Steve Jobs MacWorld SF 2003 Keynote tidbits

As usual when Steve Jobs is delivering a keynote outside Paris, I'm watching the webcast live (redif). Since the move to MPEG4 and with the PowerBook hooked on the TV and HiFi sets plus cable modem, it's almost like being somewhere in the back seats, except my couch is much more confortable :). It's so cool that I wonder why I need the computer to do that, I guess it's just a matter of time before home video systems will be able to catch a video stream from a URL. Here are the key things I skimmed out of this MacWorld keynote, for lust and bitching. Apple is integrating all its iApps together, every kind of mix you can do with music, photos and videos, you can burn on CD and DVD with what looks like the first personal multimedia suite. Jobs compared the integration of multimedia with iLife to be what Microsoft did with Office in business automation. I hope they'll do it better. I must say the iDVD demo was appealing and looked so easy that it gave me envy to explore a new field. The separate apps where previously free to download, the iFile bundle is now sold for $49 (and will be included with all new Macs). It's much better value for money than the .Mac services. If you are fed up with PowerPoint to create your presentations, here is Keynote, the application tailored for Steve Jobs' keynotes. In what looks like another move into reducing reliance on Microsoft and insisting on its innovation capabilities, Apple introduces its own web browser. At first glance it's small, fast, good looking and has some interesting new features. It misses tabbed navigation (a highly addictive feature of Gecko browsers that made me ditch IE in favor of Chimera). It's a beta and the web standards knights army is already putting it through acid tests on the latest W3C standards. It's based on open source for its rendering engine, surprisingly not on Mozilla but on KHTML (like Konqueror). Less than two hours after its release, the growing list of bugs and shortcomings published around shows it's not ready for prime time yet. But it's a beta, and the prominent bug report button makes reporting bugs a snap. If Apple listens to the beta testers and fixes all the standards related bugs it can be a nice browser, otherwise it will become a designer's nightmare as you can bet it will be the standard browser on all Macs. Normal Apple whores (those who are not brand whores) were all waiting for news about higher processor speeds or even a new processor to catch up with the dark side speed lust. Now people, watch Steve Jobs' reality distortion field in action: your desktop machine is so out, the future lies in notebooks. Apple has been making the best notebooks in the universe for years (I'm not making that up, I guess Steve sees through the entire universe when he activates his field) and voilà, two brand new PowerBooks that promise to shield competition for another round. They sport (sometimes as an option) about anything you can dream about in terms of connectivity including Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, the latest WiFi 54 dubbed as AirPort Extreme and FireWire 2 (800 Mbps). I expected USB2 but I guess it's been sacrificed on the altar of FireWire 2 and that it won't be missed that much anyway or be included later. The difference is in the size, both extremes with the biggest portable screen ever released (17") and the smallest G4 portable (12"). The automatic backlight on the keyboard is great. I have been working on the 15" model for about two years and it's still beating most PC notebooks sold today, but the 17" is clearly ahead! In a somehow funny flashback into crazy new economy (where people predicted we would all be wearing "intelligent" clothes), here is a jacket designed for the iPod. Batteries, er sorry, iPod not included :). I spotted a little pearl hidden in the marketing video of the 17' PowerBook in this sentence from Johnathan Ive (Apple's chief designer) highlighting Apple's philosophy: The simplicity of the solution completely belies the complexity of the problem it's actually solving. Warning: this is true, and abuse of amazing brand values can turn you into a brand whore. This keynote adds another milestone into the consumer part of Apple's current market targets. For new high-end machines, I bet traditional professional users will have to wait until Quark finally releases XPress for OS X (which will probably be demanding huge processor resources) or, at worst, the next WWDC in May where Apple can't face its developers without real good news on the GHz war.

1 Comment

Would someone that has the ability please send this to Steve Jobs...


Hi Steve. My name is Douglas Phillipson. I have been going to "Century 23 Computers" in Las Vegas for about 20 years. The owner, Nick Reese, is a good friend of mine. He has been a Apple enthusiast for as long as Apple has been around. Nick is having great trouble staying open for business though. Nick is the kind of guy you want representing Apple. He constantly helps people with computer problems on the phone, in person, wherever. He is your number one Apple advocate in the world. But the large chain stores are squeezing him out of business, slowly. I think it's a real shame this is happening. I enjoy Apple technology and it is largly because of Nick Reese. I wish there was some way to make his little Computer store competitive with the big boys. Is there anything you can do? Please take yourself back to the days when computers were really fun, the early Apple days. Remember the fun you had with computers then. This is where Nick's mind really is. He tries to make computers fun for the common person. He goes out of his way to help Mac users, even to the point that he loses money on a deal. I feel he will be out of business in the next year or two if something doesn't change. This, in my eyes, will be a great loss for Apple.

Regards

Douglas Phillipson

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