I remember the last time the Macworld Expo was in Boston (1997) like it was yesterday. I was a student in high school, and I considered myself to be a diehard Mac user. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The atmosphere was electric: the grandeur of the expo was felt at the World Trade Center in Boston, at the Bayside Expo Center, and all around the city. Yes, the expo required two convention centers to accommodate all the exhibitors. That Macworld Expo will forever live in Mac lore. Power Macintoshes (there were even the infamous “Mac clones”), multimedia technologies, developer tools, and games (the anticipated release of “Quake”) gave Mac fanatics many reasons to cheer. We were all a part of history when Steve Jobs, returning to the helm of the company that he helped found, gave his keynote speech with Bill Gates on the jumbo screen above.
Seven years and many Apple innovations later, the Macworld Expo has returned to its humble roots in Boston. The face of Apple Computer has changed, from its logo to its business. Even the expo has changed. No longer is the expo just an expo, but it also incorporates a conference. No longer does the convention require two convention centers –it is now held at the new and towering Boston Convention and Exposition Center that has the like of a massive airport terminal.
The theme at this year’s Macworld was reflecting on the Mac’s past, and looking forward. The morning presentation on the first day of the expo by David Pogue, and a reunion of the founding fathers of Apple Computers (Jef Raskin, Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Jerry Manock), provided a humble celebration of the little machine that could, as well as the company that started it all. Each person also spoke of their experiences working with Steve Jobs, their present life after Apple, and their insights on the future of the company. The next day, Rick Smolan, head of the “America 24/7″ and the “A Day in the Life of” series, reflected on how the Mac contributed to his projects and successes for decades.
One noticeable spotlight at the conference was the attention on digital music and the iPod, which seems to be the future direction of Apple.
So no Apple, no Microsoft, no Adobe, no Macromedia, and a host of others normally at the Macworld Expo. It did not dampen the spirit of the Macworld Expo and Conference. Not even the bad weather nor the fact that Boston Convention and Exposition Center looked like a ghost town (only two conferences there) made a difference. One thing has not changed during the last seven years: the Apple community –the Mac fanatics, and those who keep the legacy of the Mac and Apple products.
Macworld 2004 in Boston marked the convention’s humble return to its home. I am satisfied that Macworld has returned to Boston, my home, that is synonymous with the Macworld Expo, and I am confident that this is the start of something insanely great in the years to come.
Are you looking forward to Macworld 2005 in Boston?