Saturday, January 12, 2008

Apple: There's Something in the Air

No, it's not smog! Or someone farting.

It is that time of year, when Mac users descend on Moscone Center in San Francisco for MacWorld. If you're Muslim, it's like Mecca. If you're Catholic it'll be like Christmas morning as Steve Jobs unwrap this year's present. Either way, whether you'll be there in person to witness what Jobs and Apple has up their sleeve, or eagerly clicking on Mac blogs, sites and podcasts, this week will be bigger than big.

Bigger than big? That's an exaggeration, isn't it?

Well put it this way: Ars Technica has first pictures of the banners at Macworld. banners. no real products or an announcement of a product. all there is are banners that say:

 "2008. There's something in the air."  

The minutia of the difference in font from what Apple normally uses is being analyzed. what could the skinnier font mean?  the words are being picked apart. What does "Air" mean? 

What does it all mean? Cloud computing? new Airport? new iPhones? rentals? a new subnotebook? a new notebook? a revolutionary multi-touch interface that changes depending on what app you're using like a keyboard if your on a word processor or a wacom-tablet-like if you're doing photoshop? 

At this point, it's anybody's wild guess. 

No one knows what surprise Macworld will bring! Well, except Steve Jobs and a few of his trusted lieutenants that is. That of course hasn't stopped any of us from speculating, from guessing, from discussing at places like Macrumor's forum, where the discussion is very much alive. 

Are we Mac users, weird? You bet.  But that's part of the fun.  

No one gets this level of excitement or high expectation for a convention.  As all eyes are on Apple at Macworld, CNNMoney says, that Steve Jobs' tough act to follow at Macworld is himself. 


After all, it is hard to imagine, how do you top iPhone from last year's MacWorld? 

Can Apple be bigger than big? 

In 2007 saw Apple soaring past Intel and IBM in market cap:  171 Billion dollars. Who would have thought?  Everyone had deemed Apple dying just 10 years ago. Just ask Michael Dell, who would never be allowed to forget his remark on that regard.   

Can the Mac conquer the Enterprise? will they even try? Should they even try? 

Apple uncharacteristically refreshed their Pro Desktop and server machines, offering really great value for their tech just days before this year's Macworld. Would you believe even that raises expectations for Tuesday's keynote? What could possibly be more cool than an 8-Core tower of power? 

On the Mac, the desktop virtualization industry is very much alive. So much so that SWSoft, owner of Parallels, a company that specializes on virtualization on the Mac (among their other products) has changed its name to "Parallels".  They're the company (the other guy is VMWare) that makes it possible to run Windows XP or Vista side by side with Mac OS X. Lucrative business for both VMWare and Parallels? you bet. 

Cringely on the other hand, wants Apple to burn all their money, put us all out of misery and just buy Adobe already.  Not a bad idea, really! He made good points. 

AMD+ATI when you look at it logically was also a good idea, especially given that in the next few years, the gpu will go the way of the sound card.  Not so hot now, after the fact isn't it? What does that say for Apple+Adobe?

If only a merger wouldn't be disastrous for Apple to do so, right? Adobe isn't exactly cheap, at US$38 (Friday's closing numbers). If Apple had maybe 25 Billion in the bank. If Adobe was going for cheaper than 38 per share, maybe. There are other, more lucrative businesses to get into with Apple's current and rising war chest. Nothing speaks louder than cash, after all. Depleting that for Adobe, just isn't that appealing and maybe even threaten Apple's hardware supply.

That said, Adobe Labs has software called AIR. this lets developers use their existing web development skills to build Internet Applications. Something for the iPhone SDK? 

It would certainly not be a huge surprise if Steve Jobs will be all praises about the rising market share of Macs or similar statistic. It was a stellar year! No one doubts that. We're all eagerly awaiting Steve Jobs' keynote. Tuesday should be sooner. First the Mac Pro, XServe tease right at the heart of CES week, then banners being posted.  No one makes so much noise without actually making noise like Apple. They talk without actually talking. Expectations are high. Only one thing is certain, there's something in the air.