Apple users savage lackluster keynote

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There's no pleasing some folk. Steve Jobs demoed a zippy version of OS X that removes many of the speed concerns dogging the OS, announced hardware upgrades across both ranges of desktops, and played host to demos of big-name software applications from vendors who'd up until have now been pretty quiet.

But that didn't prevent a chorus of disappointment raining down on His Jobsness from Mac community sites.

MacNet's John Manzione wrote:-

"[I] opted to stay in New Hampshire and watch the Keynote from the Office. I'm glad I did, it would have been a waste of time - this Keynote just fell short."

"Bottom line was 'we squeaked out some more speed, added some RAM, gave a little more Hard Drive, and moved further away from the multi-colored computers every industry in the world has now copied, and showed you come cool things that are still a few months away'. This was hardly worth the wait," he wrote.

"We all had high hopes, flat panel iMacs, faster G4's, maybe even a secret product," wrote a disappointed MacMonkey.

Bite was the most savage:-

"Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs stunned a gathered audience at this morning's Macworld Expo keynote address by essentially announcing that the company had entered into a non-competition agreement with all other players in the cut-throat desktop computer industry. The crowd looked on in nonplussed silence as the dynamic executive proudly announced new, completely uncompelling [sic] desktop computer models to replace the aging iMac and Power Macintosh G4 lines."

And a poll asked 'What was your most depressing moment?'

High expectations of a radically revamped iMac line based on an LCD display - the current iMac is three years old now, and with its 15" CRT screen something of a living museum piece - were unfulfilled of course.

There's probably a deeper disappointment: the expectation was that with new models Apple could help PC industry out of its recession. Apple felt it first last year, as demand fell through the floor, since when sales have held up pretty well. But with its product line up yesterday, the company took a conservative view of the economy. With demand still soft, it judged it not the best time to launch radically new models. Which is exactly its prerogative: Dell can look after itself.

Financial analysts gave Apple a thumbs down on Monday, concerned not about volumes but profit margins. Apple has been indicating it's focus on high end, high margin products like the TiBook for a while now, and the cost of the bottom-end iMac has gone up from $799 to $999 over six months, necessitating a new cut-price 'schools-only' model.

On our part, we'll be happy simply with a speedier OS X and the rapid delivery of some key apps. But when after an Apple keynote the first hardware upgrade that springs to mind is a new skillet or gas hob, you know you really can afford to wait. ®

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