So it is both over and just starting … the week of WWDC was once again kicked off by Steve Jobs in grand fashion — showing off the most drool-worthy new piece of hardware, the MacPro, I have seen in a long time. I am not sure it is enough to pull out of MacBook Pro land, but it is sweet … It was also great that Steve once again decided to give us a taste of what is to come and promise that there is more to Mac OSX.5 than what they are willing to show. For my dollar it was just as interesting for the features of the forthcoming 10.5 release than what they didn’t show. In an interesting twist, Mr. Jobs decided to not show off some of the more advanced features of the next version of the Mac OS … instead saying it was time to let the ever OS-designing folks from Microsoft think different on their own. Jobs actually said, “we don’t want (Microsoft) to start their photocopiers.” Interesting move — but even Apple let the cat out of the bag that their timeline had sliped to Spring 07.
The few 10.5 features that they did show were interesting to say the least — the new iChat capabilities just blew me away! The ability to deliver a Keynote from anywhere was just off the charts … it did leave me wondering though in the age of podcasting if GarageBand or iMovie would be able to capture all that and compress it down to an iTunes (U) capable version — wishful thinking, but if I had any say all these new features would be recordable so we could deliver amazing opportunities. The Time Machine concept is slick, but it left me wondering how some “pro” Mac folks would feel about the overuse of GUI elements. The new Spaces capability is welcomed and will give us on the little MacBook and MBP the needed real estate to do the crazy things we like with our machines. Of them all, Mail seems to be the most geared towards me — the ability to easily flag and notate items will be wonderful (although I am getting by quite nicely with the MailTags plugin installed). All in all it was a good array of features to show off.
There are other consumer level things, but let me talk briefly about the pro line of things — maybe the backoffice. The xServe has been in need of an upgrade and it got it … the killer things from Apple today (in my estimation) are the Mac OSX Server upgrades coming … if you haven’t seen the list you need to check it out … iCal server, Wiki service, and the killer app, the Podcast Producer. Not a whole lot of detail, but if it is the setup I listened to an engineer discuss months ago then this is a real killer edu app. Take a peek for yourself and think about the possibilities. When we get our hands on that, all bets are off for easy classroom capture. This may be a turning point for Mac OSX Server … time will tell.
So it was a good day … I have staff at WWDC preparing for a week long learning experience. I am hoping we get answers to a few questions and are ready to attack new opportunities upon return. Tim, just remember to pick me up some goodies while you are there and come back with some info! It was a good start to another interesting trip down innovation lane.