Other Macworld Tidbits
SAN FRANCISCO--It can be easy to forget this during the keynote, but companies besides Apple exhibit at Macworld. So I spent most of yesterday afternoon wandering around the Moscone Center floor to see what they had to offer.
* The Macintosh clone market died about a decade ago, but Axiotron's Modbook tablet computer looks like a lot like a Mac clone. This company, however, doesn't build these $2,200 machines from scratch; instead, it buys MacBook laptops, removes the upper half and attaches its own screen and controls.
* Mac users looking for a voice-dictation program are about to get a new choice. MacSpeech--the developer of iListen, the only program in this category for the past few years--is showing off MacSpeech Dictate, a replacement for iListen built on the same speech-recognition engine as Nuance's highly-regarded, Windows-only Dragon Naturally Speaking. MacSpeech says the new, $199 program should ship "no later than February" for Intel-based Macs.
* Intuit is finally showing a new version of Quicken. The new release goes by the inexplicable code name of "Heathrow" (why remind people of one of their least favorite airports?) for now, but it will be called Quicken Financial Life when it ships this fall. QFL scraps the entire existing Quicken interface, a throwback to Mac OS 9, for something that looks much more like iTunes. But will long-suffering Quicken for Mac users wait around? Between Intuit's other mishaps on the Mac and the rise of such competing personal-finance apps as IGG Software's iBank (a new version 3 of which is on display here), this company may be about to lose a lot of customers.
I've got another hour or so to wander around the show floor, and then--hallelujah!--it'll be time for me to head to the airport and go home. If you're at Macworld too and want to suggest what I should look for, post it in the comments!
January 16, 2008; 1:15 PM ET
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