Steve Jobs’ two-hour Expo keynote address was greeted with excitement - and disappointment - by the public and exhibitors alike.
That Apple CEO Jobs’ showmanship had hit the mark with some was clear. One woman, a keynote first-timer, said: “It was everything I expected, and more. It was pretty cool. Mac OS X looks really exciting, and the iMovie demo was great - really emotional, I was choked up.”
Arley Morgan Baker, director of corporate communications of EarthLink, was also enthusiastic about the address, especially the announcement that the ISP company will receive a $200 million investment from Apple : “Everybody I’ve spoken to just wants to go straight out and buy a new Mac. Mac OS X was the thing that really made me drool.”
However, he had disappointing news for the UK - that the company has “no immediate plans” to go international. He continued: “A lot of the stuff that Apple has created with its Internet strategy are totally in sync with the EarthLink experience.”
Many Mac fans - who see the keynote as a quasi-religious experience - were glowing with admiration for Apple and its now-permanent CEO, but there was also much disappointment.
One UK dealer said: “It was something of a non-event - two hours of non-substance. It was all manana, manana. [products that won’t be shipping until next year]. And, in the meantime, other companies will be working on stuff that will match it, and even surpass it by the time it comes out.”
A visitor from New York, who is an experienced keynote attendee, echoed this sentiment: “Unfortunately, it was not what everyone was expecting. There were no hardware announcements, which means that Apple is becoming a software company, which is rather boring. Everybody was expecting innovative hardware - I wanted to see a new PowerBook. However, the Internet strategy is good, Apple wants to do what Amazon.com has done. But two hours listening to Steve talking about Apple.com was a bit boring. I could have stayed at home and watched the whole thing on the Web.”
FileMaker president Dominique Goupil was more effusive: “We are totally behind Apple’s OS X and Internet strategy. It opens up new possibilities for us.”
In a press release, Microsoft’s Kevin Browne said: “Microsoft is excited that it will be providing Mac OS X-compatible applications.”
However, a spokesman at the VST booth, who refused to be identified, said: “They were muttering excitedly and taking copious notes when Jobs gave the first ever demonstration of OS X. I think they’ll already be planning to take the ideas and create the same things.”
For all the news from Macworld Expo 2000, San Francisco, go to Macworld’s round-up pages.