Friday, January 09, 2009

Apple unveils new MacBook Pro, iLife/iWork suites at Macworld

Apple's aluminum forging operations can now scale up to stamp out a new 17" MacBook Pro later this month. As the former owner of a 17" Mac G4, I can tell you the form-factor is great around the house but fugetaboutit at an airport. Those with $2,800 or more burning in their pockets can line up at their local Apple Store and support the economy.

iLife, the built-in media suite that comes with all Macs, gets a fresh face in the 2009 edition. iPhoto and iMovie get a bunch of new features that will allow more metadata and better editing and recall capabilities.

iTunes junks the $.99 price fits all with three price points; one above and one below a buck. More importantly, iTunes will drop DRM in the next 90 days, which in turn will draw more industry support for Apple's media formats over time.

iWork gets a makeover too, but unless you are on a desert Apple Island, the proprietary iWork presentation, spreadsheet, and word processor will be a learning bridge too far for anyone exposed to Open Office or more likely Microsoft Office. Save your $100.

Missing in action: new iMac and Mac Pro desktops. An Apple store employee poo-poohed the idea that the company needed a new Mac Pro, saying "few customers can harness the eight processors we already offer". He moved on when I mentioned protein folding.

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