As Macworld Fades Into CES...S

As our warriors move from the beachheads of SF to the trenches of LV, here's today's recap, and reminder that the war week is far from over:

It's been the easiest thing for everybody in the universe to say that Apple's Macworld 2009 keynote lacked not just Jobs but luster. We did feel a distinct absence of a Jobsian ZOMG hover-board-that-shoots-lightning-bolts reality distortion, a surge that is always followed by inevitable grumbling anyway. But the speech by able stand-in Phil Schiller wasn't without genuine news...

• Those who enjoy their iPhoto couldn't help marvel at the new features, including real bonafide face identification and new useful geographical organizing tools.

• People who hated last year's iMovie overhaul are now starting to realize that it might have been a necessary step in a whole new approach.

• We finally got the 17" MacBook Pro that had been projected for so long, though with a truly Apple-flavored twist: a long-lasting but non-removable battery.

• iWork got some improvements, but more importantly made its first lunge toward the cloud—for better or for worse.

• iPhone owners got the chance to impulse-buy songs directly over AT&T's 3G network (and even the EDGE network, at their own peril).

• And DRM—the reason I started buying all music from Amazon—finally got the boot, though under the condition that the four major record distributors get to charge higher prices on their tastiest licks.

It was an eventful day in the Apple-verse, even though Steve sat it out. But Macworld has come to an end (perhaps for all time), and we're already up and running at CES! [Macworld 2009; CES 2009]