Special: MWSF ’04 Live Keynote Coverage

by on January 6, 2004

Apple released some new products today at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, but what do we think of them? We have some mixed opinions. Go directly to keynote updates on the Reporter’s Notebook.

Market Share and Company Info

We learned that there are now 9.3 million OS X users, which is about 40% of the Mac market. According to Steve Jobs, this is the fastest transition of operating systems ever. There are now over 10,000 native OS X apps, as well. The numbers are impressive. Although there are many who are sticking with OS 9, it’s not flat out that they hate OS X (as was the case with many Apple II users). The other thing is that rather than switching an entire platform to new hardware, we are basically using some sort of Macintosh.

Microsoft Office 2004 – So What?

I couldn’t care less about Office, really. Sure, it’s nice, and I don’t doubt that the Microsoft Business Unit worked very hard on it, but I don’t need all of its features, nor want to use that much hard drive space and money on it. Microsoft needs to can those cheesy, hideous icons. I wish Apple would update AppleWorks. That was a bit of a disappointment.

iLife Improvements

The new features in iMovie are cool, as well as iPhoto. iDVD is an app I can’t use, but I’m sure many will, and the new features are welcomed. GarageBand is pretty cool. Although I don’t play any instruments, I know a lot of people who do and would use it, and I like its ability to mix recorded audio. I’m a little confused about the “theme” it uses, as it’s neither metal nor aqua. The price is pretty good at $50. I hope Apple does offer iMovie 4 as a free download, especially if if fixes the slowness of iMovie 3 on a lot of machines. The iSight integration was also a welcomed addition.

iLife Box

I Shall Call It….Mini-Me!

The iPod Minis are cool, no matter how you look at it. Of course, they’re basically the same as the 5GB original iPod, only for a lot less than its original price, and a lot smaller. I think the anodized-aluminum case is wonderful, since it won’t scratch as easily or show fingerprints like the current iPods. The $249 price tag still is a lot higher than everyone was expecting, but the clever design, still fairly useful capacity, and choice of colors make these a great choice over flash-based players. The 10GB regular iPod was replaced by a 15GB model for the same price.

iPod mini

Other Improvements

The new Xserves and Xserve RAIDs are nice, considering their power and capabilities in such a small enclosure. The prices are, as Steve Jobs said, quite competitive.

Final Cut Express 2 was a good improvement with the real-time capabilities of Final Cut Pro 4 over the old version, but many people will still not find enough of a reason to upgrade from version 1.x.

All the numbers, figures, and other facts that Steve Jobs shared proved that Apple is doing well. We really were impressed with most of the new products and news from the Keynote, but really wished that Apple would’ve released a 20th-anniversary Mac and a word processor that doesn’t suck.

Reporter’s Notebook

We’ve provided a copy of the updates of the new products on here, for archival purposes in the future, and so that you can see what happened with details…

1:05 PM EST: Steve Jobs leaves the stage and everyone else tries to pile out of the hall…

1:04 PM EST: One more thing…a round of applause for Apple’s employees

2:00 PM EST: iPod mini has buttons on scroll wheel, FW & USB 2 can both charge, and cables are included (colors, too! (silver, orange, blue, orange, green, red) and is anodized aluminum – no more scratches!) They will ship next month in the US and April worldwide)

1:59 PM EST: iPod mini (4GB, 1000 songs, .5 inches, $249, size of a business card)

1:55 PM EST: New iPod ad debuted

1:55 PM EST: $39 iPod in-ear headphones with a case

1:54 PM EST: 10GB iPod now 15GB (D’oh!)

1:53 PM EST: Market share for Oct-Nov on iPods – 31% (includes everything: flash & hard drive)

1:51 PM EST: Continuing on…iPod…success is unbelievable (730,000 iPods sold last quarter , 2 Millionth iPod sold in December)

1:47 PM EST: Video still on…don’t think we forgot about you guys out there watching the updates :-)

1:43 PM EST: They have that one MTV2 guy showing the iLife apps on a promo video

1:42 PM EST: 49 key USB audio keyboard – $99

1:41 PM EST: JamPack – more instruments for Garageband (100 more instruments, 2,000 more loops, 15 more amps – $99)

1:39 PM EST: Jobs compares cost of Windows apps that do the same stuff as iLife ’04 (iLife ’04 will sell for $50, Free with every new Mac)

1:37 PM EST: You can export GarageBand songs to iTunes to put on your iPod (as Jobs said)

1:36 PM EST: Still demoing GarageBand (shows when audio loops, live audio, software instruments, and guitar amps mix)

1:17 PM EST: John Mayer demoes GarageBand

1:15 PM EST: GarageBand (Recording studio & pro music editor, mix up to 64 tracks, 50 software instruments, 1000 audio loops, record live audio, 200 pro-quality audio effects, and vintage & modern audio guitar amps)

1:14 PM EST: 5th iApp (GarageBand)

1:09 PM EST: iDVD 4 (20 new themes, enhanced menus & slideshows, pro encoding, now 2 hours, archive projects for non-SuperDrive machines)

1:07 PM EST: iMovie 4 has a sharing feature (for .mac users)

1:06 PM EST: Star Wars-esque title effect shown…

1:03 PM EST: iMovie 4 (trim clips, alignment based on Keynote, titles, iSight compatibility, audio scrubbing)

1:02 PM EST: iPhoto 4’s new features summarized again (Japan and Europe get to buy books and prints now)

1:00 PM EST: Rendezvous Photo Sharing demoed (Steve buys the iTunes song he wants)

12:58 PM EST: New slideshow effects & music

12:57 PM EST: Rate/Trash/Flip during slideshows

12:53 PM EST: iPhoto being demoed…(sepia effect added)

12:50 PM EST: iLife ’04 – iTunes 4, iPhoto (25,000 photos, new organization, smart albums, ratings, photo sharing via Rendezvous)

12:50 PM EST: Let’s talk about iLife…

12:48 PM EST: Pepsi & Apple to give away 100M songs starting 1 Feb (etc. etc. You already

12:46 PM EST: Billboard charts added, 12,000 classical tracks added. 500,000 songs available now.

12:44 PM EST: 20,000 audiobooks sold, 100,000 gift certificates sold

12:42 PM EST: iTunes – 30M songs purchased since 28 Apr 2003, 70% market share, $29,500 is the top spender on iTMS

12:41 PM EST: Xserve RAID certified for multiple OSes

12:39 PM EST: Xserve RAID gets updated (3.5TB of storage, SFP connectors, RAID set slicing (16 per RAID). (works with all kinds of fibre channel switches)

12:37 PM EST: Xserves have G5s now (twin air vents in front) (single/dual 2Ghz G5s, ECC memory (DDR 400), 750GB of HD, 3 hotplug modules, full set of ports, Panther Server 10.3 (unlimited), ship in Feb)

12:30 PM EST: G5 – future roadmap in processors – Virginia Tech cluster (supercomputer with 1100 DP G5s) – 3rd fastest supercomputer in world (10.28TF, $5.2M)

12:27 PM EST: Project Center associates items (tasks, events, contacts, files, schedule, & mail) with projects
12:25 PM EST: New recording features for Word, new page-layout view for Excel
12:21 PM EST: Office 2004 – best ever? Teams already working on future versions…Kris Barton (lead program manager for MacBU) demonstrates apps
12:20 PM EST: Office 2004 discussed by Roz Ho (GM of MacBU)
12:19 PM EST: FCE 2 is $99 Update for FCE 1 users
12:19 PM EST: Apple #1 Video App Supplier
12:15 PM EST: Richard Kerris demonstrates FCE 2
12:15 PM EST: Final Cut Express 2 (based on Final Cut Pro 4 – 5 DV streams, real time toools, optimized for Panther/G5)
12:14 PM EST: 10,000 native apps for OS X – Jobs lists new apps by Lego, Macromedia, MYOB, and NetVault.
12:12 PM EST: Panther – more advanced than anything else, Microsoft is copying again :-), iChat AV, new Finder, Fast User Switching – huge success – 9.3 million OS X users – almost 40% of Mac users – transition is over – fastest on record
12:11 PM EST: 1984 Posters for keynote attendees…Jobs promises that 2004 will be a great 20th anniversary year
12:10 PM EST: “We couldn’t help ourselves” (in regards to showing the ad)
12:08 PM EST: The 1984 ad is referenced, shown
12:06 PM EST: Jobs references boilerplate for press releases and points out the term ‘reinvented’ – he mentions that 1984 was 20 years ago…”computer for the rest of us”
12:05 PM EST: Jobs takes stage (60,000 viewers on broadband in 100 countries)
11:59 AM EST: People still filling their seats.
11:59 AM EST: Keynote will begin in 3 minutes…please turn off all cell phones and pagers :-)

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