I’m sitting in my hotel room after a long day of meetings and the keynote. I have a reception to go to in an hour so I thought I’d bang out a quick 1st impression of the keynote and the new products.
I had to go over to the Moscone center at 8 AM to get my VIP badge (which I pocketed for my collection) and stood in line for the keynote. About 15 minutes before the start of the keynote they let us in. I was hanging out with two other Apple Specialists, David Lerner from TekServe and Kevin Anderson from the Mac Store and PowerMax. Somehow, we got to sit 4 rows from the stage right in the middle!
Steve Jobs came out and gave a quick overview and then turned it over to Phil Shiller to show us the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is about 2 times as fast as the fastest Macintosh computer ever and there are some really interesting design features. Apple has really taken advantage of the partnership with Intel and the lower power lower heat Core 2 Duo chips allow a much greater versatility in the configuration than the G5.
You can put up to 4 SATA drives into the Mac Pro and you don’t need to buy anything other than the drive to do so – it comes with the drive carriers and all the cables, etc. We asked an Apple engineer to show us how to add drives and it is very easy and a really cool design. You can also now have two optical drives.
We spent a lot of time debating the wisdom of Apple’s decision to just have one stock model of the Mac Pro and we the debate is still raging. We will be selling a lot more configure to order machines and will probably have to stock some configurations as we determine which are the most popular.
The Intel Xserves were also released and one of their most significant features is redundant power supplies. This has been a barrier to adoption at many critical server locations.
After Bertrand Serlet poked some fun at Microsoft and Vista, Steve and Scott Forstall reviewed just a few of the new features of the next version of OS X Leopard. You can read about them a lot of places including the next issue of Kibbles & Bytes but the top three for me were:
Time Machine – this new backup and archival feature is simply revolutionary and will make backing up as simple as buying a hard drive (and we will have plenty to sell you!)
Web Clip – this Dashboard feature lets you make a widget from any section of any web page. You could make a widget of Barkings!
Spaces – A very cool addition to the finder which allows you to have several virtual windows open at once so that you can group applications together that you are using. This is going to be very useful.
I found the hints of the changes to Mail and iCal to be teasers, too, I can’t wait to get my hands on Leopard!
What a great thrill to be that close to the stage for the keynote! I feel very privileged!