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TMO at MWSF - Attendees React to Steve Jobs Keynote

by , 3:30 PM EST, January 15th, 2008

If attendees of the Macworld Keynote could sum it up in a word, the word would be "great." One after another, attendees gave the keynote solid reviews, but none appeared blown away or wildly excited about Apple's new products.

Software engineer Mike Kreuckenberg could think of "no disappointments," but also wasn't planning to buy anything announced at the show. Similarly, Jim Dandy of 24-7 Lighting Services thought this keynote was "better" than the others he's seen, and liked the new products: MacBook Air, Time Capsule, and the updated Apple TV. But he saved the best review for Randy Newman's performance at the close of the presentation.

Bob "Cowboy" Andres, a dentist and aspiring rock star, was still digesting the news from the Keynote when we spoke with him. He's been to "quite a few" (about 5) keynotes, and this one didn't distinguish itself noticeably from others. "The new Apple TV... I think that's going to be great," he said, and he plans to buy one, along with one of the new Mac Pros announced last week. As for the MacBook Air, he said, "I really want one of those but can't buy that many computers."

Few of those we talked to felt anything important was missing from the keynote. But Carmen Pearson, a publicist for Game Loft, said this was her first keynote. She had a good review for Steve Jobs' performance ("He's a great speaker" who "presents his products really well"), and is planning to buy the new MacBook Air because she travels often. But the iPhone announcement was "disappointing" because there were no announcements about mobile gaming. Ms. Pearson is waiting for the iPhone SDK to hit the market before she considers buying an iPhone.

"It was great" -- this was the mantra from attendees leaving the Keynote hall, and Mr. Kreuckenberg was one of those to chant it. Mr. Kreuckenberg "had heard the rumors about the thin MacBook," and liked the product, but won't be purchasing one because he doesn't travel "that much."

On the way out of the hall, we ran into Shawn King, host of the radio show Your Mac Life, and a veteran of Jobs keynote addresses. "Jobs' performance seemed a little off," said Mr. King, but the products were "great." Mr. King said he felt like Jobs "gave and took away" with some of the announcements. For example, Apple updated the iPod touch but will charge $20, and announced movie rentals but won't provide them until 30 days after the DVD release.

All in all, the attendees seem to agree: it was a solid showing from Apple -- a great keynote -- but it seems unlikely that this keynote will go into Jobs' portfolio of expectation-shattering presentations.

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