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Old 01-09-2009, 08:00 PM
Sumathi Sumathi is offline
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Thumbs up Look what Apple has got for you

For the last time Apple pulled curtains off its offerings at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

In a hotly-awaited event that missed the key notes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Macworld failed to catch the usual buzz and bought no real surprises for Apple fans.

Unlike the previous year's shows that witnessed the launch of its iconic device iPhone and lightest laptop Air, this year went with no big bang from Apple.

However, the real show puller came with Apple cutting down iTunes prices. Also the tech giant revamped the much-due 17-Macbook Pro model. To fans little surprise the company also unwrapped two new versions of software packages.

Here's further looking into what all came out of Macworld.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:03 PM
Sumathi Sumathi is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 534

Cuts iTunes prices

Apple closed its final appearance at the Macworld trade show by cutting down the price of some songs in its market-leading iTunes online store to as little as 69 cents.

Apple's marketing executive, Philip Schiller, said iTunes songs would come in three pricing tiers: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. Record companies will choose the prices, which marks a significant change, since Apple previously made all songs sell for 99 cents.

Lower iTunes prices were Apple's only nod to the recession -- and an oblique one at that, as record labels have been asking for years to set varying song prices.

17-inch Macbook Pro
Rather than an inexpensive new Mac to lure budget-conscious buyers, Apple unveiled a new $2,800 Macbook Pro laptop with a 17-inch screen and the sleek aluminum casing the company debuted with the super-thin Macbook Air.

Apple said the thin new 17-inch aluminum-cased Macbook Pro, which joins an existing 15-inch model, will start shipping at the end of January. Perhaps the biggest twist is the laptop's battery, which is designed to last longer on each charge -- up to seven or eight hours -- and work after more charges than older batteries.

But like Apple's iPod and the super-slim Macbook Air, the battery will be sealed inside and the owners won't be able to remove and replace it themselves. Instead, they'll have to spend $179 to have an Apple store expert swap in a new one.

DRM-free iTunes store

At its last appearance at the Macworld, Apple gave the record labels that flexibility on pricing as it got them to agree to sell all songs free of "digital rights management," or DRM, technology that limits people's ability to copy songs or move them to multiple computers.

Apple had been offering a limited selection of songs without DRM, but by the end of this quarter, the company said, all 10 million songs in its library will be available that way.

While iTunes is the most popular digital music store, others have been faster to offer more songs without copy protection. Amazon.com started selling DRM-free music downloads in 2007 and swayed all the major labels to sign on in less than a year.

Over-the-air music download

Apple also announced that iPhone 3G users will be able to buy songs from the iTunes store using the cellular data network.

Previously, iPhone users could shop for tunes when connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot.This option on the iPhone which has the iTunes store built-in could be a huge boon to mobile music sales.

Software packages

Apple also unwrapped new versions of two software packages for Macs, including the iLife multimedia programmes.

For instance, iPhoto '09 can recognise faces and sort photos based on who's in them. GarageBand '09 includes videotaped, interactive music lessons given by Sting and other musicians. Apple added more professional video editing features to iMovie '09.

iWork gets makeover

Apple's answer to Microsoft Corp's Office productivity suite, called iWork, also got a makeover, including zippy new ways to add animation between slides.

Apple also unveiled a "beta" test version of a website for sharing documents, iWork.com. Unlike Google Inc's online documents programme, however, Apple's version does not allow people to edit documents in a Web browser.

No blockbuster

This year's Macworld bought no real surprises for Apple lovers.

According to an analyst in San Francisco, "There were some innovative products, but no true blockbusters. People were bullish going into it, and now they're kind of taking money off the table."

Last year at the Macworld Apple shook the tech world with the launch of its lightest and slimmest laptop Macbook Air. Earlier events too saw the launch of gadgets that bought revolution in the consumer electronics market.

Bye bye Macworld

The tech giant has decided not use Macworld to launch any major new product, as it had in past years, when it introduced such industry-changing devices as the iPhone.

In years past, the company's Macworld product launches had produced so much buzz that they managed to overshadow events at the far larger Consumer Electronics Show. The 2009 CES show kicks off this week in Las Vegas.

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