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Is Apple Pushing Away Professionals?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the nobody-works-in-a-post-pc-world dept.

Businesses 556

Barence writes "Is Apple turning its back on professional users to focus on consumers? That's the argument in this article, which claims Apple is alienating the creative professionals who have supported the company for 20 years or more. Fury over the dumbing down of Final Cut Pro, Apple's refusal to sell non-glossy screens and poor value hardware is fueling anger from professional Mac users. 'People will get hacked off. I'm only Apple because I want the OS, but if I could come up with a 'Hackintosh' with OS X, I'd be so happy,' claims one audio professional."

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556 comments

Define professionals? (1, Insightful)

Keruo (771880) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724020)

I dont think engineers and such have ever been target customers for Apple.
But if you mean image/video field workers as professionals, then you probably are right.
Apple product lines are just following the industry trend of consumerism and becoming more targeted for home users, rather than enterprises(for which they never were targetting to begin with).

Re:Define professionals? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724052)

I dont think engineers and such have ever been target customers for Apple.

But if you mean image/video field workers as professionals, then you probably are right.

Apple product lines are just following the industry trend of consumerism and becoming more targeted for home users, rather than enterprises(for which they never were targetting to begin with).

Read the whole post... It even says "creative professionals"

Re:Define professionals? (2)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724358)

I don't think Apple has been "turning away" from them. They had a definite and seemingly infallible edge when Photoshop and Illustrator were created and released for MacOS years ago; the PC was long behind them in this department, so those weren't really an option.

Today, aesthetic quirks aside, the only difference between a Macbook and a PC laptop is the Macbook's ability to natively run OS X. Both of the aforementioned titles are available (and widely used) on Windows without limitations. Worse, Windows has many more titles and options available than the Mac does because there are many more Windows developers out there than OS X developers. (I wouldn't say that Windows is any easier to develop for than OS X, but Visual Studio is really, really nice.) On the other hand, many people find Macbooks to be extremely pretty (because they are) and OS X to be easier to use and more secure, though we all know the "bad guys" are slowly chipping away at the latter advantage. We all know that Macbook, iPhone, iPad and a Starbucks Grande-size Latte are the holy trinity in being "cool;" the PC is not a good substitute for this.

Apple has, and hopefully always be, about making profit by catering to the consumer. Let's not get deluded about that.

Re:Define professionals? (3, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724398)

Apple used to be cool when they were creative, and encouraged creativity. It was you and Apple fighting the battle against entropy.

Ever since the iLine, and Steve Jobs turning from a benevolent genius to a narcissistic, goose stepping lunatic, the scene has changed to apple being creative, and you can too, just as long as you're creative in the "Apple" sanctioned way.

When it comes to the iSheep, (read as the great unwashed, non-technological masses), taht's exactly what they want. They want to be "creative" by proxy. They get to taste genius, and all they ahve to do is spend daddy's money.

Unfotunately, the creative types don't need restrictions. Yeah sure, being creative with IBM used to be like trudging through the mud, and at the time comparatively, using MacOS would feel like ice skating in comparison. But now, you MUST do what Apple says, or you're toast. Dumbing down of interfaces to conform to the masses is merely one facet of it. The uberban of Flash is another. And by the way, think what you like about flash, but the bottom line is that you're having your technology choices dictated to by a company.

For all these reasons, I have left apple. I refuse to buy an Apple product anymore because I am smart enough to make my own choices, and unfortunately, the solid brick that is Apple is *almost* what I want, but since I can't customise it at all, it is *entirely* not what I need.

Good luck with the mass market Apple, but I am not the only professional who's sick and tired of being corralled into your line. The bitten apple used to be a sign of the rebels; A homage to the greatest rebel Computer Scientist in history, Alan Turing, who had cracked the enigma codes through the sheer might of his intellect, who was then crushed by the same English government he had saved, as unfortunately he was gay. Being faced with the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration, he chose the third route of committing suicide. As he adored the fable of Snow White, he dipped an apple in poison, and took a bite.

THIS was once the spirit of Apple Inc. Shame on you for losing your way.

Creators, as opposed to Consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724060)

The people PRODUCING content.

Re:Define professionals? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724062)

In the world of Apple the apparent definition of professional is someone who "liked Apple before it was cool." Now they are just ticked off by the whole "consumer" and "enthusiastic" aspects of using Apple products.

Re:Define professionals? (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724104)

Agreed with the "define professionals" - its a hugely broad group to be tarring with the same brush stroke.

I'm a professional, I love my MBP with its glossy screen - I'm a developer - and I have no issues with it. I sit in front of it for most of the day, in either Windows 7 for .Net, or in OSX for IOS development and its a great bit of kit to use.

Yesterday, while picking up my iPhone4S, the Apple bloke dealing with me asked me some chatty questions and realised I was a professional - so he took me straight over to their Business Development peeps to talk a load of things over with an eye to improving my business relationship with Apple.

So it really depends on what you mean by "professionals" - people buying Apple kit to make money on the Apple platform, or people buying Apple kit to make money through the Apple platform? Because for one of those two options, they seem to be quite willing to help.

Re:Define professionals? (0)

telekon (185072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724128)

I'm a software developer, and I primarily use OS X. RailsConf this year was virtually a sea of identical 15" MacBook Pros. I also use Linux, of course, and primarily deploy on Linux servers, but OS X (pre-Lion) has been a great dev environment. When you add in the fact that mobile development generally requires targeting iOS, which absolutely requires XCode....

My boss upgraded to Lion, and I used it for about two minutes before deciding to stick with Snow Leopard for the foreseeable future. Lion feels like a toy. It's almost like the OS needs to go in two directions, if they want to pursue this iOS-on-the-desktop feel, and do something (but better) like when they offered A/UX as a marginally-compatible alternative to Mac OS.

Re:Define professionals? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724270)

My boss upgraded to Lion, and I used it for about two minutes before deciding to stick with Snow Leopard for the foreseeable future. Lion feels like a toy.

Care you elaborate? Lion still has all of the same stuff as Snow Leopard. It also improves things like Time Machine and File Vault. The POSIX stuff is still there. If you do Objective-C development, then automatic reference counting with weak references is a huge improvement. The gesture interfaces are nicer, and the full-screen mode is great when you want to work in a terminal without distractions. The sandboxing stuff in the kernel is also massively improved, and a lot of the standard programs use it out of the box, so from a security standpoint 10.7 is a lot better (although I prefer the Capsicum stuff in FreeBSD 9).

Re:Define professionals? (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724488)

He has no reason. Anyone who has read the Ars Technica overview of the OS or isn't just trying to be a hipster knows that. I can see some people not liking the interface changes but he's a snob that thinks that because the OS has inherited some visual features from iOS that it feels like a toy. Making the decision after "two minutes" is a joke.

Although I will say, in my experience, Snow Leopard was the most stable version of OS X I have ever used and I installed it the day it came out. It was rock solid out of the gate and on top of that Mail was FINALLY stable. Lion? Not so much on either count. Although, being used to some of the changes I wouldn't go back.

More than that... (1)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724586)

It's not just the "just a toy" claim. The phrases before that are even more telling

My boss upgraded to Lion, and I used it for about two minutes before deciding to stick with Snow Leopard for the foreseeable future

Even if the "two minutes" is an exaggeration... Practically any UI change, for example, feels difficult at first, even if it ends up being a lot better once you've gotten used to it. (It took me a month to stop hating the ribbon UI of MS Office even though I now consider it mostly positive thing) Deciding "I won't try this" about an OS in a matter of minutes is just silly.

Lion much better than you think (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724362)

Lion is really good when you get used to it. At first I was really annoyed to have my grid removed in spaces for the flat line that is Mission Control, but after some use I greatly prefer it, in part because of the integration now between Spaces and Expose.

Mail is greatly improved, and the tokenized search is genius. It's the best way I've ever seen of exposing a more complex search to users that have no idea what "AND" means.

If it was just the reverse scrolling then you can switch it back, though again after some use I either prefer it now or got used to it such that it doesn't matter.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724554)

I recently switched to Mac from Linux (primarily for the nice hardware) but am having trouble getting used to OS X and the odd keyboard. How do you program on it? I find the keyboard lacks a few crucial keys (a real delete key, pgup/pgdn) and odd use of other keys (the command - flower power key - seems to do most of what the ctrl key does on Linux but there are oddities). Also, on dual monitors, having the menu at the top of the primary monitor only is driving me crazy. I've looked at various patches to "fix" this problem but most seem to have problems of flakiness and inconsistent operation. This UI is straight from 1984 and badly needs updating. It really does make sense with large multiple monitor setups to attach the menu to the window and not have to go searching for it across acres of screen real estate.

Re:Define professionals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724262)

As for video professionals, it's true, there's a tendency to prefer Macs (I do too!), but as long as Mac allows other people to write good software, I don't see the big issue -- there is an alternative to Final Cut Pro, it's called Avid. Available for both PC and Mac and the files and data can move between the two platforms almost seamlessly. Stil, it was a strange decision to gut all the Pro out of FCP. Hardly seems believable that they couldn't keep some key features, or at least continue to support the older, pro, version.

Of course, one does worry -- as I do -- that Mac will change or lock-down their OS to a degree for which professional software can no longer be developed for it. If Lion evolves into a big iPhone I suppose I will start working on Windows.

Look up what "creative indstries" means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724282)

The article starts with mentioning "traditional Mac loyalists in the creative industries". Wikipedia will tell you what "creative industries" means.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724310)

"Following" the industry? They took the Sony Walkman and portable phones to the next level. The profits from the pro market don't even compare. They're figuring, ' why bother?' The pros can use Cubase, Avid, and Autocad on their PCs. Apple is making billions on electronic trinkets.

Re:Define professionals? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724372)

You have to keep in mind Apple today is only about the cult like following and making the other person want that product for reasons unknown, if people start looking at alternatives their mind might open and you erode that marketing.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724336)

Well, to be honest the sole argument for using macs in the first place was that their processors tended to be extremely well suited towards handling graphics intensive operations, wasn't it? That benefit would have disappeared when they moved from their power- and g- series processors over to the intel based systems. Or am I wrong? Not really an apple fanboi, I prefer using actual BSD.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724508)

correct, the power chips they used before had extensions that did tend to give it a slight edge over x86 in encoding and photoshop tasks. they could not lean on this though when jobs on high dictated the move to intel, from then on the marketing point was not to favor content creation but the user experience, 'our machines provide a better top down user experience from the other laptops and desktops'. but that argument has always been rather flimsy to non-existent to those with at least a decent amount of technical knowledge. since those people know that the 1k mac book and that 300-500 dollar intel based acer, or hp, or e-machine share the same intel cpu, foxconn motherboard, ram brand and hard drive. all your paying for is casing, logo, and os, even then your looking at paying the highest vendor markup cost in the computer industry next to monster cables.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724610)

that argument has always been rather flimsy to non-existent to those with at least a decent amount of technical knowledge.

That argument is not flimsy for professionals that have "a decent amount of technical knowledge" but value their time. I have assembled, tweaked, and overclocked many PCs but for the last few years I've grown to prefer Macs more and more.

The "Apple premium" is pretty affordable when you compare it to the cost of several days of downtime over the course of 3 years of computer ownership, and it shrinks even further when you consider that Macs fetch a premium price on the used market and you are able to recoup some of the "Apple premium" when it's time to sell.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724582)

Whoo, I haven't heard the AltiVec vs MMX argument in a long time. I'm sure AltiVec was better, but that was swamped by numerous other factors years ago. Today GPUs are a similar idea on a much bigger scale.

Some "Professionals" Aren't (2)

Webcommando (755831) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724360)

I'm not a professional at all but an amateur who has used Apple professional tools for music. I was also excited about Final Cut Pro X since I also like to create shorts and wring every last bit of power from iMovie.

I read the message boards to see what was going on with the different tools and--personal opinion--some professionals aren't very. First, as a professional you constantly evaluate your workflows and tools to deliver your end product. I get that some people do not want to change what works, but I moved from Sonar Producer (DAW) to Logic Pro with very little issues and could leverage some of the different features quickly (of course, I did miss Sonar exclusive features too). Some posters on the boards were simply not able to understand there might be better workflows using the power of new tools. Second, some of the tools added were phenomenal which would probably save them enough time to focus on how to do work with the new tool. Third, the squeaky wheels got a lot of press while many on the boards were very happy with the changes and improvements. I personally found the enhancements fairly exciting based on the limitations I hit in iMovie every day.

From my own experience would I be upset if Logic Pro started looking like Garageband...yes. Would I adapt to leverage what it offers..absolutely. I already find myself using Garageband for quick songs because it is far easier to get in and out quickly; there is some real value there.

As technologist, what would we say to a professional programmer who never wanted to learn a new language, evaluate new programming tools (e.g. IDE) or leverage new build automation?

Finally, it is fortunate there is a great ecosystem of video and audio tools that can fill any gaps in Apple's portfolio. That's a good thing

Re:Some "Professionals" Aren't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724544)

First, and foremost.. they broke backward compatibility, with no tooling to support bringing older projects into the new version. That is the single greatest sin, far more than changes to the front end interface. Name another professional software tool that has ever done that in two releases. I think you would be very hard pressed to find one, simply because it isn't done. The time it would take to re-create an existing project from an older version is far more costly to "Professionals" than the tool itself costs.

Re:Define professionals? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724478)

Exactly. Pros are a tiny minority of their customers.

Penis vagina (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724064)

Isn't it possible to buy just the Apple box, and get the monitor from somewhere else? And I'm sure there are better, more professional alternatives to Final Cut Pro if movie editing is your thing. Blaming the operating system is kinda meh... I'm a professional software developer and I prefer OSX over other Unix platforms. Much of my preference is probably tied to the general comfort of Apple computers - the look and feel if you want. And for this I must give them credit to their focus on general consumers.

Re:Penis vagina (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724150)

no, most are built into the machine except for the mac pro and the price tag that could get you 2x the machine elsewhere and the mac mini which you could use the same amount of money to make a much better mini-itx system.

Only glossy screens? (5, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724068)

You can buy a macbook pro with an "antiglare" [apple.com] screen.

Re:Only glossy screens? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724086)

ok where are you going to plug your 40 channel sound card in?

Re:Only glossy screens? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724116)

Expresscard slot, firewire 800 port.

I'm sitting here on a MBP with a non-glossy screen that has a 36 channel sound card hooked up.

I see no issue here.

Re:Only glossy screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724228)

I wish facebook had a like button. Macbooks are great for audio work.

Re:Only glossy screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724318)

I thought Facebook invented that button..

Re:Only glossy screens? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724486)

You fail it. Facebook has that button, Slashdot doesn't, this is Slashdot.

Re:Only glossy screens? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724230)

More importantly – thunderbolt port.

Re:Only glossy screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724386)

Why do you need an "antiglare" screen for audio work?

Re:Only glossy screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724432)

right you gonna work all day on a 15" or 17" monitor? good luck

Re:Only glossy screens? (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724472)

But if you're going to buy an external monitor, there are plenty of matte screens available. You don't need to buy it from apple.

silly (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724588)

What dumb ass "creative professional" does all their work on a laptop screen? You want either a desktop machine or a macbook plugged into a desktop monitor and keyboard.

Apple computers are slightly overpriced, but they're built better, and the offer a nicer OS. Apple monitors otoh are insanely overpriced and offer nothing beyond what's available from other manufacturers, well slightly reduced cable clutter. Apple only sells monitors because some morons pay through the nose so their monitor's case matches their computer's case.

Don't get it (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724090)

Apple has always been more of a consumer company, but it did provide some top notch Pro tools in the A/V field. From TFA, it seems they are abandoning that top-tier niche with lesser tools. Can't Apple have a division that works only on top-notch pro tools? I'm an Apple guy (I like it, I have no special needs for Windows only software), but if Apple doesn't reverse a trend of alienating a group (albeit a small group) of previously staunch supporters, could this be a first step to Apple losing what professional footprint it does have?

Re:Don't get it (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724134)

Apple has always been more of a consumer company, but it did provide some top notch Pro tools in the A/V field. From TFA, it seems they are abandoning that top-tier niche with lesser tools. Can't Apple have a division that works only on top-notch pro tools? I'm an Apple guy (I like it, I have no special needs for Windows only software), but if Apple doesn't reverse a trend of alienating a group (albeit a small group) of previously staunch supporters, could this be a first step to Apple losing what professional footprint it does have?

I think it comes down to how much money each group makes - does a selection of lesser-featured apps that covers usage from the mid-range amateur to the mid-range professional bring in more profit than two different selections of apps (and two development teams) each targeted to the amateur/consumer and the professional?

Does having two different products on the market make sense when the high end one is significant amounts of money and not bought in huge quantities?

I don't know Apples sales figures for Final Cut, so I couldn't speculate more - but to me thats what the thinking boils down to.

Re:Don't get it (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724328)

I suspect that certain characteristics of the "Professional" market(notably the ones where it overlaps most strongly with the "IT" market) are a poor fit for Apple, so they will, indeed, be very temped to ditch them as time goes on.

The high end of the "Pro" market is touchy because they tend to depend on fairly large tangles of interconnected products: If asked "what do you use?" they might say "Final Cut"; but they actually mean "Final cut, two dozen specialized plugins, one or more boutique hardware components for capture or output, some sort of storage backend, possibly some in-house custom tools...".

One of Apple's strengths, particularly of late, has bee their ability(and willingness) to just pick up and say "fuck everybody who thinks some legacy feature/interface/API is good enough. As of today, it is the new shiny or nothing!"(see ADB, Adobe/64-bit Carbon, Final Cut Pro, etc.). Combined with some good taste, this has worked very well in the consumer and low-end "prosumer" markets. By largely ignoring legacy issues and expecting people to keep up or suck it up, they've been able to maintain a pretty aggressive release schedule for new and interesting features with a comparatively small engineering team. However, that is absolutely incompatible with the requirements of more esoteric professional environments(along with institutional IT, their less colorful but considerably larger counterparts). You just can't keep a spaghetti ecosystem of critical 3rd party hardware and software moving that fast, at least not at a price anybody is willing to pay.(Even fairly basic things, like supporting pro-level video cards, can be pretty dire, despite the fact that Mac Pro is more PC-like than it has ever been. The default options suck to an almost comical degree, and driver support for anything else is atrocious.)

For consumer and prosumer requirements, where it is much more likely that the integrated hardware and a small number of common software packages are enough, Apple's approach works just fine. It seems unlikely, though, that they can reconcile that with the requirements of the more specialized users. And, now that they have a big, lucrative, consumer market, their incentive to try isn't what it once might have been.

They are not "lesser tools" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724390)

it seems they are abandoning that top-tier niche with lesser tools.

This is not the case; Apple is a company inherently not satisfied with simply building what existed, but in trying to advance the state of the art. So they are willing at times to throw an interface under the bus for something new they consider to be better.

Yes in FCP a few pro-specific features were left behind, but much of that has been addressed already and they also continued to sell the old FCP for those that want to keep using it until the new FCPX supports features they feel they need.

What you are not seeing is that Apple is trying to change at times what it MEANS to be a professional, how they work...

Re:They are not "lesser tools" (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724496)

What you are not seeing is that Apple is trying to change at times what it MEANS to be a professional, how they work...

'Professional'.

That word doesn't mean what Apple thinks it means. For the purposes of this thread, professional is much closer to fuzzyfuzzyfungus' definition of someone who has "Final cut, two dozen specialized plugins, one or more boutique hardware components for capture or output, some sort of storage backend, possibly some in-house custom tools..." then Apple's view of a couple of metrosexuals hammering out some cheezy TV ad at Starbucks. People with a serious workflow that does what THEY want it to do, not what Steve Jobs thinks they should be doing.

Room for both groups, obviously, but the writing is pretty much on the wall - Apple is going to be a smaller and smaller part of serious professional's workflow as the Windows ecosystem improves and evolves. No biggy really, if you decide to ditch OS X, most of your Apple hardware will work fine for the next couple of years. Nothing is etched in stone anyway, things change. Software changes, hardware changes.

Re:Don't get it (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724396)

I'm an Apple guy (I like it, I have no special needs for Windows only software), but if Apple doesn't reverse a trend of alienating a group (albeit a small group) of previously staunch supporters, could this be a first step to Apple losing what professional footprint it does have?

I'm a Windows guy, and I've always hated most Apple things I've come into contact with. But I'm also a professional in the video production and broadcast industry... and Final Cut Studio has always been the best A/V production suite in existence. I've used Adobe CS, Vegas, EDIUS, and several I can't remember the names of... Adobe takes second place, but it was still nowhere near as good as Final Cut. Now that Final Cut has been ruined, Apple and I are breaking up for good.

I have never understood (1, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724106)

Why "professionals" love this moving target apple presents, its nothing new and it seems like every time apple farts you have to reinvest in all new software and sometimes hardware. Just doesn't seem "professional" to me ...

Re:I have never understood (2)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724288)

It's because they infiltrate and dominate all of the colleges that produce creative professionals. Any art/design school basically requires you to have a Mac, and as a result, almost every art/design job requires a Mac.

Re:I have never understood (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724550)

It's because they infiltrate and dominate all of the colleges that produce creative professionals. Any art/design school basically requires you to have a Mac, and as a result, almost every art/design job requires a Mac.

BS. I recently financed my stepson's education at Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, a fairly well known "art/design" school. We went up to the campus, looked around. Lots and lots of Windows. A couple of Macs in the corner, sitting unused.

Talking to the faculty (who to a person started out on Macs) one finds two major issues: Graphics cards for the MacPros suck hard compared to Windows offering and Apple's random walk as far as long term strategies make it hard for a company to invest a couple of million dollars in Apple gear. Nobody suggests using Macs for anything other than cool laptops.

There were a bunch of MacBooks running around - all running Bootcamp.

So, you're view of the Mac centric artistic universe was probably true a decade ago, but it certainly isn't true now. Windows 7 really is a pretty good, quite stable applications platform. Same for the Windows toolchain. And, as TFA points out, SolidWorks and 3DS Max, two very important 3D programs are Windows only.

Apple has lost this battle and really isn't even fighting a credible rearguard action.

business users ignored too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724108)

For the business and professional users who use Macs on the road, Lion can't do fullscreen apps on a secondary monitor anymore. This is a pain for presentations or videos on a projector.

Re:business users ignored too (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724248)

Uhhh can't it? That's funny, I just fullscreened an app on a second monitor... I just dragged it there and pressed the full screen button.

Apple is going where the money is... (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724126)

In the past, Apple catered to pros because they were the ones who would spend $10,000 on a Quadra or //fx model. However, since their pricing model has changed, they are best served at catering to Joe/Jane Consumer.

The only gripe I have is that Apple needs consider the IT market as well, and not just focus on consumers. Right now, Apple is doing well, but the enterprise is not just a huge market, but also is very hungry for Apple products. (As an IT person, oftentimes the top brass of companies will be using Macs as their own laptops. It makes me glad Lion has complete hard disk encryption, although having a TPM chip and BitLocker-like access would be ideal.) Apple could easily get some offerings into the IT sector. A redesigned Mac Pro that could work horizontally and fit on a drawer with attachable rack ears would be a start. A standalone disk array with redundant drive controllers and FCoE would bring them up to date for SMBs needing storage.

IT is definitely a market that Apple might do well in, although Apple's main success is with consumers.

Research (3, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724132)

Looks like the author has only done some superficial research on some aspects.

For example, 3ds Max is a Windows-only application, but it's far from the only major application in this sector. For example, LightWave licenses are less expensive, there's a Mac client as well and right now the features it has to offer are running circles around Max. And that's coming from a long-time Max user.
It's one of the major applications in the business, but far from dominating.

CAD is mostly done on Windows and *nix, but that's partly for historical reasons (code bas which has grown over decades in some cases).

Part of the problem is also the specialized hardware support on the Mac platform. You just can't expect an overpriced two year old entertainment graphics card to beat the results professional graphics software will achieve on a Quadro/Fire with optimized drivers and certified compatibility. That's like expecting an AMC Gremlin to beat a well-tuned Formula 1 racer.

Re:Research (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724382)

Thing is 3D Studio Max did have a macintosh OS 9 version back before they were purchased by Autodesk. (I believe the last version of 3D studio max for Mac was 3.5 iirc). Lightwave still has an OSX version as does Maya (which is owned by Autodesk as well now). But there's been some rumblings that Maya's support for Mac maybe discontinued in the near future. (Which I think would have more to do with Autodesk)

Maya has really eclipsed Lightwave in recent years, especially for Film work. Lightwave has always been used more in television, probably due to Newtek's products going back to Toaster for Amiga.

However, Apple's been moving away from the Video production market for a few years. Shake used to be a defacto standard compositing application for a lot of small and mid sized shops, but then apple discontinued the software. That market is now being filled by Nuke, Fusion, and After Effects.

Re:Research (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724534)

huh? 3d Studio max has ALWAYS been an autodesk program. I think you have things confused. It was developed by the Yost group for Windows NT, during the transition from DOS to windows, after 4 versions of 3dstudio for dos, made by autodesk and the yost group.

It was never on the mac.

Re:Research (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724556)

BTW, Maya eclipsed lightwave at version 1. Lightwave is practically useless in todays industry. It just hasnt kept up, it never could, it never did. Its not the old amiga days. Lightwave is pretty much dead.

Re:Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724564)

Thing is 3D Studio Max did have a macintosh OS 9 version back before they were purchased by Autodesk. (I believe the last version of 3D studio max for Mac was 3.5 iirc).

That's bull. 3ds max never had a native Mac version. Max has always been Windows only, and before that, 3d Studio (the predecessor) was DOS only.
However, since version 2010, I believe, Autodesk offers limited licensing support for users running Max under Windows under Bootcamp.

Re:Research (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724514)

Lightwave is also piece of shit.

3dsmax is far more advanced, but its still old and shitty. I know, I was there from beta 1, and 3ds dos.

Maya and Softimage are far better programs. Especially Softimage. Which are both available on a Mac, but as a professional 3D user since the late 90s... I would NEVER do 3D on a mac ever. It's just fucking dumb.

BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724148)

this is FUD. "poor value hardware" really? Mention 1 poor value hardware piece on any of the latest apple product. Do you really think that something like Thunderbolt is for consumers? I think this article is just dumb. Apple was the first to create a laptop wiht DDR3. Glossy screens? come on... 95% of laptops are non-glossy and if you are a super pro detail designer, you will not use a laptop screen to work. I'm not an Apple fan but I can realize when someone is writing BS

Re:BS (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724298)

Mention 1 poor value hardware piece on any of the latest apple product.

"Server grade" WD Greens in the Time Capsules.

come on... 95% of laptops are non-glossy and if you are a super pro detail designer, you will not use a laptop screen to work.

Whereas you can get a non-glossy MBP (17") with an additional fee, you'll be hardpressed to get a non-glossy iMac or Thunderbolt Display.

Re:BS (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724330)

Sorry, apparently 15" MBP can have non-glare-displays too, for a markup.

worse than microsoft (2, Insightful)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724154)

At least microsoft targets business users as well.

However, if this trend continues, and other companies follow Apple in targeting the average Joe, then I foresee a sad future, where devices are locked down, professionals pay big bucks to get the tools they need, and universities and open source developers can't get hardware they can freely develop on.

Re:worse than microsoft (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724414)

I don't, really. The tools we have today are good enough most professionals. If the latest version of your OS of choice doesn't work with your tools... why the hell would you upgrade?

Photo editing, drawing, video editing... has anything really revolutionary come up in software for these things in the last few years? Can you envision any improvement that would cause people to switch over to a locked-down system?

Basically, there's almost nothing we'd need to do now that we can't already do on stuff like Windows XP. Hell, take a look at corporations - there's still loads of places out there running Windows XP and IE6, or older Windows versions still like 2000. Upgrades will only happen if they're really worth it and truly necessary.

Re:worse than microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724500)

"why the hell would you upgrade?"

Well, for every person that stays with tried and true technology, there will be 5+ persons telling that first person how close-minded and afraid of change they are.

Re:worse than microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724540)

Sure, and all software made today could be written in asm.

Re:worse than microsoft (1)

sensationull (889870) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724608)

I share the same concerns.

They always have (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724156)

Apple's corporate support is weak, often consisting of "take it to the Genius Bar". If you don't deal with a VAR, there just isn't good corporate support, or at least, there wasn't 4 or 5 years ago. Driving to the Apple Store doesn't scale if you have an enterprise with dozens of hundreds of MBPs. Also, no docking stations/port replicators. The docking station thing is pretty lame for corporate people too.

They're very focused on user experience but have never to my knowledge tried to make themselves corporate friendly. Dumbing down their software is a part of that. But I don't look forward to standing in line for half an hour with a Mac Pro watching iPod after iPod ahead of me get replaced at the Genius Bar ever again.

Professional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724178)

C'mon. There are currently 16 definitions for "professional" in the Urban Dictionary. Care to clarify the ones that apply?

Re:Professional? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724314)

There are currently 16 definitions for "professional" in the Urban Dictionary. Care to clarify the ones that apply?

How many of those 16 definitions [urbandictionary.com] involve prostitution, oral sex, or alcoholism? You must be able to narrow it down at least a little.

color (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724180)

I thought pros like the better color accuracy of the glossy screens?

Re:color (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724268)

Dunno, color on glossy can be effected by the slightest outside source

Same goes for matt (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724408)

Matt screens also are affected by outside sources, just not as strongly - which is why professionals to whom that would matter either control the environment to eliminate them or buy a monitor hood (or both).

Re:Same goes for matt (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724502)

Like I said I dunno, the majority of "professionals" chiming in on this story are singing the praises of the macbook pro, it its impossible to tell what these people are thinking

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724300)

a good fast read on the subject:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/apple-macbook-laptop,2130-4.html

Summery -- in controlled environments, color accuracy is the same. Otherwise the glossy screen is better except for reflections. Many professionals in the image/video editing field will use matte screens because of the lack of reflections.

Re:color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724442)

"Summery "

No, it's quite "fally" now.

Re:color (3, Informative)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724576)

Glossy screens do not make color accurate.

Working in a color managed environment with color aware applications is what does. That means using calibration devices to measure all the color output of your devices, printers monitors etc... and creating color profiles.

Glossy screens can make blacks look deeper, but also have a lot of glare and reflection. Pros arent looking for deeper blacks, they're looking for accurate blacks and color temperature. A monitor that puts out a good wide color gamut, that fits into the adobe rgb color space.

Most monitors are too bright actually for accurate color representation.

Small Computer Domination Means... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724196)

Offering it all.

To that end I expect to see Macs continually improve in running VM and native OSs other than Mac OS X.

The more options you offer, the more customers you drag in & ...

server (1)

djfake (977121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724232)

They certainly want out of the server market.

Re:server (1)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724254)

I believe appropriately so.

While it is my preferred desktop OS, it leaves a lot to be desired as a server.

Only high end servers (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724418)

Apple may want out of the high end rack mounted server market, but they are very happy to sell a quite capable small server in the Mac mini (which you can order pre-configured as a server).

For a small company that only needs a handful of servers a number of mac minis could make a lot of sense.

Pardon my ignorance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724240)

... and I have a lot to apologize for, but OS X being BSD-based is there such a difference between it and Linux? For audio professionals, for instance, can it do things specialized Linuxes can't (like e.g. have real zero latency or whatever)?

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724592)

not really but linux is a hard target for 1 average users and 2 developers

so if your making protools are you going to waste your time on 300 different distros, or are you going to tell the musician to compile their own, when often times things like youtube confuses them?

they forgot Shake. And Color. And XSan. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724260)

Shake. industry standard motion graphics/SFX programme. expensive. Apple bought it. sold it for a while and killed it.

Color. industry standard top end color grading system, expensive. Apple bought it, put it in Final Cut Studio. After a while it almost worked reliably!. Its now been killed.

XSAN - the specialist XSAN hardware has been killed. the software has been rolled into Lion

and as for their premium equipment like the mac pro, its really funny that their software like FCP only used one processor of these 8 core machines. biggest waste of money ever. Only now have they got FCPX multi threading and no professional wants that crap. Even if you wanted to edit and jump out to daVinci for colour correction (now they've killed color) you couldn't as it won't export EDLs.

Commoditization (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724294)

Obviously Apple are taking further steps to commoditize the software on their platform in order to increase the price of their hardware. The App store was just the first step.

This is a software thing (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724302)

First off Apple still offers anti-glare displays as an option on ALL their MacBook Pros. So the rant about not offering matte displays is completely off base. In fact, I'm writing this post on a later model Macbook Pro with an antiglare screen and a quick glance at the store shows this option still available.

The real ire is the SOFTWARE, namely the utter fiasco that is Final Cut Pro X. But this is a well known issue and Apple has tried to smooth things over a bit by letting people DOWNGRADE to the last version. So it seems that Apple is well aware of how badly it messed things up and being that Final Cut has been a huge success until now, it only stands to reason that Apple will not make the same mistake twice and will release a new version that addresses their user's concerns. And while that is mere speculation, seeing how much money FCP has brought in and how much hardware it has ended up selling for Apple, it stands to reason that they will not idly stand by while their egg laying goose dies a painful death at the hands of an angered user base.

Also, Apple is more reliant upon developers now than ever. Those trendy consumer gadgets such as iPhone and iPad require a strong developer base, and it requires those developers to develop within OS X and with Apple Tools, even Flash Builder and Titanium require XCode to do the compiling. So to drive away your development community would also make no sense since that would only boost rivals creating apps for other products such as Android phones and tablets.

Apple is trying to normalize the look and feel of it's two operating systems iOS and OS X to make them not only easier to use for the consumer but easier to develop for for the developers. OS X Lion, while causing ire for it's sweeping UI changes now features a lot of the same features as iOS -- which from a UI development standpoint simplifies the development process.

So in the end, time will heal these wounds. Give it a few more months and see what the upcoming release of FCP has to offer it's core user base as well as how iCloud and iOS5 reshape how users and developers interoperate with OS X and iOS based devices. I think then a lot of these changes will make sense and some of the shock at these changes and the handful of missteps will die off.

Re:This is a software thing (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724542)

I have a hard time believing that Apple realizes how dependent it is upon developers, considering how far they've gone out of their way to piss off developers. Random rejections in the appstore, ambiguous guidelines of acceptable, locked down interfaces and an inability to install things without either going through the appstore or jailbreaking the device.

Nice linkbait, PCpro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724316)

Looks like Slashdot fell for the time-honored "OMG APPLEZ IS ABANDONING US PROZ!" linkbait garbage that pops up every couple months. Anyone who claims they'd be just fine with a Hackintosh either doesn't know what a PITA that represents or is only a "professional" in the sense that they spend 12 hours a day whinging about Apple on forums...

Certainly not focusing (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724352)

Certainly not focusing for some time now, so eventually a few things are left behind. Businesses tend to look at it more rationally, what productivity increases do we get - which translates fairly directly to dollars, compared to the costs. Consumers generally don't have any tangible productivity or revenue, it's more a matter of disposable income and what they like. It's like trying to compare the army and a regular person buying a sweater. The army will look at technical things like thermal properties, durability, washing instructions and other technical things, what brand and fashion statement you make is utterly irrelevant. Then you get into a fairly low-margin business of who can provide a piece of clothing that satisfy those requirements, and Apple doesn't want to be there. The only reason they've stayed with graphics professionals is that many of those have had very high hardware and software budgets, just like there were some ridiculously expensive SGI workstations for engineers. Apple wants to sell to the people who'll pick a $699 iPhone over a $399 Android because they want an iPhone. Not because of an rational feature-by-feature comparison, but because they have a want and the money to buy what they want. The margins are much, much nicer that way.

Not all "professionals" are graphic artists... (2)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724356)

Macs are no longer limited to graphics artists and web designers. While that market may not be what it was for Apple it's being more than made up for in other areas. I'm a Data Center Architect and use nothing but Macs. Cisco, EMC, and VMware now offer Macs as standard offerings for their SEs and field people and last I heard Cisco had gone 30% Mac in just a few months. It's rare I'm in a meeting with those guys where Mac is not the majority.

Pushing away professionals? Hardly. Nice link bait.

Re:Not all "professionals" are graphic artists... (1)

mgscheue (21096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724438)

The article didn't say that all professionals are graphic artists. But graphic artists, web designers, photographers, musicians, film makers, etc., are professionals and have traditionally comprised sizable portion of the market for Macs.

They killed their IT market! (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724364)

Apple was supporting IT with their XServes, and they worked with a company called Aqua Connect [aquaconnect.net] in developing a terminal server which works under OS X. Then they killed the XServe, and tried to send people to Mac Pros, not really designed for racks.

Dumbing down the UI is not always a sign that you are killing professionals, but making it lower learning curve entry.

What has to be asked is does the new, dumber interface, make the work more difficult or is it just bitching because the interface is different. They didn't kill Final Cut Pro, just changed it.

Re:They killed their IT market! (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724404)

The market for the XServe just wasn't working out for Apple (and never has, though they've tried more than once in their history), so they killed it. But that's a different sort of professional than the "creative" professionals which they have historically done well with. Far as I can tell they haven't been abandoning them, they just screwed up with Final Cut.

I Think This Every Day I'm Developing for iOS (0)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724370)

I am a Windows user who has mostly switched to Mac to developer for iOS because it's an unbeatable embedded platform for music and video software. But I'm constantly floored at how poorly the Mac is designed for power users. The window management and control is awful, keyboard setup for text editing is awful, touchpad drivers are awful, XCode is buggy and a mess, the iTunes Connect interface seems like it was made 10 years ago, documentation is unbelievably poor, and in general, it's shocking how bad some of their user interfaces are for their developer tools when they're supposed to be all about user experience. This is stuff you are supposed to learn in User Experience 101. And although some similar problems exist in Windows, you can adjust what you don't like! Apple goes out of its way to insure that you can't change things, drives me nuts.

Re:I Think This Every Day I'm Developing for iOS (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724560)

Interesting, User Experience 101 is being taught as one of the last classes of my MIT degree. So anyone who has *most* of an MIS or CS master's degree but never actually finished it... never got to that class. Explains a lot, actually.

Their stupidity. (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724378)

Observe the below complaint and solution about glossy screens on macs making visual work hard in office environments due to glares :

The only viable solution to the problem is to buy a screen from a third-party manufacturer. “I want to see only the images and applications I’m using, not reflections of the room around me, and I often look at the screen for up to 16 hours a day,” says photographer Bill Wisser. “Recently, I bought $7,000 of computer equipment, including a new eight-core Mac Pro and a new 30in monitor – a Dell.

he could have just bought much better pc equipment and an even bigger monitor with a whopass budget like 7000. he chose to buy macs. and he suffers for it.

stupidity.

Re:Their stupidity. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724614)

oh but photoshop works so much better with a single button mouse =)

I'm hopeful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724394)

That there'll be an upgrade to Snow Leopard for desktop users. Things like removing scrollbars and adding autosave in Lion are stupid, the latter totally incompatible with common workflows.

Some of the ommisions in the original release of iMovieHD were addressed by a recent update. Now I'd like to see a version with a UI targeted at working editors. When AvidMC and Adobe Premiere both get 30-40% sales increases, that's a good indicator of what a huge fuckup Apple made here.

If Apple don't respond to the needs of professional users (a term extending beyond media production), the attrition they witnessed after the iMovieHD debacle will expand and accelerate.

I would pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724412)

I would pay for a copy of OS X licensed to go on my PC. I have a 1st gen MacBook Pro that I can install Lion on. Apple is making there newer computer non-user upgradable.

Physics is mostly Apple (4, Informative)

torako (532270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724434)

I'm a research scientist at particle physics institute and my anecdotal experience is the opposite: Nowadays, it seems like at least 3/4 of the laptops I see at conferences are Apple laptops (plus a growing amount of iPads). The desktops at my institute are either Linux or OS X.

OS X is a great environment to use LaTeX in, make presentations (Keynote + LaTeXit for equations is awesome), code scientific software or run apps like Mathematica or Matlab.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37724454)

Plain and simple. Apple products don't play nice in an enterprise network, from passive resistance (no support for domain-controllers/Group-Policys etc) to active violance like spewing ._* and .DS_Store files across the fileserver that annoy the hell out of windows users (the later can be turned of, but the user has to play nice for that, and the first can't be turned off, TheGreatSteve has decided that they are needed, no matter if you delete them...). Dumbing down their few REALLY professional Products (like Final Cut) does the rest.

Collateral sucess (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724460)

Someone once explained to me, that sales in enterprise IT are considered collateral success by Apple.

Audio Pros are so silly. You dont need a Mac! (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37724492)

Audio Pros are all snobs. You dont need a mac. Buy a pc, there is plenty of great hardware and software for it that rival a mac with ancient protools.

Nuendo... learn it.

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