Macworld 2010: Life Without Apple

Macworld Expo 2010 kicked off without the traditional Apple keynote on Tuesday morning. The iPad event last month and the Aperture 3 announcement yesterday highlight the difference between years past and this year’s Expo. Without Apple on the floor the show is a bit smaller, but the Mac faithful are still showing up in large numbers to attend training, mingle with colleagues and see what 250 exhibitors have to show to world.

What to See

The keynote this year is not a big Apple shindig on Tuesday morning as has been the tradition, but rather a Thursday musical variety show with David Pogue of the New York Times. Pogue is sometimes clever and always entertaining and a good choice to carry the big event at Macworld Expo.

Some other feature presentations that I would recommend are the Macworld DEMO: Best of Show, Guy Kawasaki’s presentation on Revolution from the Rest of Us, and John Gruber on Friday. The recently added iPad special event on Saturday might be interesting, but I suspect that we still don’t have enough information about the device to make it much more than a rehash of Apple’s announcement last month.

Macworld Without Apple

Apple decided to pull out of Macworld because it did not like being tied to making product announcements in the first week of January and had the retail stores to let people touch its latest products. As Tuesday passed by yesterday without Steve Jobs up on stage at Macworld, I reflected a bit on what that event might have looked like if Apple had stayed in the show.

The iPad event last month and the Aperture 3 announcement yesterday were big news, but probably still not enough for a “traditional” Macworld keynote. We would have wanted iLife ’11, MacBook Pro updates, Mac Pro announcements and more than just one hardware and one software product. I have a feeling that people would have been disappointed if Steve Jobs came out on stage yesterday with only the iPad and Aperture 3. Of course, if Apple had stayed, the Expo might have remained in the first week of January and nothing would have been ready to announce then. I wonder if Jobs had the foresight to see that there would not be any big products ready for 2010 a year ago when Apple announced that they would not be at this year’s event?

Macworld 2010 should provide a bigger stage for third parties to make big announcements and get some press attention without being upstaged by Apple or Adobe. There are some cool things coming this week, which we hope to show you over the next few days.

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