Another casualty of the economic downturn, or an excuse to pull back on some spending, whatever the reason, Apple has decided it is no longer sponsoring its flag ship trade show, Macworld. TechRadar has the full announcement here.
I am not an Apple fan by any stretch of the imagination, over priced, over hyped products, that are more fashion label than substance, but I do know the importance of these 'dog and pony' shows that Apple and Steve Jobs put on to galvanise the very users that do all of the viral marketing for Apple. Free of charge.
Apple claim they want to spend more money on their Apple Stores, and that is probably wise, but don't dismiss the very shows that actually get people excited to be queuing the night before to get their grubby paws on the next piece of heavenly Jobs technology. What other product, except maybe Star Wars and Harry Potter, command such fan devotion?
I fear this may not be the first to die off. We are seeing lots of smaller conferences canned and those that are still around, are struggling to get people in the doors. It is an expensive business without a doubt. However, in this environment the last thing any company wants to do is to pull back on their developer marketing spend.
Do not dis the very people that will build and create the community for your product to survive.
Can you imagine a Java landscape without its yearly flagship conference JavaOne? Unthinkable, but you can be rest assured that it will be a wonderful benchmark to which to measure Sun's commitment. If Sun ever stops JavaOne, no matter how expensive it becomes, then Java is dead.
Sack the lawyers. Sack the PR staff. But never stop the developer shows.