Reactions to Steve Jobs’ Keynote at MacWorld 2006


Earlier today Steve Jobs of Apple Computers made his keynote for the official opening of MacWorld Expo 2006.

He started the keynote with some amazing retail figures. Some of the best financial figures in Apple’s history, which shocked all anaylsts, as a result shot Apple’s stock price 8% during the keynote.

Steve then went on to talk about the new versions of iLife and iWork. The latter does not have much improvements other than new themes for both Pages and Keynote.

A real different story with iLife, many improvements had been introduced to its component of the suite.

iPhoto now enables full screen photo editing and increased its capability of handling up to 250,000 photos in one Photo Library. The speed of scrolling through the photos within a Photo Library has dramatically improved. This is particularly important if you actually have 250,000 photos in your Photo Library.

You can read all about the new features of the other components: iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand in the iLife suite at Apple’s web site, but a new component of note is iWeb.

iWeb is a layman’s tool for creating web content from your iLife contents and have these published to .Mac for others to access. The most significant thing about this application is that, iWeb supports exporting of these web content pages in standard web formats (HTML, CSS, RSS, etc.) for publishing to your own web hosting provider.

I have yet to try iWeb but I will. For readers who may like to try an alternative that had been in the market for a while is RapidWeaver by Realmac

The most signicficant announcement from Steve Jobs [Apple] of this keynote are the new Macintosh computers based on the new Intel Core Duo processor.

Apple angered many when Steve Jobs announced the new iMac in his keynote. That’s because Apple had only just updated the iMac 8 months ago. There nothing really changed or added features with the new iMac, accept a brand new Intel Core Duo processor. According to Apple, the new iMac is two times (2x) faster than its predecessor.

The “One More Thing” at this year’s keynote was the announce of a new notebook, strangely called “MacBook Pro”. I share others’ opinions of not liking the label of the new Macintosh Intel based notebook. Although, I can understand why Apple is trying to promote the brand “Mac” or “Macintosh” with this new line.

For the layman purchasers out there, they may mistaken the new line of Macintosh as just any other “Wintel computer” (aka. “PC”). I had always hated people using the term “PC” or “Personal Computer” to refer to computers with Intel processes that runs Microsoft Windows.

I think Apple is worry that by introducing this new line of Intel based Macintosh (or “Macintel”) the average consumers would lump Apple into the likes of Acer, DELL, Lenovo and HP and anyone else who makes a computer based on Intel processors.

One thing I really not happy about with the new MacBook Pro are its included SuperDrive. Apple had just recently transformed all their computers to come built in with a 8x SuperDrive that is cable of producing DVD-DL and DVD+DL. I believe this is definite backwards decision of Apple. Although, the reason for this change could be the result of the new MacBook Pro being developed by a different team of engineers and sourced separately from the rest of the PowerPC based Macintosh. I just hope that Apple rectify this soon in the form of an upgrade option.

One other thing that really would have drove the sales of the new Intel based Macintosh, is the much talked about ability of the new Macintosh to “dual boot” meaning that users are able to choose to start (“Boot”) the Macintosh computer in Windows or some other OS or Mac OS X.

This had initially been concluded as not possible. At least with Microsoft Windows XP. This is because the new Intel based Macintosh uses a technology called EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface). For Microsoft the first Windows OS to support the EFI technology is the upcoming Windows Vista.

People who knows me well would ask, why I care, if the new Intel Macintosh are dual bootable. Well, if the new Intel Macintosh are dual bootable, then all those consumers who are “on the fence”, can’t decide whether to try a Macintosh or not would have nothing to loose from trying the new Intel based Macintosh.

I think Apple also realizes this fact, and that is why Apple’s current official opinion about Mac users installing other OS onto their Intel based Macintosh is that, “we will not prevent users from installing foreign OS”.

It has been an exciting start for Apple, with many more news and new products to come before December. Time will tell how all these will turn.

One disappointment I have with Steve Jobs’ keynote is that the rumored Apple Media Center Computer did not materialize. The rumors was that they would be a Mac Mini PVR with a revised Apple FrontRow as the main interface. There is still 11 more months in the year, we may still see this rumored product. I personally hope so.

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