Stevenote

Stevenote‘ is a colloquial term for the keynote speeches given by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs at events such as the Worldwide Developers Conference and previously the Macworld and Apple Expos. Jobs’ vibrant speaking style and manner of exciting the crowd was legendary. Because most Apple product releases were first revealed to the public in these keynotes, ‘Stevenotes’ often caused substantial swings in Apple’s stock price.

In late 1996, Apple purchased NeXT, and Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year hiatus following his forced resignation from the company in 1985. In mid-1997, he gave a keynote address in which he presented a detailed report on the company’s status. The keynote featured an appearance by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates by satellite. Jobs announced a partnership with Microsoft comprising several key agreements that, according to Jobs, would benefit Apple and allow it to recover from its prolonged decline during the early and mid 1990s.

Two major announcements were made during the keynote: first, that the next major release of Microsoft Office, Office 98, would be developed for the Macintosh, and second, that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser would be the default browser on all Macintosh computers. Despite heckling from the audience, Jobs explained why the partnership was favorable to Apple: ‘The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over, as far as I’m concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, and this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry to get healthy and prosper again.’

Since then, Jobs gave keynote addresses at various trade expositions and conferences at least once a year, during which he announced updates to current Apple products or demonstrated new products and services. Nearly every major product upgrade or announcement during the last ten years has been made during a Stevenote. Among the products announced in Stevenotes are the original iMac all-in-one desktop computer in 1998, the clamshell iBooks in 1999, the Mac OS X operating system in 2000, the iPod music player in 2001, the iPhone smartphone in 2007, and the iPad tablet in 2010. Jobs was known for donning the same uniform in nearly every keynote since 1998.

His outfit usually consisted of a black long-sleeved St. Croix mock turtleneck, Levi’s 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers.An archetypal Steve Jobs keynote started with Jobs presenting sales figures for Apple products, and a review of Apple products released in the past few months. He then moved on to present one or more new products of moderate importance. In tribute to Peter Falk’s ‘Columbo’ character, he typically feigned some concluding remarks, turned as if to make a false exit from the stage, then turned back to say ‘but there’s one more thing.’ Usually the audience had some idea as to what product would be unveiled due to the Apple rumors community but this was not always the case.

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