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Hours To Go: Macworld Prediction Roundup

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Tuesday at noon Eastern, Apple chief Steve Jobs will take the stage at San Francisco's Moscone Center for his annual Macworld Expo keynote. Here's a roundup of analysts' predictions for what he'll announce. (And don't forget to play our first annual Macworld Predictions Game!)

iTunes Movie rentals. The cat is pretty much out of the bag on this one. Over the holidays, it leaked out that Apple is set to announce digital movie rentals through iTunes. Fox and Disney are said to be sure bets, with Warner and Paramount on the fence.

iPod-ready movies on DVDs. Some studios (Fox?) may include a second digital copy of movies on DVDs that can be ripped onto a computer and loaded onto an iPod.

Ultra-thin laptop. The most widely anticipated hardware announcement. Analysts think it could include all or some of the following: flash-based storage (instead of a spinning hard drive; this helps keep computer skinny and use less battery power), an external optical drive, 13.3-inch display (same as MacBooks), aluminum case (to match MacBook Pro line), embedded wireless (3G or WiMax) Internet access, and multi-touch technology (as seen on the iPhone and iPod touch). RBC pegs the price at $1200 or more.

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