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Apple steals the show

This year, CES has nothing on MacWorld

I expected to be filing this column from Las Vegas, where CES–the world’s largest consumer electronics show–is wrapping up. Instead I write this from the comforts of my home office. It seems I skip more than half the conferences I sign up for because there’s just too much to do on the home front. I might be better about this if I actually liked schmoozing with PR reps and overloading my circuits with products that have a 10 percent chance of landing in our lab. But the truth is, I dread the whole thing. For all those reps who actually looked forward to seeing my shiny head, I’ll see you in Los Angeles in May for E3, where we will be the ones to roll out an exciting new product.

As with Comdex, I’m glad I stayed home for more reasons than my disdain for street porn. By all the accounts I read, CES was a bit of a dud. No earth-shattering new products were released. Most of the interesting releases were somewhat expected. Bill Gates’ most interesting item was a watch that has nothing on the latest GPS wrist clock from Suunto. So if I had gone to CES, I would have wished I was in San Francisco for MacWorld.

Contrary to all the advance notice, Apple released some very cool products there and, in two cases at least, it shocked the computing world. Steve Jobs trumped Bill Gates by a longshot.

As for merely interesting products, Apple’s two new G4 PowerBooks will lead the industry for at least another year. Since I can’t say anything more interesting than David Pogue has said with his

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