A Brief YouTube History of the Steve Jobs Macworld Expo Keynote

By  |  Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm

drm-jobsI’m not sure if Steve Jobs spoke at the very first Macworld Expo back in 1985–it was held not too long before he was exiled from the company he co-founded. But when he returned to Apple in 1997, the modern era of the Jobs Macworld Expo keynote began. And I not only didn’t attend the first one, but practically went out of my way to skip it: It was held a few hundred yards from where I was working in Boston at the time, and I couldn’t be bothered to walk over. (That’s a sign of just how down Apple was at the time--I was first wowed by a Jobs demo when he showed off the Lisa to the Boston Computer Society in the early 1980s, and his NeXT demo for the BCS, which filled Boston’s Symphony Hall, remains the single most memorable Jobs presentation I’ve witnessed in person.)

[CORRECTION, 1/27/13: I'm not sure why I wrote in this piece that Jobs gave the Lisa demo at the BCS; I was never certain that he had, and I eventually confirmed that it was given by Apple's John Couch. It may have not had Jobs, but it was still dazzling.]

I’ve been to plenty of Jobs Macworld Expo keynotes since that 1997 one, and if they’re indeed a thing of the past I’m going to miss them. We do have the memories, though–and, thanks to YouTube, we have plenty of video documentation of the Jobs reality-distortion field at work. Here are highlights from most of the Expo keynotes since 1997. (I don’t include any of the many Stevenotes that weren’t attached to Macworld Expos here, but I blogged some of them as well as most of these clips last year at my old PC World blog.)

Return with me now to the Jobs keynote in Boston I ignored at the time, won’t you? Right after the jump, that is…

1997, Boston: Apple “iCEO” Jobs talks about the Apple-Microsoft alliance and gets booed (!!!):

1998, New York: Attendees got both a faux Steve (actor Noah Wyle, who’d played Steve in a TV movie to Anthony Michael Hall’s Bill Gates) and the real deal:

1999, New York: The ugly original iBook and the invisible-but-important Airport wireless networking, the latter demoed with Phil Schiller’s help:

2000, San Francisco: Jobs intros OS X, compares it to Linux, explains the year-long rollout, and announces he’s sticking around as CEO:

2000, New York: Jobs introduces the G4 Cube, beloved by him and some critics (like, er, me) but rightly spurned by consumers:

2002, San Francisco: The original iMac is replaced with the adorable, short-lived “desk lamp” version:

2003, San Francisco: PowerBooks humongous and wee:

2005, San Francisco: The mostly-compromised iPod Shuffle and somewhat-compromised Mac Mini (Jobs gets the audience to applaud the latter’s lack of a bundled keyboard and mouse):

2006, San Francisco: The original MacBook Pro, the first Intel-based Apple computer:

2007, San Francisco: The holy mother of all Macworld Expo Stevenotes–the iPhone unveiling (I missed this one–I was at hosting a PC World breakfast at CES, which was held at the same time as Macworld Expo that year):

2008, San Francisco: I’m not finding much of anything but shaky handheld versions of this on YouTube. Here’s a snippet of the MacBook Air intro:

And let’s end, as Jobs so often does, with some music. From this year’s Macworld Expo San Francisco, Mr. Randy Newman:

 
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  1. glc Says:

    A sad day.

    I’ve been to Macworld for 10 years straight–this will be my 11th. Love hearing Steve Jobs’ keynote address each year. Very exciting and fun.

    I believed in this company–Apple Computers–and in Steve Jobs’ vision that I bought stock–and did very well in that.

    I have no idea why Steve Jobs is not doing the keynote. I will miss his keynote. It was a big deal. Really.

    I recall that my husband and I ran into Steve Jobs when he came to Sacramento to receive an award in December 2007. He was with his wife and kids, and he was very polite and kind. We were, of course, thrilled beyond words to meet our hero. Yes, our hero. My husband and I both own our own businesses and we both use Apple computers, throughout our businesses, and we love our iPhones.

    Steve Jobs is one of the few people that my husband and I truly admire–he’s a visionary, a very tough cookie, a marketing genius, and, well, a hard taskmaster to his crew of really, really smart and hardworking folks at Apple.

    I will be at Macworld in January 2009–it will be the last for me. There will be no point in going with Apple out of the picture. This will be poignant.

    Whatever the reason Jobs is not appearing, I hope he is well, and that Apple continues to produce solid, beautiful, inspired and inspiring products that we truly love. (I don’t know anyone who “loves” their Windows-based computer–but Apple computers–now that’s a computer to love. Really. They’re things of beauty.)

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