As an 'Apple Guy' CES has always taken a back seat to Macworld. Wow, not this year. This year I can't keep my eyes off of CES. So many innovative products are coming out while the luster of the 17-inch Unibody MacBook wore off almost instantly.
Palm's Pre seems like one of the first worthy competitors to the iPhone (until you throw in the Sprint factor). ASUS's EEE Keyboard that is actually a computer is a great idea. I may not need one, but it shows that there is innovation going on out there. The Sony P is also an interesting product. I know it will chug with Vista, but I have to imagine Windows 7 will work acceptably on it.
New specs on SD cards and Sony memory sticks that top out at 2TB make me ponder the possibilities. Today's biggest hard drive is still smaller than the SD card we'll see in a few years. Incredible.
Google is putting Android on everything that takes a current. Netbooks, iPod Touch-like devices, phones, tablets, toasters? etc.
Meanwhile, Apple has two updated application suites. While I am really excited about Faces and Places in iPhoto, it is really a small part of my computing life. I think I am beyond Garage Band Learn-to-Play and iMovie's new features are good, not great.
Apple's iWork.com, in its present state, is really anemic. Imagine Google Docs if you stripped away all of the permissions, editing capabilities, and most of the collaboration. Slap some pretty graphics on there and you have iWork.com. iWork's native apps were also updated, but nothing that blew me away.
More thoughts on CES versus Macworld: Palm and Sony Trump Apple.
About the most interesting thing at Macworld was the HP Windows Home Server with Mac support. That isn't a good sign.
This was Apple's last year at Macworld. Rumors have it that they might join CES next year, or according to some vendors, the show might just move there without Apple or IDG.
This story, "Macworld's a Yawn this Year, but CES Is Riveting" was originally published by Computerworld.