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Macworld

by Derrick Story
01/18/2002

Dear Mac Reader,

Of all the Macworlds I've attended, the recent show in San Francisco seemed to be the most focused, precisely executed of them all.

Since its conclusion, I've been following the analysis by both industry journalists and long time Mac faithful. Lots of discussion has naturally centered around the new iMac, which I think is a stunning consumer machine. And there's been plenty of talk about what (and who) wasn't there at Moscone Center, and that's part of what I want to cover today.

On the vendor side, we didn't see Handspring and Palm. I'm not surprised because they don't really have anything to say about Mac OS X, and the CES show was going on at the same time in Las Vegas. Unfortunately the beta version of the Palm Desktop for Mac OS X stinks, and there's a dearth of third-party conduits. I would have stayed away too if that's all I had to offer.

More surprising to me, however, was that Kodak passed on the show. We've seen Kodak bow out before, especially during the tough years before the return of Jobs. But with the unveiling of iPhoto that includes a Kodak picture service built right in the application, it seemed doubly strange.

Attendee interest in digital cameras was often frenzied at the Nikon, Canon, and Olympus booths. If anyone asks my opinion about cameras to consider for using with a Mac, offerings from those companies are my recommendation. Not just because they showed up at Macworld (but that helps), but because they are making good tools that work well with Apple's products -- especially Canon.

And then there's Apple. Talk about creating a plan and sticking to it. I think they showed a tremendous amount of discipline at Macworld. It's so tempting to try to be everything to everyone, and they resisted that urge.

The Apple mantra was iMac, iPhoto, Mac OS X. They did slip in a 14" iBook, but other than that, they stuck to the game plan.

I work for a company, as do many of you. And we all know how hard it is to get employees moving in the same direction at the same time. Apple has done that on a large scale, and it's making them extremely competitive.

It's not just Steve Jobs, although I give him lots of credit. Read Fred Anderson's (Apple CFO) recent comments about Apple's fiscal health, and you'll get a sense that this company is willing to put a stake in the ground and stand by it.

There were a number of things on my personal wish list that Apple didn't deliver at Macworld. That's OK. Some of my requests we'll see soon anyway, such as a faster desktop machine.

The point is that the people at Apple seem to know exactly where they're going, and doing so with precision. Come to think of it, that's my number one wish anyway.

Until next time,

Derrick Story
O'Reilly Network Managing Editor
derrick@oreilly.com

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