Macworld 2006 Summary

I've been "away from the desk" for about three weeks, but I did manage to make it up to Macworld on Tuesday. The Apple area was certainly the highlight of the show for most people, but I really enjoyed seeing a DataCrux-based app get so much attention. Even in the shadow of some giant booths, John Fox's MemoryMiner ended up getting a lot of foot traffic -- so much so that I had to leave and come back before there was actually enough room for me to get in and talk to him.

Apple's displays focused on the new Intel machines, iLife, iWork and Aperture, and it was hard to get access to any of them with so many people in there. Of course, it was hard to move through the hall in general with so much foot traffic.

I didn't go to Macworld last year so I don't know if it's news that everything was in one hall. For me, it underlines the fact that the internet is the main way Mac users find out about products and interact with developers. There are certainly no shortage of Mac products nowadays, but it's easy to just download demos and try things out yourself.

My gut is that most people now come to Macworld for three things: the keynote, the Apple area and to meet up with the superstar indie developers like Delicious Monster. This is a big change from, say, ten years ago when all of the attention was on big developers like Adobe, Macromedia and Microsoft. Nowadays, the little guys have all the energy behind them and connect with the community in a way the big guys can only try to mimmick.

It was also interesting to see that the issue of Macworld magazine that was given out at the show had a review of the previous generation of iMac. This isn't really the fault of the magazine, but it looks like the three month lead times have really become a burden.

It occurred to me that Apple is an interesting position with these shows because you can't download hardware and you can't download a 7 gig iLife demo. In addition, new software sometimes isn't released the day it's announced, so you have to be there to see it.

Don't get me wrong. This was a great Macworld, especially for consumers. That said, the contrast between Macworld and WWDC is becoming stronger. Macworld used to be the big deal and WWDC was a smaller, niche show. Apple has really invested in WWDC in the last few years and its visibility has soared. Macworld is and will continue to be a consumer show, but WWDC is really where the action is for everyone else.
Design Element
Macworld 2006 Summary
Posted Jan 16, 2006 — 1 comments below


David Weiss — Jan 16, 06 658

I couldn't agree more about WWDC being to "cool" show these days. I tell my boss that if they really need me, I'll go to MacWorld, but I absolutely have to be at WWDC. It's a great time to be a Mac developer!


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