2009 MacWorld Expo set to kick off

January 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Apple faithful are already chatting, tweeting and blogging about what might or might not happen at this year's MacWorld.

The MacWorld Conference and Expo will be held at the Moscone Center starting Monday.

The event is the epicenter of the Mac universe and as always, the theme and the new product is veiled in a cloud of secrecy.

It is the marketing strategy Mac uses to build hype and they do it quite well.

But, it is safe to say this year that the iPhone will be one of the stars. MacWorld organizers say 15 percent of the exhibit floor is specifically geared toward applications for the iPhone.

It has been described as the new gold rush.

Thousands of average people are rushing to develop their own applications for the i-Phone. In some cases they have been able to quit their jobs.

There is even a new software program called ModelBaker that is essentially a toolkit to help you make your own applications.

"There's an enormous community. And, that ranges from everyone, to professionals that do it for a living, to consumers like you or I that have a really cool idea and want to develop a cool new application. So, it's everything from IM apps for your iPhone, new applications for your i-Pod, or any of those things. And, it's huge," said conference spokesperson Marisa Borgasano.

Of course, there is a lot of buzz about Steve Jobs, who for the first time will not be the keynote speaker this year. Jobs has been battling pancreatic cancer. MacWorld organizers say they are forbidden to even mention his absence.

There will be about 450 exhibitors on the floor and an expected 45,000 to 50,000 attendees this year.