It may not be the scene it was in the days when Steve Jobs was unveiling iPhones on the stage at San Francisco's Moscone Center, but Macworld Expo--now in its second year of doing business as Macworld/iWorld--remains a big deal for Mac and iOS users. For three days, it brings together the people who create Mac software and hardware with the people who rely on it to learn about new products and how to get the most out of the stuff they're already using.

This year's installment of Macworld/iWorld kicks off Thursday, January 31 and runs through Saturday, February 2. On this preview podcast, I'm joined by an array of Macworld editors--Christopher Breen, Dan Moren, and Lex Friedman--as they tell you what you can expect from this week's show.

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This will be the fourth year since Apple ended its run of appearing at Macworld Expo, and Chris and I discuss the changes that's had on the show overall. To be certain, the event has evolved noticeably since Apple's Phil Schiller ended his 2009 Expo keynote, with the most dramatic shift occurring last year, as event organizers unveiled the new Macworld/iWorld name and a sharper focus on the role Apple's products play in performance and creativity.

IDG World Expo

That focus continues in 2013, as Macworld/iWorld kicks off with actors Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad discussing their work in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic Jobs. (Lex and Dan will be live-blogging that event on Thursday at 9 a.m., as a matter of fact.) Other celebrity-infused sessions at Macworld/iWorld include musician talking future technology with Intel futurist Brian David Johnson and actor Fred Armisen talking about how Apple's technology is put to use in his work on shows like Portlandia. (Chris Breen is hosting that talk with Fred Armisen, as a matter of fact.)

Even with Macworld/iWorld's shift in focus, it remains a showcase for new products. Lex and Dan talk a little bit about that in their segment. And of course, Macworld's editors on Friday will announce the Best of Show Awards, which highlight the new products that caught our eye on the showfloor. Look for that announcement, as well as regular Macworld/iWorld dispatches from our editors throughout the week at

IDG World Expo

Macworld/iWorld has also retained its roots as a place to learn more about Mac and iOS hardware and software. The event promises more than 60 new educational sessions, panel discussions, and how-to presentations, and we're contributing to that with our Macworld Live stage on the second floor of Moscone West. Chris has posted the Macworld Live schedule elsewhere on the site, but you can expect panels filled with assorted Mac and iOS luminaries. See for yourself even if you can't be at Macworld/iWorld in person: We'll be streaming our Macworld Live sessions on the home page starting at 11 a.m. PT on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Disclaimer: and Macworld magazine are produced by IDG Consumer & SMB, which shares the same corporate parent, IDG (International Data Group), as IDG World Expo, which runs the Macworld/iWorld trade show.

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