Looking ahead to 2008

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It’s that time of the year again. Winter is in the air (except for those of us who live in California), there’s too much candy around the office, the turkey population is about to take its annual nosedive, and a new year is just around the corner. With the future in mind, it’s time for you to play “Predict the Future: Leap Year Edition.”

That’s right, we want to know what you think will happen in 2008 (at least as it relates to the world of the Mac). What will be the biggest news and product announcements of the upcoming calendar year? Put on those magical thinking caps, peer into those crystal balls, and take those Ouija boards out of the closet—it’s predictin’ time.

To get you started, here’s a round-up of how some of your 2007 predictions turned out:

  1. Blu-ray drives on all Macs: High-definition optical drives have yet to be included (even as a build-to-order option) on any Macs.
  2. iLife ’07: This “safe bet” turned out to be anything but. Apple didn’t release an iLife update at Macworld Expo in January, and by the time a new version did come out in August, it had skipped all the way to iLife ’08.
  3. New iSight camera and new Cinema Displays with built-in iSights: Apple killed the standalone iSight and has yet to replace it, and the only displays with built-in cameras are those on the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
  4. iPhone: Bingo! Even got the name right. And in short order, the iPhone has become a fixture of popular culture, making appearances in TV shows and capturing the Invention of the Year title from Time .
  5. iWork ’07 with a spreadsheet program: Well, it was technically iWork ’08, but Apple did indeed add a spreadsheet component to its office suite in the form of Numbers.
  6. Intel-native Adobe Creative Suite 3: Starting in April, Adobe began shipping its first Intel-native CS apps — Acrobat Professional, Photoshop, Photoshop Extended, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Contribute. The company followed up in July with video applications After Effects and — making their debut on the Mac (and Intel-only) — Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and Encore. And Adobe was nice enough give video users a copy of the Windows-only OnLocation in the Production Premium box, for use with Boot Camp.
  7. Wide-screen, touch-sensitive iPods: Hmm…what would be a good name for that? How about iPod touch ? Yeah, that sounds pretty good. And that’s what Apple released in September, which more or less answered the complaints of users who liked the iPhone’s format but didn’t want a phone.
  8. Smaller MacBooks or a tablet Mac: MacBooks haven’t changed (although there are rumors that a sub-notebook will show its fave at Macworld Expo) and the Newton is still dead (and the Axiotron/OWC ModBook tablet Mac shown off in January still hasn’t shipped).
  9. 802.11n wireless networking in Macs: The first Intel Core 2 Duo models of MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac (along with the Mac Pro with AirPort Extreme option) began secretly shipping with n-capable wireless chips, and, in January, Apple released a $2 enabler that turned on this capability. All currently shipping models (save the Mac mini) support 802.11n.
  10. Expanded Final Cut Studio: Apple released Final Cut Studio 2, with updated versions of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, and Compressor; a mostly unchanged version of DVD Studio Pro; and a new grading and finishing tool called Color.

So that’s 2007 in a nutshell. What do you think 2008 has in store for the Mac market? Just make your predictions in the forum thread linked below. We’ll feature some of your daring forecasts alongside a few predictions of our own next month on Macworld.com.

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