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MacWorld roundup

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So, let's jump right in, now that I'm a little late...

What happened?

- iWork '09

Cloud? NO!!!! http://i.gizmodo.com/5124555/apple-sends-i...oduces-iworkcom

- iLife '09

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124196/apple-revamps...imovie-and-more

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124569/sting-teaches...n-garageband-09

- 17" Aluminum Uni-body update for MacBook Pros (orgasmic)

- "Revolutionary" MacBook Pro non-removable battery

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124514/17+inch-macbo...is-unibody-2799

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124539/17-macbook-pr...-first-hands-on

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124811/apple-confirm...-17-macbook-pro

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124705/the-story-beh...lasting-battery

- DRM-free iTunes

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124588/itunes-gets-d...urchase-over-3g

- Steve Job's absence due to health issues

http://i.gizmodo.com/5123345/steve-jobs-sk...e-of-his-health

- No new Mini

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124706/wheres-the-ma...r-rumor-smashes

Dear God am I late. Instead of reiterating, click what you're interested in. Works out, I guess!

Also: Discuss; Apple's last MacWorld, and Steve's health.

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Personally, I felt it was somewhat underwhelming for most people, but I found two items of particularly exciting nature - namely:

- iWork '09 with iwork.com

- DRM free iTunes

iWork '09 with iwork.com :

Apple has introduced not so much a potential Office Killer with iwork.com, but rather a means to make Office less relevant in the long run - the majority of people feel they need Office as their colleagues and friend send them Office documents, hence the large *claimed* sales of Office and Office for the Mac. Being able to send iWork documents to office users used to entail having to do special exports in Office formats, dragging the items to email, and sending them off, hoping for the best.

With the iwork.com component, you just select iwork as your transport, select who to send them to, and the recipient clicks on a link and is instantly able to view your document - no iWork, or Office, or anything else required. Additionally, if they need a hard copy, they have the option of downloading in various formats, including PDF, fit for their consumption.

Apple, by doing it this way, is using the best of the Cloud metaphor, by combining it with the dedicated application -- proving most rumors wrong.

Downside - iwork.com documents are currently not editable within iwork.com, but I expect that to happen within the next 1-2 iterations. Considering something like 280slides.com exists, there's ample demonstration that it can be done (in the Keynote context, for example).

Lastly, I expect iwork.com to exact most likely a yearly fee, similar to MobileMe.

DRM free iTunes:

This falls under the category of another one of the things that Steve initially wanted, was rebuffed by the music industry, which now grudgingly had to give it to him, because they themselves screwed up.

Win: Steve Jobs

Essentially, the music industry never wanted DRM free music, but in their long effort to dethrone iTunes, they tried to offer specials to other competitors, hoping it would kick iTunes to the curb, and give them control over the online music sales backm, specifically variable with, what they hope, higher pricing. Notably, Amazon.com negotiated DRM free music initially - the problem is that what one retailer gets, the industry has to eventually give to all others, including iTunes.

Steve Jobs' position with regards to DRM was clear since the beginning (he doesn't like it) and while forced to implement it, still gave us the most lenient, and functional implementation with FairPlay - nevertheless, he wanted it gone.

The first implementation was iTunes Plus -- DRM free tunes, with higher encoding bitrates, at $1,29. This was a sweet trap, as essentially it's still a 99 cents song, but the extra 30 cents pays for a higher quality version.

This was followed by ALL iTunes Plus songs available for the same 99 cents (because, again, the music industry made that price available to competitors), and finally what we have now -- iTunes Plus for all songs (when the conversion is done - right now it's just 8 million) with 'hits' for $1.29 (the old iTunes Plus pricing), regular music at 99 cents, and some music (oldies, I guess) for 69 cents. I do wonder what constitutes the 69 price break. Either way, Steve wins - while giving a nearly irrelevant concession (don't want to pay 99 cents, wait a while). Personally, I think this may eventually lead to the erosion of the $1.29 tier, but that's iffy.

At the end of the day, if you go back 5-10 years, and you check what Steve's goals are, he is slowly checking them all off -- he is just deliberately taking as long as it takes, without compromise (I mean, look at how long it took him to finally get 'Apple, Inc' - he's wanted to call Apple that way since the inception, 30 years ago, but had to tack 'Computer' onto it because of the issue with the Beatles... once again, Win: Steve Jobs)

These two announcements I found, for the above reasons, to be particularly exciting - the rest were evolutionary: iLife '09 - nice, but evolutionary; MacBook pro 17" - nice, but evolutionary.

As far the rumors, new Mac mini, new iMacs : you know there's another event in February or March; iPhone nano : dream on (if anything, a new iPod Touch nano may get released, someday).

Lastly, Phil did a decent job presenting, but he simply lacks the charism and enthusiasm that Steve Jobs can build up.

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I want apple to create a netbook/lighter work computer for the general public. 8 inch screen, simple keypad slightly smaller, all screen, but with the webcam on the back and the microphone by the keyboard. The screen should not have the black edges, ALL SCREEN.

And I would like it to be smaller, but they should sacrafice to bring the batterlife up, a little thicker bottom is defintly worth a 4-5 hour battery... Thats what I would buy...

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I found it really astounding that iPhoto '09 has face detection and recognition. Beyond opinions of many people, I find this feautre really useful myself.

Suppose for example you want to make a slideshow for your daughter's 15 years birthday (considered a special occasion at my country). It'll be a much easier task to collect the photos, by using this feature. Hope to see it in other apps soon, such as Picassa.

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