Updated Summary of Coverage [12 Feb 2009 – AFR]
We wanted to update our Macworld Expo coverage. Aside from a show floor gallery series which kicks off here in this article, we have three “Details” reports filed under Autodesk’s announcements at the show. Our Details reports are 1, 2 and 3 here, dealing with the three new Autodesk Mac products: Mudbox, Toxik and Stitcher. We also have two “Notes” reports focused on solidThinking and one focused on Smith Micro and its growing Mac 3D software portfolio.
We also have a report on Autodesk’s MotionBuilder, a much overlooked but important item. And in addition to our two page report on our meeting with Autodesk, we also have our Final Notes and the Misc. article on Macworld.
While Steve Jobs was not the keynote speaker this year at the annual all-things-Apple event, Phil Schiller did an excellent job with his keynote nonetheless. Too bad he didn’t have truly stunning announcements, it could have given us a sense of a possible future without the grand master. I think in all honesty Apple’s keynotes depend far more on the Apple products that are announced (both hardware and software) than they do on Steve Jobs introducing them. This is a reality that the public, the press and the Wall Street analysts need to get used to.
Show More Popular Than Ever
This was by far the most crowded Macworld Expo I have attended in San Francisco. Not only did most of the North Hall get filled with booths (the South Hall is where Apple is located and is always filled to completion) but the general crowd levels were particularly high. It was hard to walk around at times.
Apple’s booth was showcasing their new software products centered on the iLife 09 suite. The key new updates focus on iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. The latter in particular introduces musical instruction led by some of the world’s greatest living musical stars (like Sting and Sarah McLachlan).
iPhoto now includes Google maps integration and superb integration with Facebook and Flickr. The ability to bring back tagged people from Facebook down to iPhoto is awesome, plus the general synchronization of edited photos between the two makes iPhoto the best tool for your general Facebook photo needs.
Apple introduced a new iWork 09 suite. This included a new Numbers with far more Excel-like features to make it a truly useful spreadsheet application. Still, unlike Excel or other spreadsheets, Numbers continues to focus on getting useful numerical data into your Pages documents and Keynote presentations. We’ll cover this suite in more detail in the rest of our Macworld coverage reports. Keynote gets updated with even more features and templates as does Pages.
CAD and 3D at Macworld
It turns out this was a pretty good show for CAD and 3D. It would have been an amazing show if the old standbys like Graphisoft, Nemetschek NA, and auto-des-sys, Inc., also came to the show.
The solidThinking booth was one of the bright spots at the show for CAD and 3D. Their large booth was showing the latest version of the CAID (computer-aided industrial design) software running on some of the latest Apple Mac hardware.
At the show I got a chance to see the application in action for the very first time. We also had a small meeting at the show and discussed numerous things from the CAD and CAID market and its evolution to how entertainment products are crossing over to the engineering and product design world.
We have many more booth photos to show and will be rolling out Macworld Expo SF 2009 reports all week long and into next week, plus a few general photos from my extended trip to California during the holidays.