SLIDESHOW

Macworld Best of Show: Where are they now?

Many Macworld Expos, Macworld/iWorld events, and Best of Show recipients have come and gone. Most of the winners exist today, with version numbers in the double digits. Some eventually disappeared. But a few products have a unique history worth exploring, and this slideshow takes a look at those few former Best of Show recipients.

A look back

Products have lives of their own, and Macworld Best of Show winners are no exception. No one can predict what will happen to a product after it wins an award.

Many Macworld/iWorld events and Macworld Expos have come and gone. Most of the Best of Show recipients exist today, and others disappeared. A few products, though, have a unique history worth exploring—this slideshow takes a look at the stories of those few.

Editor’s note: Hat tip to @LunaticSX for the story idea.

1999: Rio PMP 500

The first mass-produced MP3 player appeared in 1997, but it took about two years for the first Mac-friendly portable MP3 player to come to market. As a Mac pioneer, the Rio PMP 500 was recognized with a Best of Show award at Macworld Expo held in New York City.

Two years later, Apple unveiled the iPod, which eventually became the world’s most popular portable music player.

1999: SoundJam MP

SoundJam MP was the first MP3 software for the Mac and was bundled with the PMP 500, though it could be used as a stand-alone app. It also won Best of Show at the New York Expo.

In 2000, Apple bought the rights to SoundJam MP from developer Casady & Greene and used it as the basis for iTunes. iTunes won Best of Show at the San Francisco Macworld Expo in 2001. Casady & Greene went out of business in 2003.

2007: Modbook

Axiotron created Mac-based tablets by modifying Apple MacBooks. The tablets required the use of a stylus and had a Core 2 Duo CPU, hard drive, optical drive, and built-in GPS. The company’s first Mac tablet, the Modbook, won Best of Show at the San Francisco Macworld Expo.

Axiotron eventually went out of business, but co-founder Andreas E. Haas still believes in the Mac tablet. His new company is called Modbook and the new Modbook Pro is available for $3499.

1999: Internet Explorer 4.5

A winner at the San Francisco Macworld Expo, the Macworld editors recognized IE for its “important productivity improvements.” The browser was bundled with the Mac OS. It’s easy to forget that IE was the browser for the Mac.

In 2000, IE 5 was released, but according to a report by a former Microsoft employee, the development team was redeployed, and IE for Mac was practically abandoned. Microsoft offically killed IE for Mac in 2003.

2009: iPhoto ‘09

iPhoto is a Mac mainstay, used by millions of users to organize their photos. At the San Francisco Macworld Expo, Apple introduced Events, Faces, Places, and Flickr and Facebook integration to iPhoto ’09, all great features that made it an easy choice for Best of Show.

However, a few weeks before Expo, Apple announced that the 2009 show would be the company’s last. And so iPhoto ’09 holds the distinction of being the last Apple product to win Best of Show.

Best of Show lives on, so check out the winners of the 2013 Macworld Best of Show awards.