Thoughts on the Keynote (WWDC 2007)

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You know, expectations always lead to a letdown.  It happened to just about everyone in the world when Star Wars: Episode One was released…it happened when M*A*S*H ended…hell it happened when my father saw Forrest Gump for the first time. Expecting something to be amazing and/or unforgetable almost always leads to disappointment.

So, it’s no surprise to me that I felt slightly disappointed after the Keynote yesterday.  I expected more.  I think everyone did.  It doesn’t help when idiots like me are making predictions, and Wired magazine is predicting the “biggest UI change in 30 years”…that’s incredibly hard to live up to…even for Apple.

After the Keynote I waited and waited for the feed to come online so I could get a better look at the presentation, but it didn’t appear until late in the evening, and when it did, it was streaming Quicktime (which is the one portion of Quicktime I don’t think Apple has ever gotten right, and is a personal hatred of mine).  So, unable to watch a quality version of the WWDC Keynote, I decided, instead, to watch the Keynote from Macworld this year.

After skipping all the financials, skimming over the AppleTV (hey, I was watching it on an AppleTV, I didn’t Jobs to tell me what it does again)…I finally got to it.  The Perfect Hype-Storm.

The iPhone.

After watching the Macworld Keynote, along with the “How To…” commercials for the iPhone, I am fully incased in the reality distortion field around the product.  As the Wi-Fi chugged along slowly in the Keynote, I found myself saying “I’m sure it’s just a slow connection…it’ll work great a my house.”  I refuse to believe anything negative about the iPhone until I see it for myself.  The Reality Distortion Field has me within it’s grasp.

And that’s when it hit me…that’s why I’m disapointed with the WWDC Keynote…and that’s why you are too.  There was no Reality Distortion Field yesterday.  Steve Jobs didn’t need it.  Instead of showing us an unbelievable product that we have to have great faith in until we can see it for ourselves, Jobs gave us an OS update.  It looks like a good OS update…hell, I think it looks GREAT – but it doesn’t give us anything to really drool over and live in anticipation of.

Most of us had decided that Leopard was going to be as revolutionary as the iPhone appears to be.  That’s what we wanted to see, but that’s not what we saw…what we saw, instead, was a solid looking OS update that I think we’re all going to be very happy with.  Will it change the world?  No.  Is it better than Vista?  Can’t officially say yet, but since Tiger is already better than Vista, I don’t see how it couldn’t be.

I’m more excited about Leopard than I was about Tiger.  Especially after watching the demo videos on Apple’s site.  I actually think, in retrospect, that this was a really great Keynote.  It did exacty what something like this should do…it showed developers the new OS they are going to be developing for.  It wasn’t overly hype filled.  It didn’t leave the whole world filled with anticipation and a ridiculous anticipation of the product…instead, I think it left us with a “that’s going to be cool…” kind of feeling.  It did for me, anyway.

I’m looking forward to October, so I can get my hands on Leopard….but I CAN wait for it to get here…and I think that’s a good thing.

Comments

  1. Meh, I dunno I was expecting a lot more and well I should. Apple didn’t really pull through this time, its a nice update yea, but this should have come at an earlier date, and delaying it until October seems a little much for something thats really not that mind blowing (its nice don’t get me wrong) I guess I was just really pissed off seeing Finder get a overhaul and they forgot allow tabs within Finder windows. Thats one thing that always pissed me off. Instead of making a extremely useful feature for organizing your windows, they release Cover Flow which is nice for albums, but I’ll never use it for files.

  2. Rick O'Neil says:

    I avoided news of the Keynote all day yesterday until I could watch it for myself… I like to get the whole “Jobs effect”. I finally watched it around 10pm, poor quality and all. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed, not that the new stuff wasn’t very cool… I just expected one moment of “holy crap, thats going to be freakin’ awesome!” I hoped to see something completely new. But in the back of my head I knew this was a developers conference and not necessarily the place to unveil new hardware. I am however confident that there will be that moment when we are presented with something truly revolutionary… In the mean time I’m going to avoid rumors and speculation and stick with whats real.

  3. When they first showed off leopard it looking boring… and it still looks boring. Not as bring (at least the UI will be unified finally) but still…

  4. I’m really shaky regarding this whole issue. On one hand, i agree with all of you guys, that it didn’t have the RDF that we all wanted and anticipated. Especially when his Steveness mentioned in January that he was only showcasing just ten of the many secret features of Leopard. I guess that itself caused us to really expect much more.

    On the other hand, I ask myself: what else can Apple offer? Is this not good enough? and i find myself saying that Leopard IS in fact, awesome, but just not groundbreaking. I guess all of us were waiting for something to blow our minds away: 3D interfaces, ZFS?, crazy things out of our wildest imaginations, but we didn’t get them. HOWEVER, i am really looking forward to 10.6, it would either be a complete flop (if apple cannot find anymore revolutionary ideas) or totally RDF-ed (if 10.6 could introduce even better, intuitive functionality)

  5. Richard Chuo says:

    Ever since Mac OS X 10.4 (a.k.a. Tiger), Mac OS X became a platform that helps developers come up awesome products. Mac OS X became more like a technology demonstration to developers, which shows the possibility. If you expect Mac OS X to be like the original Macintosh, you would certainly feel a bit disappointed. However, if you look at Leopard as an innovation forge for developers, it would be an exciting release. :)

  6. I thought the keynote was a little slow and we have all seen a lot of that stuff before.

    Also, not that I expected it, but the part about no SDK for iPhone as a downer. They really need a way to have a persistent offline app.

    On the whole though I am excited about leopard, and more so to see all the apps use core animation.

  7. Nice to see some positive spin on what was a complete waste of everyone’s time. Why it was necessary to gather so many people from all over the US and make them listen to nothing new getting announced I don’t know. A press release would have been much more sensible. The thing about hype is, it has to be created. Apple created it. THEY built up everyone’s hopes yesterday and THEY almost everyone down. The falling value on Apple’s stocks speaks volumes.

  8. DAMN people are becoming more and more like small kids moaning: “Uhhahh, I’m pissed cause dad didn’t bring me the toys I had wished all day he would buy for me, cause I deserve it, I’m so bored, instead he only brought home… Icecream…. wroahh, I don’t want icecream, I want what I wished for all day… braahh”

    Damn, people! Go donate some money to Africa, enjoy your freedom to buy Path Finder, download Quicksilver, or whatever, and save your money and stay on Tiger until the next major update.

    The transparant menu is something many users have wished for, which is why Merlin Mann f.e. use Menu Shade to dim the menu. Of course Apple’s implementation will allow the UI-purists to adjust the opacity to 100% should they wish to. What’s the problem?

    And the web-apps for iPhone controversy? Bah, dear developers, swallow your feeling of being so hurt, go eat that icecream, and develop Cocoa-apps for the Mac, og see it as a challenge to do great web-apps for the iPhone. Nobody, not even allmighty Apple owe you anything. Before the Keynote, you had nothing but a wish. Now you at least have something. What is the loss if your never had anything in the first place?

    Geez. I think it was a good Keynote. Don’t underestimate the potential of Core Animation to the UI experience.

    Less whine, more sunshine;-)

  9. I am also dissapointed that no new harware was debuted. But you have to consider the audience. They are developers, do they care about a new Cinema Display with built in iSight camera, or a new black iMac? Probably not. They are there for software. To that point, I wonder why Xcode wasn’t mentioned, or Xserve for that matter. The only development tool I saw was DashCode, but come on.

  10. Jamie Vague says:

    I think most of you seem to be forgetting what WWDC was… a DEVELOPERS conference. Why people thought hardware was going to be the focus is beyond me.

    All in all i felt that the keynote was a good, exciting look at leopard, which is totally what i expected it would be. Leopard looks awesome, the changes to finder looks like a major advance. Finally a decent way to view photos directly from finder, the coverflow thing seemed like a gimmik at first, but thinking about it this is exactly what i have wanted in OSX for ages. Windows has easy ways to view photos, now so does OSX… neat :-)

    As for quick look, that seems like an awesome idea to me. Being able to quickly look at a doc or keynote is a great idea and will increase productivity.

    Then there is the changes to networking. Searching remote computers, including windows boxes, is simply amazing stuff and will improve my mac experience tenfold.

    All in all a thoroughly exciting prospect :-)

  11. I think it was a great keynote. Many people think Steve is God and can do everything. The new finder is just a cool en practical update, together with quicklook. Safari for windows is little bit buggy. But I guess it’s mentioned for the iPhone, sync bookmarks.. and maybe other new thing. When is the next event? :P

  12. I think you are right on, Michael. There is no need for RDF for the developers. Just give them the info that they need to develop. They don’t need RDF. Consumers do, though.

  13. Strange, but I really could not watch the keynote on my new (Intel) MacBook running MAC OS X, the Greatest Operating System in the History of the Universe according to the Appleists. The quality is just too crappy!!! The quality was much better on my work PC, which is a 5-year-old Compaq running XP. Is there some kind of conspiracy in the works?

  14. @Anders

    No, the issue is with the speed of your high speed access, that is how the quality of the stream is determined.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the OS. If you take that 5-year-old Compaq home it’ll do the same thing.

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