Two leaders from the Macintosh community will address the Macworld Conference & Expo, to be held in San Francisco from January 9 to 12 at the Moscone Convention Centre.

Kevin Browne, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft will speak on Wednesday, January 10 at 9am. He’s played a key role in developing award-winning products like Office 98 Macintosh Edition.

Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO of Macromedia, takes the podium on January 11 at 9am. Burgess has worked in high-performance computer graphics and oversees Macromedia products such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash and Shockwave.

Bold events Charlie Greco, president and CEO of IDG World Expo said: “Macworld Expo thrives due to the participation of leading industry experts, the creation of bold new conference elements and a continued focus on meeting the needs of Mac users."

He added: "We've got ourselves two heavy-hitters in Kevin Browne and Rob Burgess. Our attendees come to Macworld Expo to hear from the leaders and innovators creating the next wave of development. It should be quite a wave for all of us to ride".

Macworld Expo’s other highlights include pre-conference, workshops offering training on key products and technologies.

New show features There will also be a Macworld Pro/Conference, which will offer training to Mac professionals on networking and systems administration for large organizations.

The Macworld Users Conference, meanwhile, will feature 70 sessions by industry experts, ranging from a preview of the Mac OS X to instruction on how to create desktop movies.

The MacBeginnings program will offer new Macintosh-users valuable training as they get started with their first iMac or iBook.

A new feature will be the Special Interest Boulevard, providing a showcase for up-and-coming companies, while an Internet cafe will offer attendees the chance to relax and check email.

Other show features include: the Digital Art Gallery, featuring original portraits created on Macs; the Music and Audio Showcase, featuring live concerts showing the Mac in action; and the Macintosh Gaming Area, offering hands-on demoes of the hottest new games for the Mac.

Expo boom Vice president of events at IDG World Expo Rob Scheschareg said: "People are coming to Macworld Expo in record numbers. Both the East Coast and West Coast shows are exploding.

"For us, it isn't about simply being the biggest. We're focused on being the best, by building on past successes and introducing innovative new strategies."

Scheschareg added: "Companies would be hard-pressed to find a better marketing opportunity than Macworld Expo. Our exhibitors know that. There's really no better place to be if you're interested in seeing or selling hundreds of new products, getting hands-on demonstrations and hearing from some of the visionaries in the Mac community," he said.

The pre-registration deadline for the Mac World Expo has been extended to December 18. This extension gives show-goers discounts on registration fees.

Pre-registering places means that attendees can avoid queuing for passes and they also receive discounted tickets. Up to $100 can be save on the price of a conference package.