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Apple 'Back to the Mac' Event

Later today Apple will be holding a special media event where we expect them to announce some new goodies for us to play with. Recent events have been heavily focused on the iOS devices so it's nice to see an event bringing some focus to the Mac, a product we thought Apple had forgotten about.

So what do we expect to see at the event? In this post I'm going to make a couple of predictions about what I think we'll see and maybe a couple of things that I want but really don't see us getting.

1. OS X 10.7. Have to say this seems like a given considering there's a lion peeping out from behind the Apple logo in the invitation but it's still worth pointing out. Can't see us getting access to Lion before WWDC 2011 but it'll still be nice to get an introduction to the latest big cat. Will be nice to have closer integration between iOS and Internet services.

2. Macbook Air refresh. With all the rumours floating around about a new Macbook Air case this seems like a decent bet too. Maybe a version of the Air with a smaller, 11.6 inch, screen and a lower price point. This could be the laptop to fill the space between the Macbook and the iPad.

3. New version of iWork and iLife. It's been a while since these products were refreshed and now seems like a good time to release new versions. For iWork tighter integration between iWork on the iPad, maybe a light version on the iPhone and the desktop versions. Would love to see the ability to use Airplay to send your Keynote to an Apple TV, since it's so portable you could just bring it with you, plug it into a TV or projector at the client site and present nice and easily. For iLife I would say we'll see minor updates to iMovie and iPhoto, nothing on iTunes and the end of iDVD. iWeb will be entirely new with new templates, a code editor mode and maybe a link into XCode 4 for the web development community (I know that's just me being hopeful).

4. My final prediction is FaceTime in iChat. A version of the application on the Mac and PC along with an integration with MobileMe would be a great way to expand this extremely promising platform to the maximum number of consumers as well as presenting direct competition to Skype.

This could be a very interesting day in Cupertino. With the Windows Phone 7 handsets becoming available soon the quality of the vertical integration along will really help me to determine whether I want to pick up an iPhone 4 and an iPad or quickly aligning Windows line.
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