Steve Jobs’ keynote at Macworld Expo in San Francisco is tomorrow morning. As is usual, the rumors sites are abuzz with speculation, rampantly contradicting each other. If previous years are any indication, they’ll be a little right and mostly wrong.
I won’t be at Macworld this year, since I’m in St. Louis. I attended the exhibits last year for the first time in a while (not the conferences), and that was fun. I also watched last year’s keynote on TechTV. I’m a little disappointed that they’re not going to broadcast it again this year (they didn’t for New York, either. Something about Apple being unhappy about TechTV inserting commercials). I guess I’ll have to watch it on QuickTime. But on the plus side, 11am Central time is not nearly as early as 9am Pacific time was last year.
The one rumor that everyone seems to agree on, probably because they all read it in a “reputable” news source, is that Apple will start charging for upgrades to iDVD and iMovie and maybe iPhoto. Ignoring the fact that Apple has charged for upgrades to iMovie in the past, before it was bundled with Mac OS X, I think it would be a shame for Apple to do this, especially with iPhoto. I’d like to use iPhoto to manage my digital photos, I really would. But the current version (1.1.1) has some serious flaws that will prevent me from using it, and I don’t know that I feel like paying Apple for the privilege of getting a new version that probably won’t fix enough of these problems to make it worth the money.
Personally, I’m still a little annoyed that Apple started charging for .Mac (née iTools) earlier this year. Apple may have needed the money, and they may have been legally in the right to do it, but I felt ripped off. When they introduced the service, Apple gave every indication that it would continue to be free (or rather, included in the purchase price of a Mac, which was required to sign up). My boxed retail copy of Mac OS X 10.1 even lists “iTools” on the side as one of the features. One of these days (possibly tomorrow), Apple might introduce a .Mac feature that makes it worth paying them $99 each year, but they haven’t yet.