August 07, 2006

Apple In Focus: WWDC Kicks Off Today

For every good Apple rumormonger, there are really two big days on the calendar that one should mark at the beginning of every year - the beginning of MacWorld San Francisco in January, and the first day of the company's WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC), held in the summer. At both events, CEO and mogul Steve Jobs takes the stage and often wows attendees by unveiling the latest software and hardware with his own unique flair.

Sometimes, we are surprised and in awe by the announcements, and many other times, we are disappointed, for the pre-event hype often outweighs reality, as no company could provide the level of excitement and the wide breadth of introductions that we ourselves could dream up.

This year, like every year, the rumors have been flying fast and furious. Nearly everybody expects that the company's next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, or Leopard, will be previewed, and offered early to developers. Most expect to learn more about the newest professional desktops, dubbed the Mac Pro. Others anticipate updated iPods, or even the much-discussed, but never seen, iPhone. Other potential updates include the Xserve, or the company's displays.

Rumors are so widespread for WWDC that sites are dedicated to summarizing the potential announcements, and so many different sites are offering to stream live updates that there is even a page dedicated to summarizing all the live text feeds. Amazing, isn't it?

And while all that fun is going on as Steve, clad in a black turtleneck and blue jeans, is doing some of the best marketing on the planet, the Wall Street Journal continues to bang the drum on the story around the company's alleged stock option irregularities. In a piece coming out Monday, the WSJ now says that stock option grants to directors were issued just days before stock price increases, making the beneficiaries millions almost instantly. While few specific details are known yet, uncertainty is never a good thing in today's financial markets, and it threatens to put a dour mood on today's proceedings, at least as far as the markets are concerned. (Also: Reuters)

Though still keenly interested in Apple's announcements, I'm not as much the diehard I once was, admittedly. In years past, life would stop as Steve took the stage. I would stream the QuickTime to my computer, at home or at work, and fiddle while he introduced items. In the background, either a Web chat or a stock discussion board would take my initial reactions one by one, as collectively, many of us would react - sometimes violently, to what we saw. At times, we would see Steve stall, and know a new feature had fallen out of the keynote, and at other times, we would gnash and wail when that which we had most hoped for wouldn't materialize. But tomorrow, when Steve's on stage, I'll probably be in a meeting at the office. And that, honestly, will be okay. I'll catch up after it's all done, and see the verdict then.

Listening to ''Lush 3-3'', by Orbital (Play Count: 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment