With its decision to end its relationship with the Macworld Expo, Apple is cutting one of its last ties to an era in which it wasn't a technology powerhouse. The shocking news that January's Macworld would be the last with Apple's participation--and that CEO Steve Jobs will not appear--reveals an Apple that has decided it no longer needs to make an appearance at the event that has come to define the company in recent years. In doing so, it's also preparing for a future when its iconic founder no longer dominates the stage the way he currently does while confirming a shift in its strategic thinking when it comes to reaching customers. Apple relies on two types of marketing: one, the slick commercials with the cool music that showcase what its products can do, such as the Mac versus PC ads and the famous silhouetted dancing iPod listeners. The second method is the Stevenote: Jobs is a master at the art of presenting new products and rolling out strategies to both the public (Macworld) and the press (WWDC, iPod events).