posted by Nicholas Blachford on Tue 14th Sep 2004 19:52 UTC
IconApple is holding their European Expo and nowadays being a Mac owner thought I'd go along. If Apple has such a pitiful market share then you'd expect it to be a small show with little software and few visitors. Er No, this was the complete opposite. Pictures of the Expo included.

Apple's European Expo was held in Port de Versailles, Paris 31st August - 4th September. I went along on Wednesday 1st September, the day after the announcement of the Mk 3 iMac.

Unfortunately I registered at the last minute so was too late to see the really interesting talks like the keynote or Jean-Michel Jarre's talk on Saturday. That said registering online meant I just showed someone a bit of paper and I got a badge to enter, I don't know if there was an entry fee but I wasn't asked to pay anything.

The show itself fills a large hall, there was a ton of software on show and dozens of stands from different companies (something in the region of 200).

Macs have historically been used in the creative area and this is very apparent at the show with the vast majority been taken up by either professional or consumer creative applications.

There was of course business applications but it wasn't really a "business" show, that said you had Oracle, Sybase and various others there.

Microsoft had a stand showing off Office X but the Microsoft logo was conspicuous by the fact it was so small, I'd expect a huge logo somewhere but all you had was the office X component logos and Microsoft written in fairly small writing at the edge, it's as if they were embarrassed to say their name!

One thing I noticed they went in for a lot was to have various training areas dotted around where various Apple and other apps would be demoed and shown to a class of users who then did as instructed, these included iLife (iPhoto, iMovie), GarageBand and a couple of Graphics apps. There was also an Education area complete with their own classroom as well.

Another thing they did was to give individual applications and disciplines their own areas with a "Solution Pro" on hand to show you the applications in question and what they could do for you. There was a whole caboodle of different areas covered but some I remember were: SMS, encryption, CAD, architecture and medical imaging.

This is an interesting and good idea as it means everything is shown in an organised manner rather than having random stands with different products as is normally the case. It also leaves the rest of the show for other exhibitors to have normal stands.

To go along with this there were plenty of other goodies, Scanners, printers and digital cameras were shown off by several big name vendors. Canon, Nikon, HP, Pentax and others showed off their Cameras, some had consumer digital models whereas Nikon had some of their pro gear, including some very nice big lenses most likely with equally big prices.

Apple has a big chunk of the professional printing market so there were companies from that field present showing their wares, the most obvious of these were the printer makers some of whom had gigantic printers churning out huge photo quality images. I seen one HP printer which had printed a picture which size I can only guess at, bigger than A0 that's for sure. Just the ticket if you've ever wanted a life size picture of well, anyone. Hmm, you could set up a business printing funky wallpaper with one of those...

A sound business
Pro Audio is another area Apple has a major chunk of and this had it's own area at the show. There was a ton of different virtual synthesisers, effects, controllers, cables and other audio goodies all on show. Seemingly every stand in the audio section had a battery of different music apps all clamouring for your ears' business.

I got my first computer for audio and spent 5 years writing audio software so it's an area I have quite an interest in despite being incapable of playing anything properly - but if you want a weird noise...

I went to one of the talks on GarageBand, the surprisingly powerful (compared to anything I've played with) beginner audio app Apple supply with the Mac. Having played around with it a little I know it's pretty powerful but apparently you can do a lot more than I thought. The speaker recorded in some keyboard, drum and guitar tracks then showed what you can do with them. You can also rig up other virtual instruments and programs and get them to work with GarageBand, I wasn't aware you could do this and the results can be pretty impressive. He had a few virtual CS80 and Minimoogs going, that probably means nothing to anyone other than analogue synth geeks but take it from me - it sounds good! There was also a brief demo of the more powerful Logic and Logic pro which are Apple's pro audio apps which have more synth types, better control possibilities and a million more features.

Table of contents
  1. "Apple Expo Report, Page 1/2"
  2. "Apple Expo Report, Page 2/2"
e p (0)    20 Comment(s)

Technology White Papers

See More