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December 18, 2008

A Jobs-less Macworld - what's a fanboy to do?

Posted: 11:05 AM ET
Steve Jobs

Never again will Steve Jobs grace the stage at Macworld

Ahhhh, Macworld.  It's been like a post-Christmas Christmas for all us Appleholics out there.

Once upon a time, there were TWO Macworlds, and Steve Jobs' keynote could be seen live!  I remember calling feeds here at CNN to find out where I could see it, and there was usually a group of us sending IMs back and forth ooohing and ahhhing over our glorious Leader's every proclamation.  Then after the keynote ended we'd continue to IM back and forth about all the things we wanted (pizza box iMac!!) that we didn't see, and arguing about why (or why not) Jobs was a genius.

All that changed several years ago – Apple pulled out of the Boston/New York Macworld, and it died.  No more live keynotes – we fanboys glued ourselves to the live reports on various gadget blogs by people actually in attendance.

Now even that will end.  And I have to think it's going to be hard for Macworld to continue.  Which makes me wonder about trade shows in general.

Clearly Apple wants the stage to themselves, and I'm sure we'll be just as excited about whatever new gadget, feature or upgrade the Leader sees fit to dole out to his salivating minions, but I can't help but mourn Macworld's passage.

I've never been to the actual show, and now I doubt I'll ever get to go.  I'm a little sad at the end of this era, and wonder if the new era will have any of that Christmas-morning excitement I used to get before a Jobs keynote.

I wonder how January's Macworld will go down.  I picture the crowd of Apple fans, a few of them teary-eyed, holding their cell phones aloft and swaying back and forth while singing some ballad after the last Apple-hosted keynote.  More likely it will be a shuffling of chairs by people hurriedly going off to the next event.

- CodyMcCloy,

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Filed under: computers • consumer tech • Internet

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Bruno   December 18th, 2008 12:31 pm ET

It's ridiculous in the first place to unconditionaly accept every little gadget from one brand. especially it's like the Amercan auto industry, inferior to other manufacturers and don't even improve the quality of life,
Worshipping should be done in church(which, as we all know, haven't given us anything for that matter, except beeing cheap on batteries)

concerned   December 18th, 2008 1:06 pm ET

The real concern here is what is going to happen to the momentum of our hope for Apple?

In a world of 64bit workstations for 3d & video...does our(and Apple's) hope really depend on the iphones?

Are we seeing the same pattern as what happened to SGI?

Keter   December 18th, 2008 2:32 pm ET

Like you, Cody, I was too busy working or too broke to do the big trade shows. I wanted to, and the people I knew who were able to go really seemed to benefit from them, if only in an energetic, inspirational way, or from the opportunity to network.

I think the big trade shows like Macworld are suffering – as we all are – from depression. The build up was too much, our vision exceeded our grasp. Technology promised to liberate us from the quicksand of the daily grind, but every time we found ourselves even a little bit liberated, the grindmeisters just raised the productivity bar. What was cool became needful, and then what was needful became burdensome (like email, like the crackberry).

Ever-shorter development cycles led to premature releases of products and apps, pricey new gadgets became obsolete moments after purchase and generated buyer's remorse instead of a sense of satisfaction...the shine went off the iPhone quicker than the original iPod picked up scratches. We, collectively, are suffering from burnout as a result of too much, too fast, for too long.

The cure will be to just let it go for a while. A new wave will come in time to stir imaginations and hopes again. The cult of the technogeek has existed in every culture and every time since the dawn of civilization; it's not going away, it's just waiting for its next great love to come along to rekindle the ardor.

CptGreedle   December 18th, 2008 4:54 pm ET

With Jobs not even going to be at this Macworld, there seems little point in even going to this Macworld. I think that the last Macworld was the last one Jobs was at. And this next one is merely a shadow of what Macworld was. We will have to wait and see what Apple has up its sleeves, and hope that everything goes well for them and Steve Jobs.
His absence raises questions, but Jobs is a very private individual that does not like people talking about his health, or reporting it. It is widely known he has suffered serious illnesses, but we should respect his request to keep his private life private and leave it at that.
Lets just pray that he is doing well.

Robert   December 18th, 2008 6:33 pm ET

Deja vouz... our own real life Tony Starks. Last time he left Apple, he created Pixar and NExt. Apple later bought Pixar....Jobs was no longer out of a job. Hey Steve, what are you cooking? Artiicial Intelligence?

Good Luck.

Franko   December 19th, 2008 4:07 am ET

Apple's greatest invention, the FireWire;
Now, not in low end Macbooks
Another case of - will abandon you for profit
However, some PC compatible laptops have FireWire built in

ArtBuilders   December 19th, 2008 10:51 am ET

Working the booth at MacWorld over the years gave me a frontrow seat to its slow decline. Though there were highs and lows, nothing matches the early MacWorlds where exhibitors gave away product and goodies with liberal abandon. Yes, it was a thrill after a hard week of demoing to board the plane home with a carry-on stuffed with freebies (all of which would most likely end up in a back corner of the closet only to be rediscovered years later when packing to move). Guests to the show seem to take the same delight in trick-or-treating from booth to booth. But slowly we saw big players pull out. The short-lived Boston show had ended. A couple more New York's were in my future before I finally left desktop software for the web world. With no one to pay my way, I realized that even SF was no longer worth the trip. Admittedly, I also had found myself over on the "dark side", as a MS partner. This year marked my return to the Mac though not to MacWorld. However, I don't know if MacWorld can ever get back its glory days, so I'm with you. Think I'll catch the highlights on YouTube (if there are any).

Josh   December 19th, 2008 11:52 am ET

All part Apple's new business profile, be more like Microsoft. It won't be long till they start seeing the antitrust lawsuits.

Jason   December 20th, 2008 4:12 am ET

who cares apple sucks

Marc   January 5th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

There is definitely a 'toy factor' to large exhibitions, especially Macworld and I can understand the new model of 'virtual' exhibitions where products can be rolled out when they are ready, and the stress of preparing for a show deadline doesn't overshadow the other aspects of a release cycle. But there is something about the dynamic of a live show that builds excitement and enthusiasm (whether for Macs or other products) that generates momentum. If we are witnessing the end of the era of live exhibitions, then it will be interesting to see what replaces them. I say this because I don't think that the web can compete for actually being there, physically, with other people – and something will rise to fill that vacuum.

Franko   January 6th, 2009 3:36 pm ET

"who cares apple sucks"

Judging by Steve Jobs' health
Eating the worm is healthier than eating the Apple ?

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