• Is there any hope for the Mac Pro?

    In recent years concern has been mounting among Apple Mac Pro's loyal base of fans and professional users. With very little news that would make them think Apple still cares about its high-end computer lineup, many people fear that Apple's success in the lucrative mobile market has left it with no incentive to cater to the much smaller professional desktop-using crowd.

    This concern was heightened significantly with 2011's disastrous release of Final Cut X, a flashy new version of the industry standard mid-range video editor that had a lot of promise but was essentially useless in the professional world.

    Although Apple has dominated the mid-range professional market for years, it doesn't compete at the very top end of the filmmaking and there's not much chance of that changing. Final Cut X was a great big middle finger to the mid-level market. The bottom end, however, is a different story. Traditionally the domain of Microsoft's Movie Maker until Microsoft abandoned it, this part of the market is now wide open and it's large. Perhaps it makes economic sense for Apple to leave the middle market to Adobe and concentrate on the amateur/consumer market. That's certainly where Final Cut X seems to fit.

    There was a time when Apple needed creative professionals to be its evangelists. Apple was cool because photographers, designers and filmmakers used Macs. Now Apple is cool because of the iPhone, iPad and MacBook. Apple no longer needs tastemakers to maintain its image.

    At the latest Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple quietly announced an upgraded Mac Pro. Good news you might think, but maybe not so much. The upgrade is minor and nowhere near enough to instill confidence that the Mac Pro is safe. It didn't even get a mention in the WWDC keynote address. Since then, the wave of Internet comments seem to be more focussed on what's missing (e.g. Thunderbolt) than what's included.

    But there is a glimmer of hope. In the New York Times, David Pogue relayed an assurance from an anonymous Apple executive that new designs for the Mac Pro and iMac are in progress, possibly in time for a 2013 release. That's only a rumor, but from a credible source.

    On the other hand, Steve Jobs promised that professional editors would love Final Cut X and we know how that turned out.

    In early 2011 I priced up two new high-end editing systems; a Mac Pro with Final Cut and a PC with Adobe Master Collection. The PC system came out with much better specs, much more software, at a significantly lower price. Then the Final Cut X debacle happened and left the Mac without a viable editing application at all.

    I've all but given up on my dream of owning a butt-kicking Mac Pro editor alongside my powerhouse PC editor, but I still cling to a thread of hope that it's not all over. Unfortunately, apart from David Pogue's teaser, there's nothing in the latest Mac Pro upgrade that provides any encouragement.
    Subscribe to us on YouTube
    html xmlns=