Macworld NY Highs and Lows
by Derrick Story
After two full days of Macworld NY, the highs and lows are separating like cream from milk.
My list of highs is actually longer than I had anticipated. The new 17" iMac is a gem and a great value at $2,000. iTunes 3 shows that Apple is committed to making their already great iApps even better. iSync is downright exciting and may prove to be the missing link that helps us connect all of our digital goodies.
The Expo floor has been booming for two days. At times it's hard to get around. Activity at the O'Reilly booth has been nonstop from the opening bell to the closing. Our Mac titles are selling better than ever, and I think the word is out that O'Reilly is committed to providing quality books for Mac users. We introduced iPhoto: The Missing Manual at Macworld, and it's been well received.
New Yorkers are great people, and I've very much enjoyed talking to attendees on the Expo floor, during my iPhoto session, and in the O'Reilly booth. Outside the convention center, I'm staying in Times Square where it's always electric.
Late night Times Square (Broadway) shot from the 20th floor of the Marriott Hotel. After 1 am is about the only time you can casually stroll the sidewalks.
On Wednesday night I went over to the Village to see Mike Daisey's one man show, 21 Dog Years -- Doing Time @ Amazon.com and had dinner with him and friends afterward. He really knows his Mac stuff and had some terrific ideas for improving the .mac package.
The last highlight I want to mention is Apple's new store in Soho. They renovated an old post office and transformed it into a beautiful setting to shop for and buy computers. I don't think Apple is getting enough credit for their commitment to providing a wonderful customer experience in their retail stores. The new addition in Soho just might be the best yet.
As for the lows, I have to say that the launch of .mac could be more graceful for existing iTools users. My preference would be to let us keep our existing services for free, then migrate to the $49 premium service when we're ready to take advantage of the new features. Forcing existing customers into "an all or nothing" choice seems like bad business to me.
Apple, it's not too late to rethink this approach.
Other lows include the traditional Mac vendors who chose not to attend the show. The vendors on the Expo floor are doing a great job. I tip my cap to them. As for the other guys who didn't show, but who still want our money for their products, I give a big thumbs down. I've spent my dough on the folks who are here.
Even though New York is in my highlights category, I'm including it in my lows too. It's not easy getting from any hotel to Javits Center, all the really good food seems to be way over in the Village ($7 - $10 cab fare), the traffic sucks, and it is really humid.
In a way, seems like New York and Apple have a lot in common right now. They each have noteworthy pluses and minuses. Both are exciting and tough. And I really never know what's going to happen next.
I'm glad I'm here in the middle of it.
Try public transportation - subway and bus. Free transfers.