I'm sure I will upgrade but it isn't an enormous leap forward for OS X (the server functionality does look VERY good though - wiki's and ZFS on the horizon).

iTV could be a big deal depending on what is inside the package. I have spent a lot of time and money on my Windows Media Center so I don't know if I will be upgrading anytime soon, but if it comes with a Hard Disk and a free EPG then I can see Microsoft being booted out of my Living Room within the next 3-4 years.

Finally, iWork and iLife. I don't use iWork so I can't really comment on it - from what I've seen of it, it is a good package but I live in an MS Office-based world so I don't see my picking up a new suite any time soon (unless it has seemless integration with the new version of Office (think: new Office XML formats). In terms of iLife, I am waiting with baited breath for the new version of my favourite program, GarageBand. It would be very cool if we could be given time/key changes in the new version.

Anyway, the keynote starts in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 36 seconds (time courtesy of a dashboard widget another cultist put together :D) - we'll know the toys of tomorrow soon!

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