Apple WWDC 2009 – Some Wow, Mostly Boring

As usual, I followed Apple’s WWDC keynote earlier today through the live blog at Gizmodo. Overall, most of the expected announcements were made, including more information on Snow Leopard and the new iPhone 3GS. However, the updates to the MacBook Pro line, including rebranding the 13.3″ MacBook to Pro status wasn’t foreseen. A couple thoughts.

Windows Vista/7

I think people are finding the unqualified attacks on Windows to be a bit long in the tooth. This clever slide didn’t get much of a response from the crowd. Why? Perhaps it’s because many people know Windows 7 is a significant improvement over Vista in usability. And for the vast majority of users, it’s the most important aspect they deal with every day.

And talk about pot calling the kettle black. What are some of the major innovations with Snow Leopard? Exchange support. A dock that takes cues from Windows 7’s new taskbar (gasp!). A mail client that no longer uses more threads when idle (talk about innovation). Improved 64 bit support and performance.

Here, I’ve fixed up Apple’s Snow Leopard logo for them.

No Leopard

Saving grace? It’s only a $29 upgrade for Leopard users. I think Microsoft could learn a thing or two, especially for Vista customers (not that it would be good for the bottom line). Then again, the changes over Leopard do seem to be pretty minor to most, even if ‘90% of the codebase’ has been updated. Without fancy new effects on the desktop, I doubt most users would be willing to shell out the previously standard $129 upgrade price.

Apple iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS is a pretty incremental upgrade over the existing 3G, but I guess there’s not much point in releasing a devilishly awesome iPhone at this point when most of the 3G users are still locked only a year into their 2 year contracts. Nevertheless, if I were a new customer, I don’t see any reason to go for a $100 cheaper device in the 8GB iPhone 3G, which amounts to just over $4/month extra, as opposed to upgrading to the 3GS, with double the storage and some extra features. I’m sure Apple is hoping to upsell you with that exact logic.

And damn, did anyone else zone out (yeah, I know I was reading, but still) during the endless iPhone app demos? I know the App Store and the whole development community for the iPhone is doing great, but jeez, talk about keynote buzz-kill.

Apple MacBook Pro

The most interesting piece of information for me today was the update to the MacBook (Pro). I considered getting a 13.3″ unibody MacBook in the past, but couldn’t get over the mediocre battery life. Now, the new 13.3″ MacBook Pro has an increased battery capacity (from 45WHr to 58WHr) and consequently, battery life has increased as well. And at around 7 hours of ‘wireless productivity’, it’s at the point where I’m strongly considering it again. I can deal with the built-in battery, which many people are still ranting about. Yeah, the free iPod Touch promotion for the back-to-school period doesn’t hurt.

Yep, I think I just might buy one.


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