MWSF Keynote Expectations...
Despite Steve Jobs' absence, rumours about what Phil Schiller (or any other spokesperson) will unveil next week are flying quite high. If all rumours come true, we'll see Apple's netbook, the iPhone nano, a new mouse, the new Mac mini, the new iMac as well as flying pigs and a car with zero emission and unlimited reach.
Putting the wishful-thinking aside, we're left with probably a new Mac mini, which has been hinted at in recent OS updates and it really _does_ need an upgrade, probably a new iMac - both of which will get the Mini DisplayPort and nVidia graphics from the MacBook/MacBook Pro lines as well as the iPhone nano, which will probably be the most discussed product after the whole show is over. Whether a new mouse is included with the iMac is certainly of lesser importance, although I hate its trackpaddiness and seven-finger gestures even before I've heard about them.
What I'm really looking forward to is the Mac mini. Of course it will be inexpensive - and of course it will remain seriously flawed in game performance and upgradability. It will not be the "headless iMac" proposed for so many years, because that would eat too much into the iMac's market - and Apple simply _wants_ to reign supreme with an AIO desktop.
So what about the netbook or tablet route? Netbooks _are_ selling like hotcakes and Steve Jobs has personally said that Apple's looking at that market closely. Yet, Apple wants to seriously push the iPhone base, so my guess is that Apple's _not_ releasing a netbook now and instead is working feverishly on a larger tablet based device that _won't_ be a full Mac, but rather an expanded iPod touch-style device. This probably won't be ready for MWSF, though. And once it'll arrive, it _will_ seem too expensive to compete with netbooks, but it'll also be incredibly thin, so people won't mind the price tag (although a lot will be said about its price nonetheless).
Either way: I'm looking forward to next week's show. Let's see if somebody else _can_ create enough Reality Distortion Field (RDF).