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Mac Expo London 2004
November 23, 2004 | Conrad Quilty-Harper

The UK's annual Mac exhibition, MacExpo London 2004, finished on saturday after a three day show of everything Mac related. This year the show took place in the Business Design Centre in Islington, a large venue which easily accommodates the 20,000+ visitors the show draws every year. Although Apple had a substantial presence at the show this year, the organizers wanted to make sure that it is not an Apple-only show.

From the MacExpo website:

With recent launches such as the iPod and the new iMac G5, Apple is without a doubt one of the world’s leading digital lifestyle brands at the forefront of both innovation and style. However MacExpo is not just about Apple, we have over 100 exhibitors including brands such as Adobe, AM Micro, Bose, BT OpenZone, Dreamtek, Epson, HP, Microsoft, Quark and Sony, many of whom will be using the event as a platform to showcase all that’s new and exciting in the market place.

This IMG writer had the opportunity to head over to this year's show and check out what's new in the UK Mac market.

The main players at the expo this year were Apple, HP, Microsoft, Quark, Adobe and Epson. Combined they easily took up a third of the available floor space. The products that drew the biggest crowds were of course Apple related, with the iPod Photo, U2 iPod and the iMac G5 nearly inaccessible due to the sheer amount of people wanting to play around with these new gadgets. Microsoft had a large stand near the entrance showcasing Virtual PC 7 and it's Office range.

One of the show highlights was Roxio's stand. In a special show release Roxio staff announced a DVD backup application that could allows users to backup non-encrypted DVDs. The way that Roxio chose to market this new program at the show drew some visitor's attention. They had hired a popcorn machine and were giving out free popcorn for anyone passing by, complete with customized Roxio packaging.

Of course the thing that most readers of IMG will be interested in is the game area, and this year's show did not disappoint. 12 2GHz G5 machines along with 20" Apple LCDs were running the latest and greatest from the Mac gaming scene, along with 4 iMac G5s showcasing THQ's The Incredibles. Games on show included a 4 player tournament of Battlefield 1942 and Call of Duty, Railroad Tycoon 3, Airburst Extreme and Ford Racing 2. Apple staff were on hand to "help out with controls", which basically means they couldn't resist the chance to compete with other Mac gamers!

Of course the show was an excellent sales opportunity, and this reporter was drawn in. A set of JBL Creature speakers being purchased at a special show price was the end result!

Next year the show will be taking place at the Olympia exhibition hall in Earls Court, bringing UK Mac users the latest and greatest Mac goodies in a larger hall.

Along with this report are two dozen pictures from the show at the link below.


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