Jobs, Apple out of Macworld Expo
End of an era - or two
Let the speculation begin! Apple today announced that not only will this January's Macworld Expo be the company's last appearance at the annual gathering of Mac faithful, but also that the keynote address - traditionally Steve Jobs's star turn - will be given by Apple's senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller.
Although Apple's press release doesn't mention Jobs, his absence from the announcement can't help but re-ignite rumors of his impending absence from Apple.
Jobs's poor health has repeatedly fueled rumors of his possible stepping down from this stewardship of Apple, which he guided through an impressive rebirth since the company's dark days in the late 1990s.
With Schiller taking Jobs's place on the Macworld stage, those rumors are sure to blaze even brighter. And it's no accident that Apple's announcement was made after the markets closed today, as Apple's stock is almost certainly to be buffeted by the development.
As for Apple leaving Macworld Expo, that news may be - is - a blow to the Expo's organizer, IDG World Expo, but it's not entirely unexpected. As Apple's press release says, "Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo, and Apple Expo in Paris."
In addition, trade shows themselves have become less and less important over the years - witness, for example, the withering of COMDEX and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), among others.
Besides, tough times require tough measures, as Adobe and Belkin illustrated with their recent pull-outs from Macworld Expo.
But although Schiller has appeared yearly at the keynote for as long as memory serves, his role has been as cuddly sidekick, not top spokesperson. His persona is reassuring, not inspiring. With Jobs off center stage, however, reassurance may be what Apple enthusiasts will need the most. ®
[quote] You've had no failures of 6 computers in 12 years?
I believe it. Apple pro hardware is friggin' bulletproof. I have a perfectly functioning B&W G3 of 1999 vintage. Apple's attempted cheapass stuff *koff* Performa 4-series *koff* was appalling, and that's why they excised that market from their line.
I've been using Macintoshes since 1984. I have no plan to stop.... and open source Unix software is what I use most of the time, so it's not that I don't know the alternatives. I'm a former graphic designer and prepress journeyman now studying to be a civil engineer.
Oh the humanity...
I'm no Apple fanboi - I use Windows and Linux at home and I bought a Mac for my wife. I have an iPod Touch that I bought as a present to myself, and a Blackberry. I don't covet the iPhone.
Right, that's all the tech baggage out of the way. On to my point.
So far everyone's talking about what Steve's departure would mean to Apple. But no one's mentioned that he's unlikely to give up that position lightly. So if he is going, it's probably because he's very ill. Perhaps even terminally.
Right now I'm not thinking so much about the next gadget, or whether MacWorld will be the same without Apple's presence. I'm thinking about a fellow human being who's facing a challenge that's eclipsing many aspects of life as he's known it. That's something all of us will have to deal with eventually and I sympathise with his plight.
Get well soon, Steve.
Macs vs PCs
I used PCs and Windows for many many years at home, I still do in work, and I use Macs at home. I don't play games (anymore), so don't throw that at me, I do use my Macbook Pro for photographic work, coding work (using java, a happy mysql server, a happy apache server) and general arsing around on t'internets. For photos, OSX (+Aperture+CS3) over WIndows. For coding, just as easy as WIndows, if anything the mysql server needs less fiddling and interaction to keep it working. For the rest, the Mac is much better. Windows makes a habit of annoying the hell out of you because it's written badly. Simple. I don't love Apple, they make stuff, that's it, and I'm less than impressed with their support of their Pro Apps, but they are not Microsoft. Microsoft write bad code and give awful support, I'm proud to not have a single application written by them running on my home computer (and have microsoft.com marked as 'blocked' in NoScript), and still fight the battles with their nonsense ever day in the office.
You've had no failures of 6 computers in 12 years?
I can see where Apple's coming from with this
as it stands, twice a year (Macworld and WWDC) the Apple rumourmill goes into bugfuck crazy meltdown, setting unrealistic expectations of new kit which only dumps on the share price when it doesn't turn up. By removing at least one of the fixed points, Apple gets to release new product when it wants to in a less formal setting and, hopefully, a more finished state, pretty much as every other company does. About the only losers will be the circlejerking clickthrough rumourmongers and the analysts who seemingly smoke crack while they play buzzword bingo in an effort to yank the chains of those same rumourmongers, while the more mature news sources can run pretty much the articles they normally do after the event anyway.