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Apple WWDC: A prediction Postmortem

June 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Well, the WWDC has come and gone.

The first thing I thought when I watched the video was, “goodness me, doesn’t Steve look thin!” It seems I’m not the only one. The web is buzzing with talk about his past health conditions. This doesn’t bode well for Apple’s share price, which is going to feel the pain of any doubts about the health of His Steveness.

thinjobs_01

I made two major predictions and several minor ones. Let’s see how they went.

The biggest prediction was based on the poster with two bridges:

My Prediction: OS X will be split into two branches. The Mac Branch, which will be Intel only and the PPC branch which will support small, low power devices – Perhaps transitioning low power stuff to PWRficient range of Power chips from P.A. Semi.

The developer release was Intel only. Although not a dead cert, it does mean that OS X is most likely to become Intel only as of 10.6.

It also turned out that Apple purchased P.A.Semi in order to have them design the system on a chip stuff for future iPhones. This means that another branch of OS X for the iPhone will be made and that branch will be PPC based. BINGO! I’ll give myself 10/10 for this prediction. 

I made a number of minor predictions:

OS X 10.6 Development will be Announced
Correct. 1/1

OS X 10.6 will not be called Snow Leopard even if it is a feature freeze edition because the name is naff.
Wrong. 0/1
The code name is in fact Snow Leopard. But the name is still naff.

This leads to my second major prediction.

OS X 10.6 will not be a free, special [service-pack-like] bugfix focused release
I so wanted it to be true that I didn’t want to hope. It turned out that the release of OS X for the Mac will be feature frozen and be optimised for modern chips (i.e. Intel). However, the question is still open as to the fee, will it be service pack like free or chargeable. It’s still unanswered.

My second major prediction lead on from that:

I think that 10.6 when it releases will be a standard priced (i.e. full priced) and hopefully, 64 bit Intel only upgrade, simpler, leaner, cleaner and with just enough bells and whistles to make the faithful pay for it.

It seems that I was spot on here, except the price bit, which was not covered. Others believe that 32 bit Intel binaries will be included for the first generation of Intel computers. This is still out in the open, so we’ll see what happens.

I’ll give myself 5/5 for the bits I got right.

.MAC will be revamped

Although personally, I don’t really care too much, even though I am a .mac subscriber, I gave the “Waltberg” Q&A session as reasonable proof that a revamp was coming.

Correct 1/1

iPhone 3G pictures leaked were fake
Correct 1/1

The profile of the device was less rounded and different to the real Apple device and there are no speaker grates on the rear side. The push button on the side is rounded, not square and there was no Product Red item announced… Close but no cigar.

Also, the Cheesy grin is not present on Apple’s web site. That makes Crunch Gear’s scoop worthless.

Pure Cheese

All in all, not too shabby. Basically I was only wrong on the name of Snow Leopard being announced as the code name for OS X 10.6. Well done!! Well done, indeed!

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Categories: Mac Tags: ,

W-1 and counting. Apple WWDC ’08 Just a day away

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s just one day until the craziness at the Apple WWDC (that’s the World Wide Developers Conference to the uninitiated) begins!

Although Apple development does not particularly affect me directly, since I do no Apple development work, it’s always fun to see the ruckus that develops just before and imediately after the event and it seems to have built up to fever pitch over the last four years or so, since Apple’s good fortunes have put them on top of the world and I joined the Apple bandwagon. That was at the end of 2004 when I went hunting for a new PC and heard about an upcoming “Mac Mini”.

And since then, I’ve been supping my share of Job’s Home Brew a.k.a. Reality Distorting Kool-Aid (TM) along with generous pinches of salt here and their to keep me sober. I love the psychology behind Apple, the buzz, the little touch of anoying elitism that comes from all the hype. It’s so vain, so self serving, so different from all the drab corporate drivel that surrounds the PC, which dispite being arguably, technically superior and ahead of the curve on most fronts when compared to the Mac, totally fails to inspire or promote even the tiniest sense or awe in me.

Even their advertising makes me want to know what’s coming next.

wwdc
Apple WWDC 2008 Brochure Image

Here’s a direct Steve Jobs quote from 2007 – on the back of a James Brown track that fades as he appears on stage in Jeans and Turtleneck to rapturous applause.

steve
Steve Jobs On Stage at WWDC (photo from Engadget)

“It was just a year ago we announced we were going to switch to Intel. A huge heart transplant. A beautiful seamless version of OS X for Intel processors. Our hardware team got to cranking out a new Mac with Intel processors every month.
“We’ve had an extremely successful year, I want to thank our users very much. Our retail stores are selling half their Macs to people who’ve never owned a Mac before. Switchers. More than half the Macs sold in the US are to switchers. Here’s a new one soon, Jim Allchin from Microsoft.”

(A jibe referring to a former senior engineer from Microsoft, Jim Allchin who accused Microsoft of losing the plot with Vista – then called Longhorn – and stating that he’d buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft and retired on the very day Vista was release).

The insider joke is soaked in elitism but is delivered with a confidence and coolness that somehow makes the jab work, unlike some of their more childish gags of late.

Still, it could be said that only Apple could pull off such bravado and make it look good!

Right, well… See you on the other side of the WWDC.
It’s time to get my glass out and line up at the Kool-Aid stand, no where’s my salt.

Categories: Mac Tags: ,

W-2 : Apple Rumour Mill – The Hamsters are hard at work

June 8, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s W-2, two days to the Apple WWDC (Worlwide Developer’s Conference) and the Hamsters are hard at work spinning the rumour treadmill in a blurry fever of activity as Monday approaches.

Apple is being as tight lipped as ever, with only this little tidbit of information for enlightenment.

wwdcA landmark event. In more ways than one.
Apple brouchure image for WWDC ’08

What’s on the cards? Who knows. There have been a few interesting rumours circling, some more likely than others.

Here is my take, on the record:

  • iPhone 3G release rumour
    A dead cert. There will be a new iPhone released or call me a Lard sandwich.
  • iPhone 3G pictures leaked
    Fake!

ip1

    The photos on Crunchgear are clearly fake. There are two reasons why I think so, one a stronger reason than the other.

    1. It was pointed out that the lock button on top of the device is missing on the Product Red device.
      Good point, well spotted.
    2. But the real reason why is this photo.

    Pure Cheese

    Are you telling me that Apple’s poster boy for one of the most anticipated products in Apple’s history would turn up with a grin like that? Where’s the cool? Where’s the hip? Where’s the moody lighting? Basically, where’s the ‘I wanna be him’ factor. Nah. I don’t buy it for a second.

      • OS X 10.6 Development will be Announced
        I don’t think Apple will want to repeat their last performance in late delivery.
      • OS X 10.6 will be called Snow Leopard
        Don’t buy it, even if it’s a special “catchup” release (see below).
        OS X 10.6 Will be Intel Only – This is the most difficult to predict 

        • For: The best guess so far for it being Intel only is IMHO provided by the enthusiastic Mr. Dilger from RoughlyDrafted: Death of PowerPC who’s solidly thought out piece, while having no more evidence than any other, appears to me to follow Job’s feelings on simplicity and disdain for “legacies”. I think the days of Universal binaries and multi cpu complexity are numbered.

      200806071515
      Roughly Drafted – Intel Macs v All Macs < 4 years old

      • Against: Why did they buy P.A. Semi if they’re dropping Power Support?
        I think the “Landmark Event” poster gives us a clue, just like the “It’s in the Air” did last time.

      My Prediction: OS X will be split into two branches. The Mac Branch, which will be Intel only and the PPC branch which will support small, low power devices – Perhaps transitioning low power stuff to PWRficient range of Power chips from P.A. Semi.

      • OS X 10.6 will be a special, free release
        This is a very intriguing rumour. I like the idea that Apple will take a step back and address all the problems that have, quite frankly, started to take the shine of some of their more recent releases. OS X is getting shaky again, as is its reputation.
        After the relative stability of 10.3 Leopard and 10.4 Tiger, their latest 10.5 Leopard is definitely a step back in performance and stability while not offering too much in the way of immediately visible benefits.
        However, as much as I like the idea of a special release like this, I don’t see it happening. Why? Because 1. It offers no new functions that punters would pay for and 2. Apple never pass on an opportunity to milk their faithful of their hard-earned cash. 3. It highlights the errors and flaws in an current Apple product: This rarely happens.
        The main reason is is that OS X is already good enough. It’s not perfect by any standard, but it’s already better than Vista and it is the best selling OS Apple has ever released.

      I think that 10.6 when it releases will be a standard priced (i.e. full priced) and hopefully, 64 bit Intel only upgrade, simpler, leaner, cleaner and with just enough bells and whistles to make the faithful pay for it.

      • .MAC will be revamped
        I don’t really care. I’m not to fussed in the grand scale of things. As a subscriber, I’d of course love to see .MAC become more useful. Give me more storage, faster transfers and access to my bookmarks from Safari on Windows and I’d be largely satisfied. 

        • FOR: When questioned by “Waltberg” about leaving .mac to fester, Steve replied:
          I couldn’t agree more, and we’ll make up for lost time in the near future.

      Well, there are my two predictions for the WWDC ’08. The rest of the stuff is all icing on the cake.

      Categories: Mac Tags: ,