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Article: 2004 – The Year in Review

by on December 27, 2004

2004 was full of all kinds of memorable pop-culture happenings, as well as political, business, and other events. We decided to put our 2¢ in for this year’s edition of the year in review…After scouring all the archives (ours and many others), we decided what were the top Mac news stories of 2004:


The Macworld Expo was all about the music. And servers. But mostly music. The iPod Mini, a product many thought would never sell was quickly on backorder. GarageBand was introduced allowing anyone to make their own music. And the 10GB iPod became history. Did we also mention that this was the 20th anniversary of the Mac and our first up-to-the-minute Macworld coverage?


The Pepsi/iTunes promotion was kicked off on 1 Feb, giving a 1 in 3 chance to win a free iTunes song. Soon after its introduction, a way to cheat was found, and people were found examining Pepsi bottles in convenience stores everywhere.


Apparently the Power Mac G5 was too fast – or Apple was claiming it was. After of a complaint from Dell to the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau. The NAD said Apple did not provide a reasonable basis for its claims that the G5 is “the world’s fastest, most powerful personal computer” and that it “edged out the competition on integer.” It also felt that “the world’s first 64-bit processor for personal computers” could be confused with workstations. The NAD suggested Apple “modify this claim to effectively limit it to personal computers.”


The iTunes music store became a year old in April. Along with news of its success, Apple announced that it would be giving away a special single away every day for a week. After that, Apple would give away a free song every Tuesday. This is still continuing, exposing iTunes users to all sorts of up-and-coming, and well-known artists.


Office 2004, demoed at the January Macworld Expo, was obviously a major update. It finally shipped in May, but Virtual PC 7 was still delayed. Many felt the new features, such as a notebook view in word, and page layout in Excel made it better than the Windows version.


Tiger was obviously the two major stories coming out of June. Or maybe the new aluminum displays were. Well, we’re going to just say that WWDC was probably the biggest story of June for Mac news, or maybe the biggest story of the year. Soon after Tiger was demoed, people everywhere cried out about the Dashboard feature, and how it was a “ripoff” of Konfabulator. Others said Apple had the idea first with desk accessories. At any rate, it’s a pointless argument.


The new iPods were clearly the important news item in July. With a click wheel just like the iPod Mini, they featured a simplified design. This meant third-parties must redesign their cases. It also now had moving parts for navigation, some felt was a step backward from the third generation iPods. The new features included


The month started with Apple employees receiving a memo from CEO Steve Jobs stating that he had undergone a surgery to remove a rare form of pancreatic cancer. This reminded many that Steve Jobs, was in fact, not invincible. His recovery lasted a tad longer, so Phil Schiller ran the Macworld Expo in Paris’s keynote.


The iMac G5 was introduced. Most people were speculating that the sunflower iMac design’s days were numbered, but to be replaced with what? Many were afraid that the replacement would be something along the lines of Gateway’s Profile PCs…something downright ugly and a step backward. Well, Apple managed to not only create something classy and simple, but also powerful, since it came with a G5 processor.


As if the new iPods introduced in July weren’t enough, Apple outdid itself with the iPod Photo, and the U2 iPod. iPod Socks were the other “innovative” product, and were quite controversial. Simply a pack of 6 colored and trimmed socks, Apple is selling them for $29.


FireFox hit version 1.0, which has received lots and lots of press as an alternative for Internet Explorer on Windows. Many Mac users, still think that Mozilla’s own Camino, or Safari.


We wrap up this year in review with good news to Apple stockholders and Mac fans in general. In an article published last week by the Wall Street Journal, numerous readers responded that the “iPod halo effect” is working, and that the future looks pretty good for Apple’s computer business. Essentially, the iPod is hooking Windows users into getting a Mac.

No matter how you slice it, 2004 was the best year for Mac users since, well 2003. It seems that Steve Jobs has much up his sleeve for 2005, despite the fact that some product information was leaked.

See you in 2005.

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