Well, the Sun has set after a long first day at Macworld San Fransisco, and it’s been a day full of surprises.
By now, you’ve heard all the goodies, so I won’t go into great detail about them, but here’s a quick listing:
- New, bigger
anda smaller PowerBooks are coming soon to an Apple Store nearest you (there are 51 of them now, you know).
- New commercials to promote the new PowerBooks.
- AirPort Extreme, which uses 802.11g for faster wireless networking.
- Bluetooth is built into the new PowerBooks (yeah!)
- New versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD (2, 3, and 2, respectively).
- iLife: The above three (iPhoto 2, iMovie 3, and iDVD 2), plus iTunes 3. Now if I can just find MyLife, life would truly be great.
- Final Cut Express: Apple took a lesson from Adobe and beat them at their own game by releasing a watered down verision of Final Cut Pro before Adobe could get out Premiere Express. Nice…
- Safari: A truly kick-ass and wicked-fast browser for the Mac that takes the best from the Open Source community and wraps it up with Cocoa. (So long IE. So long Chimera.)
- Keynote: Presentation software — made for and kick-tested by Jobs — that’ll put an end to Mac users’ reliance on Powerpoint. (Could this be a precursor, or a taste of a much needed upgrade for AppleWorks?)
There were lots of other announcements during the Stevenote, but one thing I clearly heard — as many around me did — was Steve Jobs saying iBitch, when he clearly meant to say i-Bench when talking about the performance of Safari over other browsers for Mac OS X. I’m just glad that we finally have a fast and slick browser for the Mac, I’m just not sure I like the metal interface. But I’m happier to read the message exchange over at KDE.org about Apple’s use of KHTML (or Konqueror) as the basis for Safari, and how they really are contributing back to the Open Source community. By “contributing” it doesn’t mean Apple’s sent the KHTML guys a big fat check, but it does mean that they’ve sent in a huge list of changes, many of which will find their way back into KHTML. For all the naysayers out there, you should checkout the changelog.
But one announcement I clearly missed during the keynote was that Apple has taken a lesson from the streets. Not that I’m a drug user, but to me, it seems like Apple has a man on the street who’s been taking lessons from a crack dealer. You know how it goes:
Yo. You want summa this crack. Yer first shot’s free, man.
DD gives UC some crack. Four hours later, UC comes back asking for more. The second hit comes free, too, because DD is a nice guy. UC comes
back four more hours later and asks for more. Now it’s going to cost UC some cash for that hit, and UC is willing to shell out said cash to DD because he really needs that fix.
And so the story goes until UC ends up wasting away, and DD’s DM (Distribution Manager) is happy because they now have another faithful customer who’ll come back for more.
Do you see the connection?
We saw a bit of this back at Macworld New York when Apple announced that it’s iTools service was being renamed .Mac (dot-Mac) and sold as a service with some additional software for $99.95. Mac users were, well, furious to say the least, since many of them were happy having a mac.com email address and some online storage space. By the end of September 2002, Apple had 180,000 subscribers to .Mac, and in January 2003 they have 250,000. That’s 70,000 new .Mac subscribers in three months. Not too bad.
So far, us Mac users have grown accustomed to iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, and some of us, even iDVD. Sure, you can still download updated versions of iMove 3 and iPhoto 2 online after January 25th, if you want them all now as part of iLife, it’ll cost you $49.
You want to edit digital video like a pro, but you don’t want to pay the price for Final Cut Pro? Hey, we’ve got Final Cut Express for $299.
You want a bigger or smaller PowerBook? You know, something to suit your needs? Sure, we have them, too. The Big One with all the bells and whistles will cost you $3299, while the Small One will cost you $1799 (or $1999 with the SuperDrive, or tack on another $99 if want an AirPort Extreme card for 802.11g wireless networking).
Want to do slick presentations without the pain and anguish associated with using Powerpoint? Here you go little buddy, try this Keynote application — it’ll cost you $99 (although those of us attending the keynote for Keynote received a freebie on the way out the door).
Yeah, we’re sorry that IE sucks on Mac OS X. Here, here’s a free beta for the Safari web browser, built for Mac OS X. But will there be a cost for Safari someday?
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Mac users are being nickle-and-dimed, but we don’t seem to care. Why? Because we love the Mac. Like the dogs on the covers of the O’Reilly Mac books, we’re faithful to our masters.
Apple continues to innovate and develop an OS with some true killer apps to make our lives easier, and to help us share our lives (or would that be iLifes?) with others. And along with that, they continue to innovate on the hardware side by leading the way for new technologies to become mainstream words like USB, Firewire, and now Bluetooth.
Great gear. A killer OS. Useful apps. A big company that gets Open Source. What else could a Mac user want?
Here’s my credit card number. Sign me up. I don’t want to be a dork anymore. (Maybe that could be the new Switcher slogan?)
What’s your take on Apple’s new apps and services? Are they worth it?