Macworld Expo is still three weeks away and already there is plenty of news, and all of it’s bad. First, as you’ve surely heard by now, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will NOT be giving the keynote speech this time. That’s bad. Jobs’ keynotes have been a big part of Macworld Expo, often the best part.
Second, Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of worldwide marketing, WILL be giving the keynote speech. That’s also bad. Schiller’s robotic spin-meister marketspeak is a sad contrast to Jobs’ genuine enthusiasm for Apple’s hardware and software and people. I hadn’t thought about Jobs’ predecessor Gil Amelio’s last keynote speech for awhile (it was horrible– boring, and long, and delivered in a sleep-inducing way) and I hadn’t ever thought that anything could be worse… but I am thinking that maybe it might be this time. Phil, if you’re listening, here’s some friendly advice: when you give the talk, lay off the marketing hype. Just play it straight. The products are good enough.
Third, Apple has already announced that they aren’t going to be part of Macworld 2010. I do not expect the show to survive beyond 2010. I completely understand what Apple is saying about how the whole notion of the trade show isn’t important in the Internet Age, and how they can now release information and introduce products on their own schedule instead of trying to come through every January with new and exciting stuff– but understanding the reasons doesn’t mean I like the result. Macworld Expo gave people like me– and people not at all like me– the chance to meet face to face. And that was a good thing.