Paul Thurrott does a concise job of listing the Apple press releases and rating the items discussed in Steve Job’s keynote yesterday at Macworld. From a Microsoft news perspective, the highlights were:
Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today announced at Macworld Conference & Expo 2006 a formal five-year agreement that reinforces Microsoft’s plans to develop Microsoft® Office for Mac software for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. The Mac BU outlined several upcoming improvements to Entourage® 2004 for Mac and said it plans to build converters to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML Formats. The commitment agreement and product announcements emphasize the cooperation between the two companies and serve as significant indicators of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the Mac platform.
Not really a surprise, but nice to know for Apple users. Office for Mac is undoubtedly profitable, but really a sideline for Microsoft except in the sense that it demonstrates that Windows does not absolutely control the desktop. There were no dates, but more details in a Q&A with Roz Ho, Microsoft’s General Manager of the Macintosh Business Unit.
Apple introduces Intel based iMac and MacBook systems: Changing the CPU in a Mac is mostly irrelevant to Microsoft other than making the Office for Mac team do some extra work. And for complete irrelevance, there’s been a good deal of press buzz about an Apple executive’s interview statement that they wouldn’t prevent users from loading Windows on the systems. If he’d mentioned Linux too, it would have been a press jackpot.
iPod: An FM tuner for the iPod was finally announced as well more content for iTunes. Also announced over the over the weekend was optional iPod integration on Chrysler vehicles:
The Chrysler Group today announced that it will be the first American automaker to provide full iPod integration as an option in most of its 2006 models, with over three million 2006 Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge models offering seamless iPod® integration beginning this spring. Drivers will be able to listen to their iPod through the car’s audio system, select their music by artist, album or playlist with radio or steering wheel controls and view selections on the radio’s display.
The effects of these items on Microsoft are indirect in that they merely make the barrier higher for catching the iPod with Microsoft’s own online media, portable media, and automotive offerings.