This Thursday and Friday I participated in the annual migration to San Francisco for the MacWorld Expo. I’ve been going each year since the early 1990’s and it’s always a great place to see what’s happening in the Mac marketplace (and the iPod, iPhone, and iPad marketplace…). The big news this year was that Apple was not participating, causing some other companies to avoid the show as well.
This year, for the first time that I can remember, I actually went for two days. Mostly this was due to the Featured Presentations that were made available to all attendees, including those with just Expo passes. Â Director Kevin Smith was a big draw, and his Q&A session was hilarious but still very informative for those interested in film. I also managed to catch the Best of MacWorld session, Leo Laporte’s Late Night session, and bit of John Gruber’s session about Apple. All great stuff!
The Show Floor
A few observations. It was crowded, especially on Thursday. The show floor was smaller but it felt far more crowded. Many good companies offering their wares. I ended up buying a lot more stuff than normal this year (as a show of solidarity for the Mac community!).
It was nice to see Microsoft at the show, but they didn’t do much with their floor space except to have costumed icons running around. They announced Office 2011 for Mac on Thursday but weren’t even demoing in their booth. In past years they have done a good job doing presentations about their products but this year they weren’t doing any of that. Gotta give Microsoft an “F” for that. Or, perhaps, an “E” as in Entourage.
I definitely enjoy the smaller vendors too. Nicknamed “Tiny Town” this is often the best place to see small companies with interesting products. This year, I picked up BusyCal and an iPhone app for planning trips to Disneyland. You can get up close and personal with the developers who can still have demo computers and such to help sell their products.
On the other hand, there were problems in a new “Mobile Showcase” area that I am calling “Micro Town.” Â Rather than one booth, we had four app developers in the same sized place. This place was crowded, though as you can see it didn’t stop some from including “Booth Babes” to try and perk up interest. One vendor we enjoyed checking out was selling a Slingshot game that we really liked.
This year Julie and the boys had the day off from school so they spent some time with me on Friday. Here are the boys about to head onto the floor of the Expo. Quinn even found a (fake) iPad!
The boys and I did also have some time to explore the Yerba Buena Gardens above the Moscone Center, including a very interesting play structure and their Carousel.