In the first year that Macworld Expo San Francisco did not see Apple (s aapl) attend, the speculation leading up to the show was centered on what Macworld Expo would be like without its best known exhibitor. David Pogue gave us a look at the world without Apple, and then the show itself gave us a look at Macworld Expo without Apple. The results in both cases were still pretty enjoyable.
In any other year, the start of Macworld Expo would mean looking forward to a riveting Stevenote with all sorts of product announcements. This year, the Expo started with David Pogue of the New York Times leaping on stage to do his best Steve Ballmer impersonation.
The highlight of the opener was a clever and entertaining stage play of “It’s a Wonderful Mac” which riffs on the premise of “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart by imaging what the world would be like without Apple.
The Gregory Brothers (who are actually three brothers, Andrew, Evan, Michael and Evan’s wife, Sarah) from Auto-Tune the News on YouTube nailed the parts of Old Man Potter, Uncle Billy and others while the part of George Bailey was replaced by Steve Jobs, played by LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow). Steve is placed into a situation where he laments that the world might be better off if he had never created Apple. “Claris” the guardian angel shows him what the world would be like — a world where DOS 27.0 is the standard and Windows was never invented because the Mac was never created for Microsoft (s msft) to copy. Ultimately, a world without the graphical web browser because the concept of “clicking” on the screen was never imagined.
The stage play was clever and entertaining, and the Gregory Brothers are immensely talented and funny, but the irony of the moment was that the actual Expo gave us a real look at life without Apple. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was pretty darn good.
Macworld is About Mac People
I’ve been to a few Macworld Expos (I still have my VHS of Independence Day, velcroed to the bottom of our seats at the 1997 keynote), and while I miss seeing Steve Jobs, I was really pleased at seeing the friends (both individuals and companies) that I have made over the years. I even had a chance to get accosted by some random Mac fanatics that are every bit as addled and creepy as some of the interesting folks haunting the sidewalks of downtown San Francisco. At least no one took a leak in the aisle like I saw happen on the street one day walking back from lunch.
Was It as Good for You as It Was for Me?
The value of Macworld depends a lot on who you are.
Macworld Expo provides a great opportunity to see products, talk with vendors, and attend special briefings on upcoming products. Here at TheAppleBlog, I have several interesting bits of information to share with you over the next few weeks.
The Expo is a chance to show off your wares to the above media types, but also a chance to interact with some of the most die-hard Mac users out there. Yes, it is only a small sampling of the Mac community, but these people care about telling you what they think of your product.
The conference sessions still represent a good value because of the chance to mix and mingle with other Mac professionals. The speakers often target their talks to beginner/intermediate levels to hit a wide audience, but the guy sitting next to you could be an absolute expert on Aperture, Mac OS X Server, Photoshop, etc. If you’re not talking to people at the show, you’re missing out.
I Will Be There Next Year, Will You?
If you went to Macworld Expo last week, I would love to hear about your thoughts in the comments. Also, let us know if you plan to be there next year.