I like the event. Generally I hope to walk the floor and discover some things that I will find useful on my professional side. Apple is supposed to be young and hip. Apparently, Tuesday was Geriatric day at Moscone Center. There was nothing but wall-to-wall old people who were old enough to be my grandparents.
This year I did not put a single flyer in my tote bag because I didn't see anything that made me so thrilled I had to remember it for future reference. The only product I walked out of the show knowing I would buy is iMovie 2009, which is sad because I showed up to buy software. I could not find Fetch, The Roxio Toast people were too busy talking among themselves to get their attention and I never found BareBones either.
The guys at the Canon booth were real dicks. They have this undeserved superiority complex. Every time my friends and I asked questions, they acted like they have better things to do than their jobs, which is demoing the equipment! So I pulled out my Canon camera, which broke a few minutes earlier, to have him explain why my camera broke the second time in the same place? Was this a design flaw? Is their repair incompetent? Do their other models lack this design flaw? He pulled out an S series and explained it was much better, so I asked him why the battery life was only 210 shots on a battery? Was the battery defective? How many batteries would I be expected to lug around? How come the camera needs more batteries than the actual form factor takes up?
The Nikon guy was even worse. He talked me out of my interest in the D90. He was also bitching about how California sucks and the taxes have driven him away. Honestly, the state will improve by one person the day he moves away. I also liked it when he belittled my questions about taking NON-TIMED EXPOSURES of fireworks. He started rambling on about how timed exposures of fireworks the were the easiest things in the world to shoot. This is the kind of guy that drives people away from photography.
I have a beef with Lynda.com right now. I tried to be nice and not bitch at them for never sending me a simple file so I could figure out why one of their lessons does not work as demonstrated. As I walked by their booth, one of their sales guys tried to power me into signing up. So I asked him, "how come it takes you guys over 20 days to answer a technical service question?" He hemmed and hawed and swore the question had to have been answered today. I had just checked my e-mail and so far, no response from Dori Smith. Their tech support people contacted me and have been unable to find her. Just send me the freakin file! Oh and thank you for talking me out of upgrading to the premiere version with the better tech support. I can get terrible support for a lot cheaper just remaining a basic member!
The Microsoft Lounge took the cake. The word lounge suggests a place to sit down and relax. But the booth was blocked off my Microsoft personell because inside the booth was the Dark Lord Guy Kawasaki who was allowing one person at a time to come up and bask in his greatness.
I shouldn't pick on Microsoft too much. Embracing Guy is a move right out of one of Guy Kawasaki's books on business. He uses Office, so why not embrace Guy? Microsoft is trying to shake off it's old image where is was supposed to be the enemy, yet the biggest producer of Apple software in the world. I should mention I worked for years at Microsoft, so I know the whole inside story.
I have to say one nice thing for Microsoft, the latest version of Office for Macintosh is fantastic. It's better than any previous version and I like Excel and Word very much.
iMove HD 2009 actually looks really sweet. Apple has made some big functional improvements to a piece of software that was not very feature rich in the 2008 version. The one thing I like about this sotware is that it makes it very easy to upload a video to YouTube. That ease of use is improved in 2009. I will be upgrading.
It's great to hear Apple is removing DRM restrictions from music. I might actually buy something now from iTunes. Buying CDs has always been the best way to go because of the DRM hassles. Maybe things will change.
Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro 17" is a real dog. It's crippled by the fact it has NO REMOVABLE BATTERY and the battery only recharges 300 times. Even if it's 1000 times, it's still mortally wounded because the only way to get the battery replaced is to send it back to Apple within one year of ownership. Which means your notebook is out of your hands for at least a week to two weeks. Beyond that, you have to trust that Apple will actually stock parts. If you think Apple really cares about stocking parts these days, go out and see if you can buy a battery or a new AC charger for an older Apple computer.
Hands down, the iskin booth girls are the hottest at the event. It's no contest.
Apple claims this is their last Macworld. I am not sure what IDG did to annoy Apple, but they claim Macworld is far from dead. There was big banners that ominously predicted a new future in January 4-8, 2010. I think the trade show has a lot of merits, but it badly needs a redesign and rethink about ways to spice it up and make it more compelling for people. I have some great ideas about how to re-think the trade show.
One suggestion on how to improve Macworld I will share is customer service. I know trade shows are hard on sales reps, which is why I don't do them anymore. You are there to put on a nice friendly face for your products and reach out to talk to people and BE NICE. The fact that Canon Reps acted like buffoons will cause me to look for other products, especially since yours are missing the mark right now. Nikon, you're fat bald better-than-me rep talked me out of a D90. How does that benefit your company in any way?