Apple, as usual, surprised and disappointed at Macworld 2006. The surprise is easily the quick move to Intel Inside with the iMac and MacBook Pro, instead of an iBook or Mac mini.
Sometimes there’s news in what’s not printed. What’s missing from Steve Jobs’ keynote address?
Plenty. Yes, we’re all excited about the iLife changes. Apple’s got their collective acts together when it comes to software.
Mac OS X is Intel ready at version 10.4.4 (runs fine on my PowerBook) which is shipping with the new iMacs and MacBook Pro machines.
I’ll admit to being stunned with the integration and sharing capability in the iLife suite. Mine is due to arrive via FedEx on Thursday, so I’ll give you a first hand report, probably on Friday.
iLife is a remarkable value, though. There’s nothing like it on Windows. Nothing. $79? Get real. That’s a superb value. An updated iLife was also expected and Apple did not disappoint.
Media pundits often point out that the iPod does not have an FM tuner. Though Apple says most users don’t care, the solution is a good one. A combo FM tuner and remote makes it available for those who want it.
We’ll have to wait to check out the software, though. I like the idea of being able to record FM to an iPod. Griffin’s lame radioShark doesn’t do the job.
The show by Steve was very good, and I recommend, if you have the time and bandwidth, that you watch the QuickTime video of the keynote. Even Bambi’s detailed coverage didn’t do justice to the real show.
Late Monday night Jack published his Final Last Minute Rumor List with Probable, Possible, and Impossible announcements from Macworld.
More on that later. For now, let me focus on what’s missing from Macworld. Expectations were very high for a media center solution, an iBook replacement, and an Intel chip inside a new Mac mini.
Many media pundits, Apple watchers, and customers expected new iPod shuffles. They’re a year old. That is sooooo 2005.
Perhaps our expectations were simply misplaced. After all, Apple has the agenda. We simply have the expectations. Missing is action is anything to do with the media center and the living room.
As I reflect over that so-called “gap” it becomes obvious that Apple doesn’t need to deliver a solution yet. Yet. Microsoft has had little success moving the PC into the living room with Windows Media Center.
They’ve even scaled back the requirements for PC makers by eliminating the TV/Cable card. It’s just a bunch of software that doesn’t do what iLife does, or Front Row, and it’s a far more complicated solution that’s looking for a problem.
That doesn’t mean the stakes are not high to get Apple into the living room. The approach will simply be “different.” Should we expect anything less.
So, we didn’t get an iBook or Mac mini with Intel inside. We didn’t get Front Row 2.0 and a digital video recorder. We also didn’t get new iPod shuffles, though with over 80-percent market share, Apple’s not sweating it.
We also didn’t get any information about battery life on the new Intel MacBook Pro. I can’t find it anywhere. Didn’t Steve tell us that he switched to Intel because of performance per watt issues? Is battery life good or crummy? We’ll see. That’s missing, too.
Also missing in action is “Numbers”—my word for a spreadsheet that I expected to show up in iWork. We did get 3D graphs and tables that calculate (that’s a spreadsheet of sorts), but not much more. That’s a disappointment.
Surprises? Yes. Surprises in what was announced and what was not announced. How are our prediction skills as a Mac oriented web site?
Click Here for the list we published Monday night before the keynote address.
On the “Probable” Top 5 List, we got three of five, missing on the iPod shuffle, and an iTunes Music Store upgrade for more videos.
On the “Possible” List, we missed everything, so what’s that tell you about “expectations?” We missed on new iBook with Intel, new Mac mini with Intel, Front Row 2.0, Apple digital video recordeer, and my coveted Airport Express AV.
We even had trouble with the Top 5 “Impossible” List. We only got right Return of the Newton, an iPad, and a licensing deal for OS X on Intel.
Apple even cut a new deal with Microsoft to produce Office for another five years. Who knew?
It’s early in 2006 and much will change over the course of the rest of the year. We’ll see more Macs change to Intel chips, more Mac software become “universal” (run on old and new Macs), and more surprises.
We may also see news about Leopard, the next generation of Mac OS X. Microsoft is scheduled to ship OS X lookalike Windows Vista by the end of the year.
In the meantime, my list hasn’t gone away. I want a living room solution from Apple (though I may need help defining the “problem” in the living room). I expect more videos and movie sales from Apple. And low end and high end iPods.
Tera, Christmas was yesterday and you’re already working on a new list?
Jack D. Miller
The living room is important but Apple’s coming at it via the iPod and music rather than 46-buttons on a Microsoft Windows Media Center remote control device. Think simple.
Also missing was lower prices. Many expected lower prices on Intel Macs. Looks like it won’t happen.