Macworld Expo: The Mac Gets Back into Business?
Opinion: Everyone is talking about Apple's drive into consumer video and iPod phones. But the real story on the show floor will be the renewal of the Mac as a business platform.
SAN FRANCISCO—The buzz is swelling in anticipation of consumer-side announcements from Steve Jobs' keynote address that will kick off the annual Macworld Expo here. Will it be the iPod phone or the iTV digital media server (name change is also expected)? Only Jobs and a select cadre of Apple execs know for sure.
However, after the keynote hubbub settles and attendees wander onto the show floor, a revised sense of the Mac market may come into view. Among the booths filled with professional and consumer photo and video content creation tools and iPod gear—all expected and familiar Expo fare—will be an invasion of software and hardware solutions solidly in the small and midsize business camp.
Many industry analysts predict that Jobs will dedicate a large portion of his Jan. 9 keynote address to describing in greater detail the so-called iTV device, which he previewed in September. However, recent postings on some online Mac enthusiast sites warn Jobs may pass on the iTV media server.
A similar bifurcated prediction is seen about the iPhone, or iPod phone. The possibilities of the nature of the iPhoneand its revelation keep climbing.
In addition, Mac users hope for more details of Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.5, which was introduced to developers in Augustat the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. At the time, Jobs said the company would wait to reveal a number of its features until closer to its release, which is expected in the first half of 2007.
With Windows Vista's feature SKUs and feature set fixed, perhaps Apple will show off more of Leopard and provide a check list for PC customers who are deciding between a Windows upgrade and switching to OS X and the Macintosh.
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