Expo preview & CES

A pair of January trade shows take center stage in this episode of the podcast—one already underway, and one that begins next week. The former is the massive Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas this week. And the latter, of course, is next week’s highly-anticipated Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Senior editor Dan Frakes and associate editor Dan Moren report on what they’ve seen at CES that might be of interest to Mac users. But before that segment, we feature a roundtable discussion on potential product announcements coming out of Expo—Macworld.com executive editor Philip Michaels, editorial director Jason Snell, and senior news editor Jonathan Seff talk about everything from movie rentals at the iTunes Store to the forthcoming releases of Office 2008. I also weigh in with a few thoughts of my own on Tuesday’s Mac Pro and Xserve updates.

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Show Notes

Apple’s Web site has all the details on the Mac Pro, including tech specs. You’ll also find information there on the new Xserve.

I talk about the timing of the Mac Pro announcement—which came a week before Steve Jobs’ scheduled Expo keynote. Philip Michaels tackles the same issue in this Editors’ Notes blog entry.

The roundtable discussion mentions media reports that Apple and Fox have agreed to offer movie rentals via iTunes (though Fox isn’t the only studio rumored to be in the mix).

That discussion also brings up a number of software releases from Mac developers—FileMaker’s Bento personal database software, Omni Group’s OmniFocus task management tool, and the aforementioned Office. Speaking of Office, you can read first looks at the latest versions of Entourage, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

Our Macworld Expo page will feature all the news and opinion coming out of next week’s big Mac trade show. Expect a lot of podcasts next week as well. And if all this prediction talk has whetted your appetite for more speculation, be sure to check out our annual predictions article from this month’s issue of Macworld.

Dan Moren has filed a pair of Gadgetboxblog dispatches from CES, and Dan Frakes has weighed in with his own thoughts from the show floor. Our colleagues at PC World have .

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