So the man that people are still calling "the new Steve Jobs" rather than his real name took the stage at one of the most heralded technology events tonight - heralded not because of the glitz and glamor and product announcements but because of the candor and insights you don't get anywhere else.
No one embodies that better than Tim Cook, whose public persona remains something of an enigma. So tonight's event was certainly something to behold. Cook touched on a lot of touchy subjects. For example, he pushed for 'Made in America' manufacturing for Apple products, not-so-subtly slamming the processes that occur overseas as Foxconn.
He also spoke to things that are more central to the Apple ecosystem, such as reaffirming that there will be no future hybrid Apple products, and when it comes to sharing, he said, "In this area I want people to copy us." And yes, he did talk about Steve Jobs as well.
And speaking of Jobs, the way he separated himself most ardently from his predecessor was arguably when the issue of Siri came up. Rather than blast the criticisms, he seemed to quietly agree, noting that improvements were on the way. All in all, it truly opened up a side of Tim Cook that few have gotten to see up to this point, and we hope this is a trend that will continue.
From the outset, people have questioned whether Tim Cook could usher in the same kind of enthusiasm as Steve Jobs, or at least manage to hold the fort down while everyone reels in the loss of the legend. And when we say people, we mean Apple fans, Windows fans, Google fans, Apple employees, and pretty much anyone else who doesn't know the word "apple" as simply a kind of fruit.
And for good reason - Jobs was Apple in a way that no other CEO had ever been identified with a Fortune 500 company. Although Cook took the helm a while ago now, he still feels very mysterious to a lot of outsiders. Exposure at events like this can only be a good thing as long as there are no major flare-ups.