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Macworld ’07 Predictions

by Rob Friesel

Well, it’s that time again in San Francisco and in four more days, the Moscone Center is going to be the universal center of all things Apple as Macworld 2007 gets under way. Like last year, I’m tempted by the ruminations of others to jump in on this bandwagon of forecast and prognostication, looking for augury in all of the blogs, feeds, and graphics that are floating around out there. That said, we’ll go at this similar to Hivelogic and assign some measure of probability to my conjectures, though I don’t know if I’ll go so far as to assess Vegas-style odds. Well now, where were we? Oh right, the predictions…

  • The Leopard: OS X 10.5. I think we’ll see it in “in the flesh” but we won’t have it available for purchase yet. The gaffe is hardly anything to flutter an eyelash about. I say we’ll get a ship date of “later this Spring” but all we’ll get of 10.5 on Tuesday is an tantalizing up-skirt. With the unified interface abounding and some lavish CoreAnimation-accelerated goodness. {90%}
  • iSoftware. Not a whole new line, mind you: but we’re going to see refreshes on iLife and iWork. The usual types of refreshes to iLife ’07 {99%}: new templates for iDVD, iPhoto’s add-ons, etc. {100%}; additional performance enhancements to iPhoto {75%}; I’m guessing some new functionality for GarageBand (the bigs ones will be podcast related) {70%}; and while iTunes won’t be fully re-titled or re-branded, we’re going to see some major changes to it as Apple continues to position it as their media outlet {50%} — grow that sucker into a cash cow. And hot on the heels of the iLife refresh: iWork ’07 {99%}. Like iLife, iWork is going to get some new templates etc. for Pages and Keynote {99%}, there will be a big announcement about how Keynote has been re-worked to take advantage of CoreAnimation {70%} and therefore it will be Leopard-only and won’t be available until later in the year. Also: Numbers Sheets Columns Formulae [fill in the blank name for a spreadsheet application] will also get its pre-release announcement and demo {50%}.
  • Refreshed Mac minis. These (I would say) are the hardware most due for the speed bump. They’re also the hardware that is best positioned as a companion to the iTV (see below). There may be some additional announcements about this line (Flash memory instead of a hard drive? {25%}) but mostly it’s a round of refreshes to the core components. It won’t be the iMacs (they just hit that line) and I doubt it’ll be the MacBooks (didn’t they just get done, too?) {overall: 60%}
  • New Cinema Displays with integrated iSight. This seems like a given to me. The iSight has been dropped into everything else, this is the last place to put them. And with the recent discontinuation of the iSight itself, that seems to imply that this is where they’re going. {80%} And there will be a slight (very slight) drop in the price — say 10-15%? {25%}
  • The “iTV”. This one seems like a bit of a giveaway. It’s been more/less pre-announced anyway. What’ll it be called? Let’s go with iTheater. (It’s that or “odeon”…) {25% on the name} It will run some kind of embedded version of OS X and stuffed with more flash memory than we’ve seen in anything before {50%} or else will be networked and “slaved” to a master Mac for playback of music, videos, etc. from there {50%}.
  • “One more thing…” …the bombshell, always the bombshell… While I’m skeptical about the so-called “true video iPod” or (heaven forbid) the “iPhone“, I do think that our “one more thing” will be something iPod-related. That said, I also don’t think that it’s going to be the bombshell we want it to be. It won’t be “iPod HiFi” lame but something tells me that it won’t get the juices running either. My guess? Hi-def content in the iTunes Store… {75%}

Watch this space for our scorecard on Tuesday or Wednesday…

UPDATE: I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’m getting excited now that it’s hours away.  Worse than a little kid’s Xmas.  Also: more predictions and bingo.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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