Macworld: The Right and the Wrong Questions

I’ve started and killed this post a few times already. I’m finally pulling the trigger mainly because the particular echo chamber where I stick my head is still bitching about Apple pulling out of Macworld, more than a week later. The points have been made before, but they bear repeating.

Apple DOES NOT CARE about the Mac community.
Correlary: Apple is not special or better than any other random tech company. You hate Microsoft? Think Apple would really be all that different if they were in the same position? Remember how they acted in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

That aside, I should just point out now that I’ve never, ever been to Macworld. Not that I’ve never had the chance, mind you. I’ve lived in San Francisco since 1986, so my lack of attendence is mostly due to the fact that I just don’t care enough to go. Also, I will not show up to the Moscone in downtown SF in early January to say that I saw teh Steve in person. Especially not this year where its likely to be raining in addition to just freezing.

The reason why I feel like this? I use all sorts of Apple hardware and software, and evangelize it to others, but Apple is not my business. In other words, I use Macs, but my income is in no way related to them. For the work I do, any computer and OS will do. It just so happens that we all prefer Apple stuff and are funded by an independent federal grant, so we can buy whatever the hell we want.

I would wager that most Apple customers are like me. People who like their Macs, iPods and iPhones, but that’s about it. IT people aside, since they have more/specialized needs by definition, that’s how Apple seems to like it. Apple wants to sell gadgets, not be the center of a cult.

As for Macworld, Apple’s real reasons for pulling out are likely the same as their stated reason. Apple not only doesn’t need Macworld any more, but the expectations of the conference actually harm it. With the exception of the iPhone, nothing they announce at Macworld ever meets the hype. As for me, I have to deal with enough conferences, shows and the like for work to attend one voluntarily, on my own dime.

For those people to whom Macworld matters, stop bitching and whining and protesting at Apple. Again, Apple Does. Not. Care. They will not be showing up in 2010. Deal with it. However, IDG has already committed to Macworld 2010 and beyond if it reamains profitable. So what if there’s no more Stevenote? Invite someone else. Someone who’ll rub Apple’s nose in the fact that they, other than their role as vendor are irrelevant to the Mac community. Do something, but just stop whining.

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