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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Macworld Expo 2006: Day 1

Henry Norr provides an astonishingly thorough and well-written overview of the events of yesterday's Macworld keynote for Macintosh:
Steve Jobs' Jan. 10, 2006, Macworld Expo keynote marked an important milestone in the history of the Mac platform, but not as big or, frankly, as exciting a moment as I and many others had expected.

What made the day historic, of course, was the introduction of the first Intel-based Macs - a new version of the iMac and a new laptop, the MacBook Pro, both featuring Intel's new Core Duo processor.

Two things made the day a bit of a letdown, at least to judge by crowd reactions, as well as my own. One was the absence of hardware the rumor sites and pundits had led us all to expect: lighter, cheaper, Intel-based iBooks; an Intel-based Mac mini or some other "media Mac" with built-in DVR (digital video recorder) and other living-room-oriented features; and an upgraded version of the iPod Shuffle.

The other factor was that Apple, in designing the new Intel-based hardware it did deliver, clearly chose to put its emphasis on continuity rather than change. While both the new iMac and the MacBook Pro have a few appealing new features, from the user perspective, they're not radical redesigns, and they're no cheaper than their predecessors. In the case of the MacBook Pro, there are even some disturbing steps backwards, compared to the comparable PowerBook.

And the one big advance Jobs touted - a huge improvement in processing performance (2-3X in the case of the Intel iMac, compared to the G5 version, and 4-5X in the case of the MacBook Pro, compared to the latest PowerBook G4) - remains pretty abstract for now, because he backed up his claims only with synthetic SPEC benchmark results, not actual application results or live demos, and because we don't yet have the new machines to try in our own work or play environments.

(After listening to Apple for decades dismiss the SPEC benchmarks as all but meaningless, it's hard not to notice the irony in the company now trumpeting its SPEC scores. I'm surprised it didn't present at least a few comparisons done with real-life apps, at least the iLife apps.)
This is a must-read. Thanks Charles.
[ Posted at 12:30 PM | Permalink ]


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