* iTunes will have DRM free versions of every song in it's catalog by the end of the quarter. 80% of them are that way now.
If you've bought a song with DRM, Apple will allow you to remove it, for $0.30 per song.
iTunes will also start flexible pricing. Slightly instead of all for $0.99, there will be $0.69 and $1.29 options too starting in April.
You'll also be able to buy songs on the iPhone over the 3G network; that was only wireless previously.
* A new 17" Macbook Pro. As had been rumored, there is a new longer lasting battery ("8 hours"), but the battery is NOT removable. The story Apple's going with is removable batteries take up too much room, and the idea is to make it as light and small as possible for traveling. It doesn't help much if it's light if the battery is dead, of course. Otherwise, same as the other recently announced Macbooks. One standard config option with 4GB Ram and 320GB hard drive for $2800, starting at the end of the month.
* iLife 09 (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand 09) - facial recognition software, mapping via camera GPS, and video stabilization are the hyped features. iMovie was apparently rebuilt. GarageBand includes $5 guitar/piano lessons (video) with celebs - Norah Jones not only still exists, but you can watch her explain how to play Thinking About You. $79 upgrade, $99 family pack, free on new Macs starting later this month.
* iWork 09 - office upgrades, screen transitions, things people are still generally buying Office for (or just getting OpenOffice for free.) Coolest bit is a $1 app to use your iPhone or iTouch as a Keynote remote (including previewing the slides on your device.) $49 with a new Mac, $79 for a user, $99 for a family. There's also beta iWork.com, which is basically their version of GoogleDocs (and eventually a paid to use one.)
I'll probably unlock my music from DRM and the iLife stuff sounded good if I was getting a new Mac, but I just don't trust a laptop that expensive with no removable battery. If you're paying that much for one, that's usually going to be the primary option and sending it off to get a new battery isn't going to be an easy thing to handle. It's supposed to last a long time, but it won't for someone.
I dunno, if they made a reduced cost "battery only" apple care option I might think about it. I have noticed if you use the macbook plugged into the wall a lot of the time, it causes the battery to not hold as much of a charge over time (which is a very good reason to have a "wall" and a "travel" battery imo) so unless they have some sort of way you can bypass charging the battery while on wall power, it will probably cause a lot of macbricks.
The biggest announcement for me, as someone who hasn't upgraded to Leopard yet, was the Mac Box Set (store.apple.com). It's a bundle containing Leopard, iLife '09 and iWork '09 for $169. Hopefully the education discount will be applicable. (It isn't at the moment.)
Here's a little more info on the sealed battery on 17" MacBook (courtesy of Ars Technica):
First, 17-inch MacBook Pro buyers should know what they're up against. Apple says that the built-in battery should last for five years, a claim that is based on a lifespan of 1,000 total charging cycles and an average of 200 cycles per year. As with marriage and tax evasion, your mileage may vary.
Should your 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro's battery ever begin to feel "not so fresh," Apple has confirmed that it will offer an in-store battery replacement program that costs $179 (the MacBook Air's program, by comparison, is $129). As far as a turnaround time on the labor, though, representatives who Ars spoke with on the Macworld Expo floor went with an "anywhere between one or two hours, up to a week." The store's load during any particular week is the determining factor here, though representatives noted that a ProCare account could help expedite the process.
The "anywhere between one or two hours, up to a week" portion is what gets me - and probably has more to do with whether or not you need to send it to Apple directly.
I;m not thrilled with this either, but, then again, I always thought the 17" was way to big for a laptop to begin with, so....
We just picked this up and so far I'm really impressed with it. If it wasn't for the fact I'd hate missing current seasons of my favorite shows, I'd get rid of DirecTv altogether. Anybody else use one of these devices? Any helpful hints?