Apple surprised the Mac community on December 16 when it announced that CEO Steve Jobs wouldn't speak at the company's keynote presentation during Macworld Expo in January, and that this would mark its last year at the event. Now disappointed Mac users and Apple fans are taking their message online -- both tongue-in-cheek and in calls to action.
Apple revealed on Tuesday that Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Schiller, would be presenting the keynote at Macworld Expo 2009 and added that it wouldn't return to exhibit at the event in 2010. The reasoning, according to Apple, was that its retail stores are a more effective way to reach customers, and that it has been scaling back on its trade show appearances.
Within hours of Apple's decision hitting the Internet, the Apple Canceled Christmas Web site was already online spoofing the Cupertino company's own press release.
Silent Keynote is pushing for silence when Phil Schiller is on stage.
Most recently, Silent Keynote appeared with a call to action that everyone attending the Macworld Expo keynote presentation on January 6 sit in complete silence. Lesa Snider King, author and the site's developer, said "For 25 years, a very loyal and passionate Mac community has descended upon the halls of Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA to see, hear, and learn more about the computers they love. By announcing their departure from this beloved show hosted by IDG, Apple is sending a message to the entire community -- professionals, hobbyists, media, Mac User Groups, and even IDG themselves -- that they care nothing for the community who supported them through thick and thin."
She added "If you're attending the Macworld Expo keynote on Tuesday, Jan. 6, you can send a message to Apple by remaining silent during the 2009 keynote. While Phil Schiller is on the stage, let there be no applause, no whistling... just utter and complete silence."
Silent Keynote isn't the only site on the Internet hoping to send Apple a message or to do its part to help keep Macworld Expo alive. Save MacWorld Expo appeared soon after Apple's announcement, although the site simply states "A site dedicated to saving MacWorld Expo!"
One Facebook group is hoping to get Steve Jobs back on the keynote stage.
A Facebook page hoping to convince Mr. Jobs to speak at the 2009 keynote via a petition has marginally better chance at success than the Save MacWorld Expo site, if for no other reason than it properly identifies the event as "Macworld" instead of "MacWorld." The Facebook group with its "Let's petition to get Steve Jobs back to do ONE last keynote for Apple's last MacWorld Expo!!!!" message, however, has only 25 members so far.
While the likelihood that Apple will respond to these public statements, it does show that the Mac community isn't pleased with the company's decision, and that the community is more than ready to share its feelings publicly. Regardless of whether or not people agree with the calls to action, the message looks clear: Mac users feel like Apple has turned its back on them, the Macworld Expo team, and the other vendors exhibiting at the event.
Macworld Expo runs from January 5 through January 9, 2009, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. For additional information about the Expo and events, visit the Macworld Expo Web site.