Tuesday, August 01, 2006

WWDC 2006 predictions

We're five short days away from Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference where we will get the first real glimpse of OS X Leopard. As of right now, that's the only guarantee we can look forward to.

However, as we all know Mr. Stevie J. has a tendency to announce new products and/or product upgrades and such events. Here are my predictions (and in some cases hopes) of what will be announced.

• Of course we're going to get a preview of Leopard, but I'm guessing it's going to be released in time for Christmas, just to rub it in Vista's face.

• It's pretty much a given that the new Intel Core 2 Duo chips are going to be put in the current Power Macs, finishing off the PowerPC/Intel transition. I'm also predicting the mobile versions of the chips go into the Macbook Pros to further distinguish them from the Macbooks. (I'd love to see them end up in the high-end iMacs too.)

• If there are any iPod updates, it's going to be new nanos with increased capacity (2, 4, 8 gigs) and/or new metal casings similar to the iPod minis.

• .Mac. Hmmm. I'd like to think they'd make .Mac free, or significantly reduce the price considering all the competition out there. You can essentially do everything with free Google products (Google Pages, Blogger, etc.) that you can do with .Mac. The only benefit .Mac brings to the table is it's seamless integration with OS X apps. This is cool to be true, but you can get 2.5 times the amount of space in an attractive environment from Google for free. Suggestion: Make .Mac free for everyone who buys Leopard. Keep it free until the next OS (Calico?) comes out. If people don't upgrade, they start paying a nominal fee for .Mac. If you upgrade, you continue enjoying it for free. Or perhaps you could do the same thing when you upgrade iLife versions. Regardless, it needs to be less expensive.

So there you have it. I think Leopard is going to have a few surprises in it nobody saw coming and will make Vista look primitive (if it isn't already).