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7.13.2004 

Macworld Expo Boston

Minus a Jobs Keynote or a slew of new product releases from Apple--indeed without Apple at all--we don't know anyone who was particularly excited about this year's Macworld Expo Boston. And in fact, quite a bit of the press coverage has focused on just how hum-drum and empty MW Beantown is. (Or at least, quite a bit of Leander's coverage.)

Today's keynote drives this home. The MacCentral hed says it all: Macworld Expo kicks off with 20 years on the Mac. Wow. That's pretty hott stuff right there. We're having to breathe into a paper bag, we're so energized. Now, don't get us wrong. We've met David Pogue before, when he was a columnist at Macworld, and there is neither a nicer, nor more knowledgeable Mac journalist out there. Unless it's maybe Jason Snell. Or Rick LePage. We digress.

The thing is, if we want to know more about the history of the Mac, we'll read about it online or in a book. We don't want to pay for plane fare, conference registration and a hotel room to fly to Boston to hear about it.

When we covered Macworld Expos, it was always a busy time, a week of late nights and early mornings rushing to meet deadlines. This year, that is obviously not the case. The press reports coming out have been, well, less than a deluge. In fact, we've heard through the grapevine that a few publications are skipping MWE altogether this year, or only sending a skeleton crew.

It's easy to wonder what IDG was thinking, or if it was thinking at all, when it scheduled MWE in Boston knowing that Apple wouldn't show if it did. But another, larger, question is what was Apple thinking?

MWE always served as a huge publicity forum for the Infinitely Loopy Cupertino Fruit Company, and that coverage has always tended to be fawning as stone-faced journos are wowed over by Jobs' keynotes the legions of Mac-faithful who shower him with applause. The Cube comes immediately to mind. Over the last few years, however, Apple has been moving more and more towards rolling out products at special events. The white iBook, the iPod, Airport Express, and numerous other products were introduced this way. Obviously, Apple thinks this strategy is more effective. And maybe it is; we're no good at marketing.

But we miss the excitement of the summer MWE, be it in Boston, New York, or Boise. We don't care. We just like those few times of the year when Apple takes center stage in Windowless rooms.

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  • hi, i'm mat honan, a writer in san francisco, california.
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