Live blog from Macworld 2008

Bookmark this page for continuous updates from Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Macworld 2008.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage Tuesday for his keynote speech at Macworld 2008. For CNET's complete Macworld coverage, go here. What follows is a record of continuous updates as his speech unfolded.

9:03 a.m. PST: Welcome once again to Macworld, Steve Jobs' annual dog-and-pony show from the Moscone Center in San Francisco. We're in place and waiting for the keynote to start. I think we'll be a little later than 9 a.m.; it took the doors some time to open. So far, standard Apple keynote music: Coldplay into Green Day.

Pre-keynote
The scene in anticipation of Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote address. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

9:14: Lights dim, as Feist kicks off Macworld with that cute-yet-sort-of-annoying iPod commercial song. Apple shows a new Mac vs. PC commercial, a "Happy New Year" edition that basically recaps Apple's accomplishments over the year. Lights up, and Steve Jobs enters to a cascade of cheers. Standard outfit.

9:15: Jobs recaps the year: "2007 was an extraordinary year for Apple." He's got four things he'd like to talk about today. The first one is Leopard.

9:18: "We have delivered 5 million copies of Leopard in the first three months: the most successful release of Mac OS X ever, Jobs said. Twenty percent of the installed base upgraded in the first 90 days. He formally announces Mac Office for 2008, which has actually been delayed quite a bit.

9:19: Jobs momentarily forgets which OS version he's talking about, as he starts referring to "Tiger's" Time Machine application, which is of course a Leopard feature. He announces Time Capsule, which is a "backup appliance" that looks like the Mac Mini or Apple TV; it's basically a wireless access point with a hard drive. This lets you backup your notebook wirelessly over Time Capsule, which was an early complaint about Time Machine--that it only worked over wired networks.

Jobs Time Capsule
Jobs talks about Time Capsule. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

9:20: There will be two versions, 500GB and 1TB. The 500GB model will cost $299, the 1TB model is $499. It will ship in February.

9:21: The second item on the agenda for the day is the iPhone. "Today happens to be exactly the 200th day since the iPhone went on sale, and I'm extraordinarily pleased to report that we have sold 4 million iPhones to date."

9:23: Jobs checks out smartphone market share in the U.S. RIM's Blackberry is in the lead, but the iPhone is in second place, with 19.5 percent market share. He's comparing to the other hardware manufacturers, as Apple ranks above Palm and Motorola. Not sure how he's defining smartphone, but, hey, it's his keynote.

9:27: There are new iPhone features. The first is Maps with location; you can also customize the home screen, send text messages to multiple people, and the iPhone will actually support lyrics from songs you're listening to. We move into a demo of all the new features.

9:31: The iPhone's home screen can now be totally customized to put Web pages, applications, and basically anything you want on it. Jobs goes over the Maps location feature, which is a partnership between Apple, Google, and Skyhook Wireless.

Maps application
The iPhone and iPod Touch will get an application called Maps, which uses the same triangulation method that Google Maps uses on other cell phones. Corinne Schulz/CNET Networks

9:33: It's the triangulation method that Google Maps uses on other cell phones that are out there. It's not perfect; it's not GPS, but in a crowded area you'll get pretty close to your actual location. All the iPhone updates are available today through a software update over iTunes. "The iPhone is not standing still," Jobs says.

9:35: "What about the iPod Touch?" Apple's adding five applications to the iPod Touch, including Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather, which make the iPod Touch much more like the iPhone. The iPod Touch will use Wi-Fi as the Maps triangulation, and you'll be able to customize the iPod Touch just like the iPhone. It's now built in to every iPod Touch, but older iPod Touch users will have to pay $20 for the features. For the first time, the crowd grumbles at that news.

9:35: News item No. 3 is a good one, too, Jobs promises. It's about iTunes.

9:37: iTunes has sold 4 billion songs and 7 million movies, which sounds like a lot, but Jobs admits that hasn't met Apple's expectations. So, as expected, today Apple is introducing iTunes Movie Rentals.

9:38: Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, and New Line Cinema are involved, plus Fox, Warner, Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. That's actually a few more studios involved than was reported, Apple did some work over the holiday break. "We have every major studio."

9:40: In February, Apple will launch with 1,000 films. But the company had to make a concession: Apple won't get them until 30 days after the DVD release. The movies can be watched anywhere, on any device. You can watch them instantly; they download as you start watching. You have 30 days to watch the movie after you download it, but only 24 hours to watch it after you start the movie.

9:42: Library titles will cost $2.99. New releases will cost $3.99. You can also transfer movies to an iPod from your Mac or PC right in the middle of watching them, although I assume the 24-hour thing still applies. iTunes Movie Rentals launches today, apparently: the 1,000 movies is (I guess) what they're going to have by the end of February. It'll be in the U.S. only to start, with international support coming later this year.

9:44: So, what about the big-screen TV? "We've all tried, and we've all missed." Apple TV was designed to be an accessory, Jobs says, but that's not what people wanted: what people wanted was movies, movies, movies. "So we're back, with Apple TV Take 2." No computer is required.

9:46: You can rent movies, including movies in HD, which gets a lusty cheer from the crowd. HD quality will cost you an extra buck, though, which settles them down. The Apple TV does have a new user interface and will allow you to pull photos from Flickr and Picasa.

9:48: You can sort through all kinds of movies on the new interface, using the Cover Flow user interface. You can get previews right from the Apple TV. Again, you don't need a Mac or a PC; you can hook this right up to your TV.

9:50: We get a clip of Blades of Glory, which I still haven't seen. Jobs cuts it short right as Will Ferrell grabs his crotch, which seems about right. We also get a sneak peek at Live Free or Die Hard, which I can't believe they brought back for another go-round. No Rambo sighting yet, fortunately.

9:53: Jobs shows us how to search through the iTunes Music Store: you can do it by title and genre, as well as a few other categories that flew by. TV shows and music can also be purchased through the new Apple TV.

9:59: "For the recipient, there is no computer involved." You can pull music, podcasts, and Flickr photos. It's the same black interface from the old Apple TV. The demo gods finally rear their heads, as Jobs attempts to access photos from Flickr, to no avail.

Apple TV screen
The Apple TV screen features movie rental options. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

10:01: Now Jobs trots out the "revolution" tag for Apple TV, after calling it a hobby last year. A software upgrade, for free this time, delivers all the features. With all the new features, Apple's cutting the price to $229. The free software upgrade and the new model will ship in two weeks.

10:02: The first studio to sign up was Fox, according to Jobs. He brings out Jim Gianopulos, the chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film.

10:04: Gianopulos gives us the "back story" on the Fox-Apple deal. The studios have spent lots of time talking about business models, but really, all you're supposed to do is make great movies, and let people get to them, he says. Gianopulos sort of wanders through a description of how studio guys learn about technology, but cuts to a silhouette photo of Homer Simpson from the old iPod ads. Jobs came to Fox with the proposal, he says.

homer
Jim Gianopulos, the chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, describes how studio guys learn about technology, and then cuts to a silhouette photo of Homer Simpson from the old iPod ads. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

10:07: We want people to have access to the same movie on DVDs or files, Gianopulos says. The Family Guy "Blue Harvest" DVD (which you should all watch; it's a hilarious Star Wars spoof) will be the first one to have the digital copy on the DVD, so you can (legally) rip DVDs to your Mac or PC.

10:08: Now we're on No. 4: There's something in the air.

10:08: The rumors were true : "Today we're introducing a third kind of notebook, and it's called the MacBook Air. In a sentence, it's the world's thinnest notebook."

10:11: Most ultraportable notebooks are around 3 pounds, with miniature keyboards and about a 11-inch to 12-inch screen. Jobs says Apple likes the weight goal, but says you have to make too many compromises. The MacBook Air is about half as thin as a Sony ultraportable model that he uses for comparison--0.76 inch at the thickest part, and just 0.16 inch at the thinnest. That's thin; it's so thin, it fits inside one of those office-to-office envelopes.

10:12: Jobs holds up the MacBook Air as flashbulbs pop. Well, I guess they don't really pop anymore. It's got a full-size keyboard. Small keyboards are my perennial complaint with ultraportables.

10:14: It's got a 13.3-inch display, and it's LED backlit. It has the same built-in iSight camera as the other notebooks, and it's got what Jobs claims is a full-size keyboard, which is also backlit. The trackpad is "generous," and it has multitouch gesture support that expands upon the gesture support already present in MacBooks.

10:15: Double-tapping moves a whole window, rather than just the cursor. Moving around a photo is like on the iPhone, a two-finger approach on the touchpad when viewing a photo. Pinching, as well, zooms in and out of photos, just like on the iPhone.

10:16: There are three things in the guts of the MacBook Air. It's got a 1.8-inch hard drive, just like the iPod Classic. This one ships with 80GBs, and you've got the option of a "pricey" 64GB solid-state drive, according to Jobs.

10:18: It's also got a very slim motherboard. This system uses Intel's Core 2 Duo, running at 1.6GHz standard, and you can go to 1.8GHz. It's not clear if that's an ultra-low voltage version or a standard version. Jobs says Apple asked Intel to design a smaller package for the Core 2 Duo, a 60 percent smaller version than the one Intel typically ships. Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, comes up to take a bow.

10:19: Jobs asked Intel a year ago to design the package, Otellini said, and Intel wasn't totally sure it could be done at the time. Otellini thanks Jobs for allowing Apple and Intel's engineering teams to work so closely together, and Jobs returns the love.

10:20: Moving on, the MacBook Air has MagSafe, a smaller power adapter, and the usual ports. 802.11n ships standard with the new MacBook, plus Bluetooth 2.1 and EDR. No optical drive is built in, but Apple designed a $99 add-on optical drive if you really need it.

MacBook Air from back
A slide of the MacBook Air, from the back. Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com

10:23: Jobs outlines a wireless feature that allows Macs or even PCs to share optical drives. The MacBook Air's Remote Disk feature would allow you to install software from a neighboring (assuming it's friendly) Mac or PC's optical drive.

10:25: It weighs 3 pounds, comes with 2GBs of memory standard, an 80GB standard hard drive, and 802.11n. It's going to cost $1,799 in that configuration; that's a pretty aggressive price. Shipments start in two weeks. No word on the price with solid-state drives, but that likely won't be cheap.

10:27: Jobs highlights the environmentally friendly features of the MacBook Air. The environment seems to be a perennial issue with Apple and the green crowd. Apple has eliminated mercury and arsenic from display components, and PVCs from the circuit boards. Packaging sizes were reduced as well, he says.

10:29: The Mac Pro unveiled last week gets a mention, as we recap the major announcements from today. Something gives me the sense we're building, heightening the anticipation, soaking up the audience's attention before he hits us with the...

Nothing? Really, that's it?

Hold that. Well, it's not "One more thing." It's Randy Newman. Randy Newman?

10:32: Randy Newman's telling us about his trip to Europe, where he noticed that "they don't like us so much." So, he wrote a new song. And we're getting to hear it. It could be worse, at least John Mayer didn't show up.

10:36: Randy's new song is sort of a spoken-word defense of the U.S. against Europe, tongue firmly in cheek. It's actually kind of funny, very much a political satire. But his voice kills me, I'm sorry. He's leaving us with the uplifting image of a U.S. empire in decline, as the song closes. Now, go buy technology stuff, people!

10:38: Well, not yet, Randy's rambling on about CNBC, and gambling, and News.com Editor Charlie Cooper's favorite TV personality, Jim Cramer. Randy's got some score upcoming for Pixar Animation Studios, apparently. "I usually root against corporations because that's just who I am, but not this one."

10:41: He eventually moves into the Toy Story song, "You've Got a Friend in Me." Jobs comes back on stage and ushers Randy off. Jobs closes, and the Macworld 2008 keynote address is done.

Randy Newman at Macworld
Jobs' keynote speech closed with a performance from Randy Newman. Corinne Schulz/CNET Networks
About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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