All Apple Stores nationwide last night re-opened their doors at 8 PM for their queued Apple fans to enter. OSNews was present, so check inside for a write up of the event and some pictures.We arrived at around 7:45 PM and the queue outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto was already huge. The store employees, all with a black X t-shirts were having their final briefing at the time, and they were soon getting ready to welcome the crowds. The morale of the sales team –mostly consisted by youngsters– seemed very high-up, they were pretty playful with each other and in a good mood.
People crossing the street nearby were stopping and keep asking why there was a queue, they were all very curious as to why so many people outside the Apple Store.
At about 8 PM the doors opened and the first wave of people got in the store. And there was much rejoicing. Many people rushed to get a sit near the big screen at the end of the store, where the Mac OS X presentation would take place, showing the new features of Panther. Others would just rush to secure a copy of Panther and others would just buy other items, as all products were 10% off for the night.
The Store already had the new iBook G4 in the display which seemed much snappier than the previous iBook G3. The keyboard is now much better with nice-looking grey keys (previous iBook had very cheap-looking plastic keys), but the screen seems to be the same sub-standard quality as the G3’s iBooks. The iPod accessories were also in store, and many G5 machines too. All machines were upgraded with 10.3 and people were playing with them using the Rendezvous version of iChat and iSight to chat with other customers in the store.
We spoke with a number of Apple employees who were visiting for the night, including very friendly PR and marketing people, and also with Ken Bereskin. Ken spoke to us about the new features of Panther, how much work Apple has put into GCC and the XCode, about the G5 optimizations that developers can incorporate into their apps which can even compliment G4s, and also about how Apple is commited to open source and to deliver great enhancements back to the community. Asking Ken if Apple has any plans to develop a .NET implementation, Ken told us that he will leave this feature to the open source community and Mono for now. We suggested a 1-client free version for Apple Remote Desktop for the next Mac OS X and Ken kindly said he would follow up with the idea.
We stayed at the store about an hour and there was no Steve Jobs to be seen during that time. Last year both Jobs and his senior architect Avie Tevanian were present to the Jaguar event. Additionally, it seemed to be fewer people overall than last year; similarly journalists were not as many as last year either. Every visitor left with a military dog tag, free gift. Last year they had stickers and mousepads, this year only a few Apple Stores nationwide had those in, in addition to the dog tags.
Until next year then!