Tomorrow is the “Back to the Mac” event, Apple’s first Mac-centric event in some time. Here’s what I’m expecting:
Apple’s launching a big data center next year, and I expect them to use it. Plan on seeing “the cloud” integrated more tightly with many products.
- Mac OS 10.7 – Lion: This is a no-brainer…the question is, what will it be? There has been some talk of a bit of interface redesign, with elements of iOS creeping in. I think that is likely, but I think there will be more. I think MobileMe will come free with 10.7 and will be deeply linked into its feature set. Enhanced touch functionality? Hard to really promote that until there is a product ready that will use it. I don’t expect this to ship soon. Winter ’11 at the earliest, probably later than that.
- iLife ’11 – With more MobileMe integration. I’ve already speculated on the feature set.
- iWork ’11 – Enhanced feature set, but same core apps. Remember iWork.com? Still in beta. Expect to see this revamped – maybe even web-based editing.
- MacBook Air – New models for sure. I’m betting on the 11.6″ model. Although people say there will also be a 13″ model, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this gone. Lighter, smaller, cheaper, faster startup, SSD only, better battery.
I also bet FaceTime for the Mac will be part of this, but I’m not sure if it will be part of Lion or iLife ’11. Lion makes more sense, but it’s likely to be a ways off. They could release a beta version earlier.