Apple related products will have their own hall at the CES 2010 for the first time. Apple itself did not say yet if they are going to exhibit at the CES - most likely not. Still the iLounge Pavilion is featuring leading Mac developers and retailers. Apple stuff has been missing from CES completely because of MacWorld. Now things have changed since Apple decided to leave MacWorld.
CES 2010 could become the battle ground for the new operating systems from Microsoft and Apple. Both are expected to still launch in 2009, but when exactly is still up in the air. Of course it would be smart to have releases way before the holiday shopping season to drive sales in these hard economic times.
Microsoft Windows 7 is supposed to get the release candidate in May and possibly a retail release in September.
Predictions of the Snow Leopard release pointed to early June, which would coincide with the WWDC 2009.
For Apple the OS X Snow Leopard release schedule has now a strategic value in regards to when Microsoft is releasing Windows 7. A year ago when Apple previewed Snow Leopard, Windows 7 was no topic yet for 2009.
I am not sure what is better. Making the OS X Snow Leopard as close to the Windows 7 release or not. The Apple hype machinery could damage a Windows 7 launch quite a bit.
On the other hand, the whole Windows world and especially the netbook market is extremely excited about Windows 7 already. A head-on war at launch might not be smart. It will be interesting to see if Apple is choosing to release early in June or later in Fall to tackle the Windows 7 release.
We could see the first wave of Windows 7 devices for the holiday shopping season, but the big Windows 7 year would be 2010, which makes the CES 2010 a Windows 7 show.
CES 2010 could become the stage for a big showdown between Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple OS X Snow Leopard if Apple chooses to be there as well and support its partners.
CES 2009 was not exciting, but CES 2010 will be for sure.
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