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Disappointing Apple WWDC announcements  

The rumour mills were overflowing with ideas of what Apple might show at this year’s WWDC and so I like many other interested parties sat down through the hour long presentation albeit via a delayed stream.


The highlight of the shows was the new Mac Pro which is a dual-processor Intel Core 2 Duo Xeon machine which replaces the PowerMac G5. Whilst it retains the enclosure everything inside is new including the Intel chips, much better performance, 4 SATA snap-in drive enclosures, dual optical bays, 16TB of RAM and space for more slots whilst also being 64-bit like it’s predecessor – and unlike the previous Intel Mac’s.

Xserve also got the Core 2 Duo Xeon treatment but despite the claims of better cooling the fourth drive bay that was lost when it went G5 didn’t return.

Both systems saw price cuts and rather surprisingly the entire presentation on hardware was by the VP of hardware Phil Shiller and not Jobs himself. That completes the Intel transition in 210 days since it was announced.


The software front was a little quiet – no mention of upgrades to iLife or any of the other tools just instead the presentation of Leopard. There were a few cool features including Time Machine, iChat and Core Animation but they spent a lot of time talking about mail, to-do lists, iCal undeletion, Spotlight, Dashboard and Accessibility.

Boot Camp, PhotoBoth and FrontRow will be part of the Core OS instead of bundled on applicable machines but that should have gone without saying.

If the “PC Guy” and “Mac Guy” from that adverts had been there “PC Guy” would have been impressed and “Mac Guy” would have wondered off somewhere else.

There was a line about “not showing secrets” that sounds like “not ready to demo” which points towards Leopard not being available this year.

Microsoft bashing

It’s always easier to put somebody else down than it is to improve your own lot and it seems Apple have gone with that this year perhaps to draw attention away from what little software they have to demo. Banners exclaim that Microsoft is copying Apple everywhere and yet Apple are perhaps even more guilty for not only stealing it but then accusing others of copying them rather than the original.

  1. Dashboard vs Widgets. Konfabulator got here first not Apple.
  2. Safari RSS vs IE7. Microsoft has been applying XML transforms to unstyled documents since before Safari was born.

And why stop there… here are Apple’s “innovations” at this years WWDC;

  1. TimeMachine – already available for Windows 2003 as Timewarp.
  2. Realistic speech synth – IBM and others.
  3. 64-bit – Microsoft released Windows 64-bit a long time ago.
  4. Spaces – Virtual desktops by another name. Available since at least the 80’s.


I can’t help but wonder having watched it if Steve’s heart wasn’t in it. Maybe the products and features he wanted to show weren’t ready or maybe he needs a break to recharge his batteries.

I guess the iPod video, 64-bit laptops and iChat Mobile phone will just have to wait.


LifeHacker has a similar summary with pictures whilst Paul Thurrott has pretty much come to the same conclusion in slightly more words. Added the Xeon moniker to the CPU’s.


3 responses  

  1. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought the Mac Pro was based around Xeon processors rather than Core2 Duo?

    Steve RicherAugust 12th, 2006
  2. The new Xeon is an SMP capable Core Duo 2 with 4MB cache.

    It has nout to do with the old Pentium 4 Xeon.

    I guess “Xeon” in Intel terms now means “server/workstation version of whatever desktop ship we’re shipping”


    Damien GuardAugust 12th, 2006
  3. Ahhh ok, thanks for the clarification. I have now learnt something!

    Steve Richer – August 14th, 2006

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