August 08, 2006

WWDC 2006 Roundup

As I wrote on Sunday night, WWDC is one of the most hotly-anticipated days on a Mac aficionado's calendar. And just about every year sees an incredible amount of hype and predictions of software, hardware and magic - expectations that Apple CEO Steve Jobs can just pull products out of a hat, regardless of their ease of development, or practicality. This year was no different - as a little after 24 hours following the event, Apple is recognized for having made some strong, solid introductions, but still a cry goes up from the Web by those who expected quite a bit more.

Gone are the visions many had of wireless iPods, and a downloadable movie store, an iPhone, or the introduction of integrated Windows compatibility. Instead, we saw the company complete its move to Intel processors with the introduction of the Mac Pro, we saw a preview of Mac OS X 10.5 (a.k.a. Leopard), and we heard Steve talk about how the new Mac OS X operating system was delivering features beyond even Microsoft's wildest imagination. Steve said that despite $5 billion in R&D, Microsoft is learning to copy Apple and Google, and isn't coming up with anything new. Also, he hinted at some "Top Secret" announcements and features that will be withheld until Leopard becomes closer to reality.

In the 1990s, the build-up to WWDC was a small affair, celebrated by a select few. Now, with Apple enjoying a resurgence with the success of the iPod, adoption of Intel and delays from Microsoft, the company has enjoyed overwhelming attention by more mainstream press. Now, instead of us Mac-heads whining in private Internet forums or stock boards, we now see reaction from Wired saying that Steve Jobs has lost his magic, and CNET claiming the blogosphere is disappointed. You reap what you sow, and Apple, so far, has held strong in the face of increased scrutiny.

For me, I'm looking forward to Leopard, and hope we see a lot more in the way of its functionality. The Mac Pro line is very strong if I were in that market, but being completely laptop-oriented now, I can't ever see why I would need a quad-core Intel Xeon workstation. That's crazy talk. I can't wait to ditch the two machines at work and merge them to one, a new MacBook Pro. Now, all I have to do is convince the boss, and get it expensed.

And until then, I'm going to go back to the recorded stream and take a look at it all myself for the first time.

Listening to ''Nessaja'', by Scooter (Play Count: 5)

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