Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, WWDC, is here. How do the predictions compare with reality?
Here’s a Mac360 look at what we think Steve Jobs will present. As the day goes on, compare our view from the crystal ball to the Reality Distortion Field.
Apple’s WWDC has become a big mid-year event for the Mac maker, drawing large crowds of developers into dozens of seminar and training sessions, highlighted by Steve Jobs’ keynote.
There are two important considerations for WWDC 2007. The first, and foremost, is Mac OS X Leopard, scheduled to be launched some time in October.
Leopard was promised in June, but pushed to later in the year as Apple ran into “resource” issues. Will the extra four months be worth the wait?
What are the secret features that Apple promised would show up in Leopard? WWDC attendees will leave with their own copy of Leopard in beta form. My significant other, Wil Gomez, is attending the conference and keynote in San Francisco, and will provide Mac360 readers with ongoing details, and a more in-depth review of Leopard to follow.
With iPhone scheduled for a late June launch, what can we expect to come out of the WWDC keynote presentation?
First, we expect Leopard’s secret features to be revealed. Duh. What are they?
Speculation is running rampant, but we expect a new Finder and a unified interface scheme in what we call “platinum plastic” which supplants the older brushed metal look.
How sure are we of these predictions?
New Mac Finder – 100%
New Platinum Plastic Look – 100%
New “Other” Secret Feature – 100%
Lengthy Demo of OS X Leopard – 100%
Not bad, huh? Wait. There’s more. Much has been made of ZFS, the complex and highly touted file system from Sun. Wil is convinced we’ll see it, but not implemented as the default file system, supplanting Apple’s long-in-the-tooth Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus).
Combined with Leopard’s Time Machine, ZFS would make OS X Leopard leap well beyond anything on Windows Vista.
Demo ZFS File System – 85%
ZFS Files System as Default – 0%
Most of us at Mac360 expected to see 2007 versions of iLife—iPhone, iDVD, iMovie, iWeb, et al. It didn’t happen, so speculation and logic says iLife ‘07 will show up now. I don’t think so.
Apple is doing so well, selling so well, that we may get a demo of the new iLife, but it won’t ship until Leopard ships. After all, Apple will be busy in July, August, and Septembertrying to keep up with iPhone orders.
Demo iLife ‘07 – 85%
Release iLife ‘07 – 25%
Speaking of iLife, remember, this is a developer’s conference and iLife applications, in some ways, compete with products from the very developers in attendance.
Apple’s much maligned .Mac service is due for an overhaul and Steve Jobs as much as said it’s coming during his recent interview with Bill Gates. We expect .Mac to have greater integration with OS X Leopard, and therefore, worthy of a demo.
Demo New .Mac – 85%
Release New .Mac – 25%
After the above items, the Mac360 crystal ball gets fuzzy, though it’s never been more than 50-50 clear. I’d like to see VoIP via iChat, while supporting Skype or other telecom protocols.
Wil says there’s a good chance we’ll see a brief demo of iPhone and discussion of the iPhone Software Development Kit. I don’t think so. Not yet. Developers may receive a mention and not much more, other than perhaps a look at iPhone Widgets. This is hype Apple can hold onto for awhile. Remember, they’re going to be busy for months.
For sure, we can expect Steve Jobs to poke at Windows Vista a time or two. Or six. We do not expect a demonstration of the Universal Binary version of Microsoft Office, 2008. Again, that’s competition for Apple’s developers in attendance. Ditto for Adobe.
Outside of that, what’s left? There’s recent speculation about including some kind of virtualization in Leopard, perhaps sufficient to run Windows applications without Windows, and to negate the need for Parallels or VMWare for Mac. We don’t think so. Apple prefers Boot Camp and friends to help marginalize Windows.
How about new Macs? Personally, between now and Macworld 2008, I expect Apple to upgrade the iMac to a thinner, sleeker version, and to release a MacBook Pro mini, a flash-based ultra compact Mac, perhaps with touchscreen capability built in. It’s OK to dream.
Others are expecting Apple to introduce new Cinema Display models, including a new 30-inch gargantuan display—all with built-in iSight cameras. We don’t think so.
That’s the Mac360 scorecard for WWDC 2007. Compare our predictions with the reality and your own expectations. Click Here to view details on the keynote presentation.