Posted By RichC on January 15, 2008
It is the highly anticipated MacWorld 2008 keynote speech from Steve Jobs that draws thousands of loyal Apple fans to attend or tune in every year. This year was no exception and included me … by web video. I’ll briefly outline the theme and products:
First, the high end ‘big’ Macintosh had the early announcement a few weeks ago — and that was an 8 processor machine that is faster than any Apple as ever processed. Its the workhorse of the graphics and film industry. Only a few homes will opt for such a behemoth computer. (I’m surprised it doesn’t have a 220 volt connection)
Second, was actually the day’s first announcement; that of Time Capsule — and add-on Airport/Hard drive box that interfaces with the Mac new Leopard OS program called Time Machine. This wireless drive allows Macs to backup and save data automatically … and very simply. (this can currently be done with a USB Harddrive)
Third, Steve Jobs announce a software upgrade for the iPhone. Sounds fine, but considering I’m not own of the 4 million iPhone owners, its not a big deal to me, although it was probably the biggest tech product of 2007.
Fourth an addition to the iTunes Store that might even attract me? Movie rentals in addition to the current Podcasts, TV show and music for the iPod, iPhone/iTouch, Mac and PC computers and for Apple TV. Speaking of Apple TV … Jobs called it “Apple TV Take 2” … the content playing device will get an interface that can be connected to a wide screen television set and also manage content from an easy to navigate (TiVo-like) menu system. Apple has negotiated agreements with most major studios to offer their movies for rent online. One selects the older “Library” movie ($2.99) or a current DVD release (30 days after the DVD is released — $3.99) and downloads to their device. The movie can also be moved around from device to device or even be started immediately and played while it is being downloaded. After downloading you’ll have 30 days in which to view and once started it will be available for 24 hours. Now for the really attractive part … they will be offering HD version for only $1.00 more all on a box that will now sell for $229! (it can also be used with iPhoto, dot Mac, Flickr, YouTube, iTunes Podcasts and Music Videos)
And finally fifth … the big announcement that I predict with outsell all notebook computers if Apple can build them fast enough … the MacBook Air. Its the thinnest notebook I’ve ever seen with full featured specs and then some. It is so thin as to fit in a manila office envelope, yet packs a full size back lit keyboard with a 13.3 inch screen. It is powered by a tiny Intel Core Duo chip (introduced by Intel CEO, Paul Otellini) running at 1.6 MHz or 1.8 MHz. The harddrive is a 1.8 inch model out of an iPod and has 80GB of storage or one can opt for a 60GB solid state flash memory drive. $$$ The thin notebook doesn’t have an optical drive but an external is available for $99 OR one can use special Remote Disk software and borrow a drive from a networked computer. The MacBookAir comes in at 3 pounds and this Aluminum case powerhouse will run for 5 hours on its internal battery according to Apple. The 110 volt power using a small 45 watt brick similar to the iPod and has one USB2 port, a Micro DV plug and headphone jack. (don’t know about internal speakers) It also has an 802.11n for wireless networking and Bluetooth radio. One of the really unique feature is the trackpad … its like and iTouch or iPhone and using MultiTouch Gestures — very cool. Order are being taken as of now and expect them to be available in two weeks for $1799.
Oh … did I mention “I want one?” 🙂