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Thoughts on Apple Announcements of Oct 20th.

In a word – underwhelming.

I was hoping for more, especially regarding the next version of OS X. I am very surprised that Steve Jobs acted like Steve Ballmer out on the stage today and tried to sell vapourware. There was nothing within the upgrades to OS X that were remotely compelling, and none of it, with the exception of the App Store, is available for 10 – 11 months … maybe.

I have come to expect Microsoft to pre-announce products, as they learned from IBM, but Apple has historically wanted to create a marketing buzz and excitement about their products by keeping them very secret until the last minute, announcing them with huge fanfare, and delivering them almost immediately. This move reeks of fear that they may be losing their magic. Windows 7 continues to exceed expectations and Android is outselling the iPhone. This looks like an attempt by Steve Jobs to turn up the voltage on the RDF to keep the Mac faithful in line.

The other product announcements did no better at wetting my appetite. The iLife upgrades are nice, but are simply incremental improvements to already good products. The $49.00 upgrade price  isn’t bad, but I’m not sure yet whether I will pull the trigger.

The MacBook Air has always seemed to me to be the ultimate Apple product that exemplified form over function … and at a very high cost. Nothing in the announcement today changed my mind. The specs are underwhelming and the price is too high for what you get, unless you just have to have the cool factor of having the nicest designed netbook on the block.

Please Steve, don’t let this be a sign of things to come from your company. I love my MacBook Pro, and I really enjoy my iPod Touch, both of which were new purchases this year, but I have come to expect more from your announcements in both quality of substance of the product.

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