Macworld First Impressions

Today was my first official day at the Macworld conference in San Francisco. I got into town yesterday afternoon, visited the Adobe booth while it was being set up and then went for dinner with my colleagues, Adam Pratt and Colin Fleming. I’m sorry to report that I reneged on my promise to visit Shalimar in the Tenderloin, and went to Naan ‘n Curry on O’Farrell instead. The food was actually pretty good, although Shalimar definitely has a better ambience – whereas Naan ‘n Curry felt like a Pakistani/Indian restaurant in a US city, going to Shalimar is like visiting the Indian subcontinent.

But I digress. I showed up at the Adobe booth this morning around 9:50am while the Steve Jobs keynote was going on in another building. The Apple booth was right behind Adobe’s, entirely hidden by a ceiling-to-floor black curtain that ran along the perimeter of the booth. As Steve made his announcements, portions of the black curtain would fall, revealing a giant poster of whatever gadget had just been shown on stage in the next building. I suppose it was like a striptease for geeks.

While this was going on, members of the media started gathering by the black curtain so they could be first to touch the MacBook Air or whatever. They got their chance once the keynote ended – all the curtains and other physical barriers came down and media & joe public alike rushed the Apple booth. It was fun to watch, but I can’t say I wanted to join the masses.

In terms of the keynote itself, I have to say that I was a little underwhelmed with what Steve & Co. had to show – and I’m willing to bet that a lot of attendees would agree with me. A few people suggested that maybe Apple is working on something huge and just couldn’t get it done before the show, so they went with whatever they had. Others observed that Steve wasn’t his usual self, and himself seemed less excited than he normally is.

As for the rest of the conference, I had a chance to walk around the floor a bit today and plan to do some more of it tomorrow and Thursday. I can’t believe that there are so many different companies making iPod/iPhone cases and covers!

On a positive note, Adobe has put up its staff at the W, which is right across from the conference venue (Moscone Center). I ended up in a standard room, but like every other W, the furnishings are very interesting.

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