Today is the official start of Macworld, San Francisco, 2007. Although, for most of us the real excitement starts tomorrow, with the keynote address, and opening of the exhibit floor.
I must say that I am surprised at Apple’s lack of decoration this year. In the main Moscone Hall (where the keynote will be), there’s just a single banner. It’s the same one they’ve been showing on their homepage since the 1st. Normally, they have at least 3 banners. I guess they really don’t want to give anything away this year. Or, they’re waiting until the last minute to hang the ‘real’ banners.
Anyway, what would Macworld be without predictions. I think we’re all expecting pretty big things this year. First, we have this banner that says ‘The first 30 years were just the beginning’, implying a big announcement this year, and we also have a keynote address that will be 2 hours long (9:00am – 11:00am pst tomorrow). Typically, they’re only an hour. Hopefully, they are going to announce some cool things, and we aren’t just hyping ourselves into inevitable disappointment.
I personally think we’re going to see a lot tomorrow. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some kind of updates across all the products… but here’s some specific predictions:
Yes, I’m in the camp that says this year it’s actually going to happen. I personally hope it’s more along a PDA line, and not just an iPod phone. If they announce it, I’ll be first in line to get one. Anne Marie gave me an Apple gift card for Christmas specifically for that purpose. :)
I think we’ll see a new demo, with more specifics, and possibly get a release date, but it won’t be available this month.
I think there is a chance well see a new display, but not for the computer. The perfect companion to the ‘iTV’ would be a shiny new flat-screen, for the living room. It’s not that their current displays wouldn’t work, but the base is all wrong for your home entertainment center. I think Apple would make a display with a more invisible base (low and hidden).
I’m on the fence about this one. I would like to see this come out, but I’m not sure if we’ll see it tomorrow.
Mac minis, iMacs, Macbooks, and Macbook Pros will see a slight bump in processor speed, but no significant changes will be made. I’m firmly in the ‘NO’ camp for the possibility of black Macbook Pros. I personally would buy one, but I think Apple wants to maintain a distinct visual difference between Macbooks and Macbook Pros.
The only significant update will be to the Mac Pro. I think we’ll see a new processor, and quite possibly a new design. The current box is left-over from the G5 Powermac, and I think Apple has been planning to change it.
We’ll probably see a new processor in the Xserve, but that’s not really a consumer product, so I don’t pay much attention to it.
mmmmm… I doubt it, but anything is possible. Given that tablets have been around for years, and no one really seems to care, I doubt Apple would go in this direction just yet. Although, I could see them doing an ultra portable Mac (Macbook mini?). I personally would love to have a Mac that is smaller than a laptop, but bigger than a PDA, for travel.
We’ll see a new demo, but I wouldn’t look for OS 10.5 Leopard to hit store shelves until at least July.
I think it’s a given that we’ll see iLife ’07 and iWork ’07. I also have little doubt that iWork will finally see a spreadsheet application. I think the biggest update to iLife will be in the iWeb application. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we see some kind of global media browser, kind of like ‘Bridge’ from the Adobe Creative Suite, for better media management.
I also think we’ll see updates to Final Cut Studio, but I have no specific predictions.
We’ll probably see updates to .Mac. I think they’re going to do to iCal what they did for Mail… make a complete online version of iCal, so you can truly access (and edit) your calendar from anywhere. I think a storage bump is in the cards too. We may see some specific features for the new iWeb as well.
There you have it! Those are my official predictions. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I would give anything to go to the keynote. :)