Heh. Seems the year’s over already and I almost didn’t notice.

Looking back, it’s been a busy and surprising year. I traveled more than I’d planned and wrote less. XRay II saw a lot of progress in fits and starts, but my plans to release a public beta this year didn’t work out – mostly because I had underestimated the back-end work necessary to actually save data.

On the Apple front, the year has been busy. No iPhone from Apple. Zune out, Vista out (sort of), AAPL options scandal, Leopard, Mac Pro, the Intel migration has been completed, lots of security flaps, new laptops… it’s a long list, so long I don’t feel like finding all those old links. Looking back, what surprises me most is that Apple doesn’t seem to be as interested in virtualization as I felt they should be.

And of course MacWorld is just a little over a week away. Rumors are already flying fast and furious, of course. Here are some things I believe to be more likely (not that I have any inside knowledge, I hasten to add):

  • New Apple displays, with built-in iSights and microphones.
  • New Mac Pro with 8 cores, probably with a new case design.
  • The transition is over, and people are now sure the Intel Macs are “really Macs”, so new case designs are overdue across the whole line, although in the case of the laptops I’d say that’ll be really hard. Thinner and better/larger screens of course, but there’s only so much you can do with minimalism.
  • Leopard? Perhaps we’ll finally see some UI changes. My tip for the release date is March/April.
  • iTV, no idea in which direction they’ll take that; I watch very little TV. Regarding the name(s), it would make sense to go away from the whole iThing.
  • whateverPhone: I don’t use a cellphone, so the basic idea leaves me cold. Unless Apple breaks the entire paradigm with some sort of VoIP breakthrough, it’s bound to be some sort of weak US-only experiment. Let’s hope they don’t do that. I also see no sense in having music capabilities built-in as a default. Opening it up to developers in a big way would be excellent, and the recent rumors of a stripped-down, embedded Mac OS X dovetail with that.
  • .mac is dead. It’s never worked well (or at all) outside the US, as far as I know. It’s an expensive embarrassment. Apple could close it outright, sell it to Google, or allow people to operate their own sync servers.