Larry Jordan Blog



Does the MacPro Have A Future?

Posted by on May 25, 2012

No one orchestrates surprise better than Apple.

The fever of excitement surrounding the launch of a new Apple product is the envy of every other consumer company in the world. Rumors, gossip, and eager anticipation create a potent mix for marketing.

But professional users are different. The shattering echoes from the death of Final Cut Server and Final Cut Studio (3) last summer are still reverberating throughout the industry.

The unnecessary, and unheralded, death of both these products killed businesses overnight, destroyed relationships, and alienated an industry. It wasn’t Final Cut Pro X that a caused the outcry, it was what died in its birth.

Professionals are not consumers – we are running companies, meeting payroll, and creating products using Apple tools.

THE CASE OF THE MACPRO TOWER

Two months ago, Lou Borella sent me an email asking if I had any insight on the MacPro. I told him that I had just had a meeting with Apple where I asked them that question and they declined to answer. (This is not surprising because, as we all know, Apple does not comment on unannounced products.)

Lou told me he was going to start a Facebook petition to ask Apple to clarify its plans for the MacPro. This is Apple’s last remaining tower computer and a daily workhorse throughout the creative world. I told him that he could do what he wanted, but that Apple does not pay attention to petitions or respond to discussion groups on social media.

Still, he set up the page – https://www.facebook.com/MacProsPlease - and I tweeted about it.

This last week, he caught the eye of Gizmodo – along with other Mac rumor sites – and his page exploded. More than 7,000 likes as I write this and adding more every minute.

There are two ways to view this: as a forlorn attempt to get Apple’s attention, or as a way to show that the MacPro is still relevant in today’s mobile society. This could go either way.

Apple locks its hardware plans LONG before any product is announced. The decision on the future life, if any, of the MacPro was made, probably, last year. Most likely, earlier than that. So, Apple already knows what it intends to do.

For those of us running businesses using a hardware tool that can not be sourced from any other vendor, it would be very, very helpful to know if it has a future life.

MY TAKE

Here’s my thought: Apple hasn’t upgraded the MacPro since 2010 because it feels the market for it is too small. Combine that with Apple’s philosophy that it doesn’t pre-announce products and you have a perfect stew of insecurity for creative types.

But Apple’s philosophy doesn’t prohibit it from pre-announcing the death of a product. If sales are already so low as to not justify upgrading the MacPro, then there is no significant harm to Apple’s business to saying that the MacPro will be “End of Lifed” by such-and-such a date.

Conversely, if the market for the MacPro is large enough to justify updating it, there is no harm in announcing that the MacPro will be updated by such-and-such a quarter because the MacPro market is far smaller than any other computer hardware segment that Apple serves. Neither announcement would have any significant financial impact on Apple, but would be a SIGNIFICANT benefit to creative professionals planning their hardware purchases.

APPLE WANTS TO KEEP US INFORMED

In my recent meetings with Apple, just before NAB last April, they told me that they wanted to give creative professionals a heads-up with where they were going with Final Cut Pro X. This was why they were having on-the-record meetings and sharing up-coming features with me. (You can read my entire report of that meeting here.)

Keeping us informed is a GREAT idea!!!

I sent an email to my contacts at Apple to see if they want to comment on this. I’ll let you know if I learn anything.

It has been obvious for the last couple of years that creative professionals no longer make up the bulk of Apple’s business – and that’s fine with me, I wish Apple every success. But because we are responsible for creating the content that Apple displays so wonderfully on all its consumer devices, it would be really helpful if Apple could share with us an outline of their future hardware plans for those tools that consumers will never buy and professionals can’t live without.

I mean, can you imagine what it would be like creating movies for an iPad on a Windows system?

Let me know what you think.

Larry

P.S. If you want to stay informed on what I learn from Apple, as well as the world of audio and video, please subscribe to my free, weekly newsletter: www.larryjordan.biz/newsletter/


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  1. Tim Ryan May 25, 2012 13:42

    Larry-

    Great article, and interesting thoughts. I definitely agree with you, and hadn’t yet thought of your reasons for Apple sharing this. I just don’t see them doing that, although I’d love to know when/if (hopefully) a new MacPro is going to be released.

    My system hard drive failed last week and it was relatively easy to fix via installing a new drive and time machine. However, I kept thinking during this process how much of a pain it would be to to this on an iMac. The Mac Pro has instructions inside the door on how to install more RAM (MacPro 1,1). Apple seems to be moving away from this, and in a sense locking in their computers so you are not able to alter it in any way.

    Tim

  2. xgman May 25, 2012 14:31

    Thanks for these sensible words.

  3. nickeditor May 25, 2012 14:35

    “Professionals are not consumers – we are running companies, meeting payroll, and creating products using Apple tools.”

    I can’t say it better

    Thank’s Larry, your voice gets higher than ours and that helps.

    (I think we’re all concerned about if Apple decides it is not a company for professionals. It still hurts what they did with the Xserve).

  4. Nigel Ashton May 25, 2012 15:07

    Larry.

    Regardless of what they say to you Apple has always treated pros as consumers and always will. What they did with FCPX was unforgivable and should have been a wake up call for those deluded into thinking Apple was interested in the pro.

    What is particularly galling is the amount of cash Apple has amassed, while their core customer base is deliberately ignored. They don’t seem to understand that the pro is the most important customer they have. The pros are the movers and shakers, the trend setters and the hipsters, and they are the most loyal. Mobile phone buyers are the most fickle and unreliable. Does Apple -really- want to alienate its most vocal advocates??

    To get a sense of how bad things are go to http://www.Apple.com/pro.
    The page has been abandoned. The 3 year old ‘New’ MacPro is listed along with Logic Studio, and the last pro feature was put up in August 2009.

    No, I’m sorry, Apple does not want us to be informed, because they have nothing to say.

    Mark my words, we have a numbers guy in charge now, not a visionary. It may not happen tomorrow or even next week but Apple WILL fail if they continue on this course. How do I know? Because after a decade of promoting Apple I’m thinking of either switching or building a Hackintosh so I can get my job done.

  5. Bob S. May 25, 2012 15:32

    Good points, especially in regards to your take on the limited downsides to Apple sharing info on what they’re doing with their towers.

    For those tied to Apple hardware and software for their money making tools, this must not feel like the era of commodity computing, huh? At least if you run Avid or Adobe software you aren’t completely screwed over, even if you run on Apple hardware today. This is the #1 problem with turning the keys over to one vendor. I thought we learned this lesson long ago.

  6. Tim Johnston May 25, 2012 17:13

    Thanks for posting this, Larry. It’s incredibly difficult for us to make business decisions with Apple’s track record of keeping us all in the dark. We’re really not feeling too warm towards Apple in light of the way they handled information release about XServe and FCPX. We’re hoping they’ll do it differently this time around.

    Tim Ryan – the instructions for installing more RAM on the iMac are actually printed on the bottom of the pedestal. But more to your point, that doesn’t give it more HDD slots, PCIe slots, or eSATA ports.

  7. Ryan P. May 25, 2012 17:18

    The main reason for going this long without a refresh to the Mac Pro is not that the market is too small, it’s that there were no new compatable Xeon CPU’s from Intel launched last year due to extensive production delays. Otherwise I think we would have already heard of the Mac Pro’s retirement a la XServe style announcement. Only weeks ago the capable CPUs were launched by intel, but word on the street is they are still low in volume availability. ( take with a grain of salt, I don’t really know )

    And as far as when we’ll know the answer to the MacPro’s future, it might be at, or soon after WWDC. Patterns in Apple’s actions seem to point an entire Mac lineup refresh might happen at all about the same time. (Macs are now classified as devices to Apple; increased development speed of OS X.) This would likely include the Mac Pro. And when they all are delivered, they will likely ship with 10.8, as is the current trend with iOS and the iPhone. That is, new hardware means new software to take advantage of the new hardware’s new awesome features.

    Another point I ponder is of the rumors of HiDPI & Retina Mac displays in the pipeline. If this happens across the Mac lineup this summer, including the iMac, then the Mac Pro launch or announcement could likely be in sync with the iMac’s since they rely on the same cinema display panels, with of course a new batch of GPUs to handle them. But then the wild card could be that the next gen iMac might be the replacement to the MacPro in Apple’s eyes now that we have Thunderbolt, but I don’t suspect that will truly be the case until Thunderbolt 2.0 debuts. And based on what I’ve seen on the webs, that doesn’t seem to be on the intel roadmap for the next few years. Also, while GPUs are fast becoming more important then many-core CPUs, and FCP X is a prime example of that, i’m not yet convinced we’ve crossed the transition point just yet. But I’m just making educated guesses. Only Apple truly knows what is in store for the future. ( No pun intended. )

    However, before we cry that the sky is falling, keep on mind that many of Apple’s own employees likely depend on the power and utility of the Mac Pro. They are still very much the “trucks” of the computing world. And Apple programers, the Pro Apps team, and their in-house production teams ( if they have any, which I suspect they do ) all still need trucks too.

    WWDC is June 11. Hold on to your butts.

  8. conigs May 25, 2012 17:20

    There’s one key fact missing from this analysis. Intel only recently made available new server class processors. The Xeon E5 chips are needed for dual processor configurations. Those chips were only released in March. Dell & HP only started announcing products based on those chips last month.

    That said, it still is disheartening to see Dell & HP releasing work stations with those chips while Apple has not. I am still keeping my hopes up. But if we see iMacs & MacBook Pros updated to the Ivy Bridge platform with no Mac Pro upgrade, I will have to rethink my computer purchase I’ve been planning for months.

  9. Rinze Schuurman May 25, 2012 19:33

    Yes I can imagine how it is to create movies for iPad on a Windows system. I have been doing so for the past year. And it is a lot faster compared to a Mac nowadays, especially with GPU accellerated software. As for the software, once you are running say Adobe CS or Avid, the only difference you will notice is the position of the apple key vs the control key. If that is too much to handle you should consider other career opportunities.

  10. Martin C May 25, 2012 19:34

    The irony is that once upon a time, the creatives all used Macs and what they produced was being viewed mainly on Windows PCs, now creatives may be switching to PCs and making content largely for viewing on iPads…

  11. Joe Pavlo May 25, 2012 20:14

    Have you looked at Apples “Pro” page at apple.com lately?

    apple.com/pro

    Along with the links to (the long since discontinued) Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio you will find the most recent articles to be almost 3 years old!

    Talk about asleep at the wheel! It breaks my heart!

  12. Peter Tours May 25, 2012 23:11

    In my experience during tech crises with Apple, just they don’t want to get that we rely on them for our living. They refuse to acknowledge any responsibility. That’s not to say they don’t honor their warranties – they just treat everyone like a consumer. They really should remove the word “Pro” from their products to be fair.

  13. Craig Seeman May 26, 2012 03:30

    While the new Xeon E5 was released in March, that’s probably not the last piece in the puzzle. The new Thunderbolt controllers were released in late April.

    My hunch is that we’ll be looking at a new form factor. 4xPCIe slots will be replaced with Thunderbolt. I’m hopping for 4 ports given the number of endo of chain devices. The other variable is the GPU. Will there be one or two 16xPCIe for GPU? Another question are the internal hard drives. They could conceivably have a box with just SSD boot and one additional HD. With the above changes (along with dropping the two optical bays) You could potentially have a much smaller box.

    So what might the form be? I see two possibilities, one might be an “iMacPro” of sorts (a variation on HP’s new Z1). The other would be something akin to a very large version of the MacMini but more like a rack mount size a few RUs tall. In either case the Jonathan Ive magic will be how cooling is handled and what direct they take with the GPU.

    Basically the MacPro as we know it gone but it will probably be replaced by something.

    As to the current MacPro. Apple hasn’t killed it because there’s a replacement coming and the supply channels need to be in place (my guess). As to announcing in advance. Not going to happen if it’s a new box. Apple likes to keep its’ competitive advantage by not revealing details and they wouldn’t announce an update, which would be misleading, since this would be a new box.

    Another Clue At Apple’s Final Cut Pro In Action pages, Radical Media lists only Mac and no specific computer. None of the three list MacPro. I note that the Red Rocket card on Electric Entertainment (waiting for mLogic mLink R tie in?). While the RR works in other chassis, it will need a chassis going forward if there’s no PCIe slots in Macs. Also interesting is that I believe the last Compressor update helps clustering with headless Macs . . . of which there are two types, MacMini, MacPro. My guess we’d be something a little bit more powerful than the current Minis for useful clustering (of course a quad i7 Mini might become a standard).

    Changes are certainly a foot. My guess is the MacPro, as we know it, is gone but something new will replace it. It may be slimmer beast. Maybe a slightly lower price point. A bit more modular to sell a bit better (more versatile).

  14. nickeditor May 26, 2012 05:58

    Current Mac Pro:

    · ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 was released in october 2009
    · Processor in first quarter of 2009
    · RAM 1333MHz DDR3 ECC R-DIMM SDRAM perhaps for the same dates (DDR3 2400 MHz is here and DDR4 soon)
    · SATA II (3Gb/s) hard drives, SATA III was released in may 2009 (current HDD with 64MB of buffer)
    · Superdrive 18x and now you can find 22x (and blu-ray)

    You can configure 512GB SSD for 1250$ or 1400$, are they crazy?

    Sorry, but Apple gives embarrassed :(

  15. Craig Seeman May 26, 2012 12:42

    Larry, you have to consider how an early announcement of a MacPro replacement would damage iMac sales. Consider the following Pro Apps and FCPX test results from Barefeats.

    http://barefeats.com/macs11_01.html
    and
    http://barefeats.com/fcpx01.html

    The 2011 iMac Quad Core i7 compares favorably to the 2010 MacPro Six Core Xeon. With announcements like Smoke on iMac one might guess the top iMac is benefiting from the lack of updates and the lack of significant power advantage of most 2010 MacPros over 2011 top iMac. Consider that Quad Core iMac with 2GB GPU and monitor is $2300 vs 2010 MacPro 6 core with 5870 (1GB) and Apple Monitor is close to $4900.

    Given the above Barefeats test results and the price, which would most people (even Pros) would buy? Announce a MacPro replacement before it’s ready to ship and the iMac sales drop. Additionally it deepens pent up demand as a result. That may follow with supply chain issues given the increased upfront delivery volume needed.

    Tim Cook is known as a supply chain master. I don’t think Apple would announce early, hurt their iMac sales, create supply chain challenges.

    Apple will most likely make an announcement at the time they can ship something more powerful that the iMac Quad i7.

    Additionally, I think Apple will want to push the move to Mountain Lion hard, especially given the dependency FCPX may have on it. That would mean such new Mac won’t happen until Mountain Lion is ready unless there is a significant OS delay that would result in not getting advantageous hardware sales.

  16. Larry May 26, 2012 12:52

    Craig:

    I don’t necessarily disagree – provided you assume that silence means the MacPro is being upgraded. However, that is not a sure thing… Perhaps a better way to phrase my thought is that if a professional product is going to be end of lifed, that some advance warning be given – similar to the one year advance notice Apple gave on the demise of Shake.

    As for the relationship between FCP X and Mountain Lion – this is conjecture, though Apple apps try to leverage the latest OS, in the case of FCP X, there is only one new feature in FCP X that leverages OS X 10.7 – which is the full screen display. I’m not sure how quickly Apple wants to make FCP X run exclusively on OS 10.8 — or the benefits in forcing users to upgrade to an brand new operating system.

    Larry

  17. Jeff Orig May 26, 2012 13:41

    This is pure speculation and wishful thinking but from a marketing standpoint it makes sense to keep the MacPros alive. In my opinion, it’s a classic marketing strategy to offer 3 choices: bargain, best value, and high end. This translates to Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. Having the Mac Pro in the line up makes the iMac and Mac Mini seem like a great value.

    I hope Craig is right and a new and more flexible form factor is on the horizon.

    If the MacPros die, we’ll live and do what we do best: get creative.

  18. Craig Seeman May 26, 2012 18:48

    Larry,
    While not a sure thing, a don’t think Apple acts irrationally . . . well not too often ;-)
    That the MacPro is still being sold (even one in the Apple Stores I visited) but not marketed as per FCP In Action, does mean they haven’t killed it and, barring something irrational, there’s likely a reason for keeping the channel going.

    As per the OS, maybe I’m mistaken but . . . Broadcast Monitoring is only available 10.7. Also, on my own network, “Add SAN Location” only works in FCPX from 10.7 as well. Additionally Apple has been giving away 10.6 (through MobileMe) with an offer termination of June 15th to facilitate moving 10.5 holdouts to 10.7. Of course they can release a new Mac with 10.7 but, just my speculation, it looks like Apple is really pushing people up the OS chain regards to using FCPX.

    Not that the MobileMe offer has anything directly to do with FCPX but it’s just another indicator that Apple is pushing very hard to try people generally into new OS features. This would be to push people into iCloud, which requires Lion. Lion must be updated from SnowLeopard (App Store)

    Personally I would use Shake as a comparison to MacPros. Hardware and its manufacturing costs are a bit different than software. Given the above Barefeats tests, there already are fewer reasons to buy a 2010 MacPro, other than the 12 core, than ever before.

    Maybe the delay one way another is just a function of a deep internal divide on the final decision. Even that would mean that there’s something already in wings that may or may not see the light of day.

    In fact, if Apple simply wanted to kill the MacPro, with no replacement, doing that as quickly as possible might increase the sales of the top end iMac. Sustaining pent up demand to not satisfy it whether through a new box or a current iMac, doesn’t make much business sense and I just don’t think Apple would be that self injurious when it comes to hardware sales.

  19. LeoHans May 26, 2012 19:28

    How current top line MacPro compares to current PCs?
    Could it be that the reason not to release new MacPro until… (don’t know when) is because actual MacPro is ok considering that the OS itself is taking better use of the hardware and the actual evolution of thunderbolt market does not justify to release a brand new one yet?

  20. Tim Monaghan May 27, 2012 02:14

    Great Article all the way up to your last point.

    “can you imagine what it would be like creating movies for an iPad on a Windows system?”

    Well in terms of CG of couse I can because macs are generally absent in this area… Editing may be a different story but film editing is platform neutral unless your dedicated to FCP 7 “RIP”. That being said, Avid is still stuck in the nooks of a lot of production offices and Adobe Premiere is turning into a real player in this space. Probably due to the introduction of FCP X.

    I love my Mac Pro… boy I really do! However I need a relationship with my hardware provider and the absent of news is like clinging to a love affair after the other half left and won’t return my phone calls. Sure, she may come back home but I just can’t be in a relationship like this.

  21. Steve Steele May 27, 2012 16:52

    Thunderbolt could theoretically take the place of PCIe, and eSATA, and internal drive bays, but it can’t take the place of large RAM per CPU requirements. For the large orchestral film scores, and large pop productions I deal with, I will always need very large amounts of memory that is directly linked to the CPU. No current Apple product other than a MacPro type form factor can accommodate that type of flexibility. Components are getting smaller and perhaps at some point an iMac that holds enough RAM, and a bunch of Minis (if they meet the requirements – Qnode), used in a Distributed Audio Processing network might be the future. That means DAW manufactures will have to support Distributed Audio Processing, or hope that Apple doesn’t kill Logic Pro.

  22. Pk May 27, 2012 23:27

    Hard to believe that apple would be so short sighted. Without a macpro many pros (businesses, employees, freelancers, etc) will have no choice but to move to windows based pcs. Students will have no reason to hone their craft on a Mac. Schools will be less inclined to purchase macs. These users will have less incentive to purchase iPhones, iPads etc because the benefits of integrating data on all devices will no longer apply – in essence the ‘halo” effect in reverse. Is it not in apples best interest to maximize exposure and use on all fronts???
    I’ve been using a Mac since ‘85. I run my home office on a macpro. I’ve personally converted dozens of friends and family to become Mac users. For the first time in my life I find myself entertaining the idea of having to run a creative office with a windows box and the consequences of such a move.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position. The pro market may be small but can apple be so blind as to not realize the consequences and the bigger picture?

  23. Marcus Moore May 28, 2012 00:54

    @Pk I really don’t think they are that blind. And my reasoning for this comes down to one idea. If there’s no MacPro, what is Apple itself going to use for those tasks? Apple needs a workhorse machine, even if it is only for 1% of it’s user base. The interesting part will be seeing if they just update the existing form factor, or if they have a more substantial plan for a workstation beyond the “tower”.

    The rumour mill abhors a vacuum. So unfortunately, the longer Apple remains silent, the more speculative commentary will be written to fill the void. But it’s all just talk until Apple pulls the trigger one way or the other.

    But I really hope they announce something soon- just so we don’t have to hear about it anymore!

  24. LeoHans May 28, 2012 08:32

    Don’t forget we are just part of the pro market for Apple.
    There is a huge market of pro people that does not work with media: Developers.
    Serious programming projects needs a lot of CPU power to compile code. Even in a WWDC Apple talked about this.
    I think that if Apple has not released a new MacPro could be because one or more of the following:

    - Current state of processors does not justify new MacPro model.
    - There are plans for a different kind of Pro system (a new design with new technologies like optical fiber thunderbolt).
    - Retina display ready GPU.

    Current MacPro line is really fast. Perhaps MacPro power was not used until Lion and the 60bits apps. FCPX flies on it.

    Another thing to consider is that with thunderbolt (specially with optical no-yet released one) we are going to be able to add more RAM.

    Just some thoughts.

  25. Russtafa May 28, 2012 09:00

    Ryan P and Craig pretty much sum it all up.
    You need to look at the Intel roadmap to understand where it is all headed.
    Maybe a “cross breed” Mac Pro Mac Mini is the way to go as long as all the Thunderbolt interfaces are in place.

  26. Karl Edwards May 28, 2012 09:21

    I’ve been thinking about this… And I look at final cut pro x and I can’t help but think that it was designed as optimized for a laptop screen. when you consider that apples led cinema displays are essentially the same – designed to enhance the laptop experience… could macbook pros be the new mac pro?

    been on a mac pro tower all along and will miss having it sitting happily by my left leg each day but are we actually getting to the point with laptop speeds and thunderbolt where a large tower is not necessary any more?

    could be.

    still clinging to hope with final cut x…

    k

  27. William Hohauser May 28, 2012 12:28

    The clamor for a new new MacPro (and I am among them with certain conditions) brings to my mind something that has sort of been forgotten in our industry as we have become accustomed, even demanding, high tech turnover.

    I remember as surely many of you do, a time when professionals bought a major piece of equipment, be it photographic, motion picture or even video, and expected a lifespan of many years, if not decades. A friend of mine, a long time documentarian, still has his 35mm film camera (an Arri, I believe) he purchased in the 70’s although the call for it is nil at this point. Another industry acquaintance purchased a Roxbury animation stand in the seventies and although he is retired, the stand still operates. The first production house I worked for had an Ikegami 79A for a decade before moving to a chip camera. I am still using a JVC100 HD camera and it pairs up perfectly with their newer models for work that doesn’t require HDSDI quality recording (and there is a lot of that). My point is that Apple has built a tank with the MacPros (and even the G5s) and they know it. Many pros are happy with four and five year old MacPros and only a simple video card upgrade can make them FCPX/Motion powerhouses (not to include the potentials of cluster rendering). The big clog in my pipeline is DCP rendering and that is hampered by the software not the computer hardware.

    On to baseless speculation on my part: perhaps Apple doesn’t expect a 3 year turnover to be reasonable anymore (especially with chip development from Intel seemingly slowing down), maybe 4 or even 5 years just for the innards. For my money, if a new MacPro came out tomorrow and it was redesigned to actually fit in an equipment rack, I would be right there on line. If it was an incremental increase to 16 cores, well, that would be more of a balanced decision.

  28. Johan Lund May 28, 2012 16:49

    If Apple puts the Mac Pro at “end of life” too early, a lot of professionals will abandon the Mac platform.
    Perhaps Apple is simply waiting for the iMac to become a viable replacement for most professionals and then ditch the Mac Pro, keeping the number of unhappy people at a minimum.

    The Thunderbolt interface allows for new drives and other external gear needing high speed. So you don’t need to take the iMac apart.

    Besides, the iMac is much sexier than the Mac Pro now. :)

    One thing I’m dreaming of though is to be able to add more CPU to an iMac. They invented this grand central dispatch to improve multi core programming. Now they have their own chip factory making many smaller CPU’s used in phones. I wonder if they will ever put a bunch of those in an external box and let you add more processing power. Maybe thunderbolt isn’t fast enough yet, but some day it will be.

  29. Paul Jay May 28, 2012 17:25

    Buying BTO ram or SSD at Applestore is throwing away your money.

  30. Alan Lloyd May 29, 2012 10:48

    > I mean, can you imagine what it would be like creating movies for an iPad on a Windows system?

    I do it regularly, for more than one client.

    Content now, at least for clients that intend to be around next year, needs – more than anything – to be “create once, view anywhere” and that’s how we approach it.

    Would you not buy a house because a carpenter had used a Craftsman rather than a Stanley hammer in some of the finishing work? Really? Because that’s exactly what you’re advocating here.

    I like using any sort of good tools, though I have yet to find one that makes a good basis for religion.

  31. Stef May 30, 2012 04:41

    Great article, Larry! Here in Holland we have to rely on American blogs and sources, so we get the news even later ;-) But I’m already looking into the possibilities of combining a Hackintosh setup with, for example, an HP Z800. Hopefully Apple listens this time and continues upgrading the MacPro!

  32. Marcus Moore May 31, 2012 09:32

    On his 5by5 podcast Amplified this week, Jim Dalrymple was asked about whether he thought the MacPro would be killed. His answer was a simple, “No.”.

    For anyone who knows Jim and his site loopinsight, or his track record with with Apple rumours- this is about as solid a confirmation as we could hope for on an unannounced Apple product.

    For me, a comment like this from Jim means that we will be %100 be getting a new MacPro. Now the only question is, will it be a refresh of the existing hardware, or something entirely new?

  33. Larry May 31, 2012 09:52

    I’m getting a similar vibe. We shall have to see.

    Larry

  34. [...] frustrations about the lack of an updated Mac Pro. Final Cut Pro trainer Larry Jordan is asking Does the Mac Pro have a future? on his blog. Even Forbes has picked up on the story that “Apple Fans Want a Product the [...]

  35. Craig Seeman Jun 05, 2012 18:39
  36. Marcus Moore Jun 05, 2012 21:38

    Evidence mounting…

    http://9to5mac.com/2012/06/05/after-nearly-two-years-without-an-update-apple-to-finally-revamp-mac-pro-next-week/

    MacPro update next week with FCPX 10.0.5 in the next few weeks?

    Fun stuff.

  37. Ken Nicholson Jun 09, 2012 18:26

    “But Apple’s philosophy doesn’t prohibit it from pre-announcing the death of a product. If sales are already so low as to not justify upgrading the MacPro, then there is no significant harm to Apple’s business to saying that the MacPro will be “End of Lifed” by such-and-such a date.”

    Isn’t that what they didn’t do with FCP7? The extent of the uproar was exacerbated by the fact that they did not EOL it in a responsible manner. Rather that they had “re-invented editing”.

    Our company, like many others, is now in a position of having to migrate to something because at minimum, we thought that we would be advancing beyond 32-bit processing, single-format timelines and stable XDCAM support. We have 14 seats of FCP7 in-house and contract with another 17 outside editors to deliver our slate of seven national weekly shows. It is difficult enough to migrate the in-house portion, but we have minimal control over the contractors, whom we cannot include in a multi-seat license purchase.

    We are looking intensely at the Adobe suite, and not just for the toolset they have just released (although the integration of Prelude in particular promises to be a potentially significant factor in our mediaflow). And if we do that, what does the future hold for the MacPro? Do we further line Apple’s pockets by going with an iMac solution, or switch to Windows, creating yet another huge migration miasma.

    It’s funny how the initial rational for investing in Apple software and hardware was in no small part based on the single-source and stability consideration and now that very rationale has became the bane of our post ops.

    I just finished the book Insanely Simple. I read about Steve Job’s disdain for focus groups and committees. This has became a core component of Apple’s values and practices. They will NEVER listen to any outside opinions about what they should or should not do. People at Apple were fired or alienated for insisting on such tactics.

    You are correct that the MacPro decision has already been made. I just wish we could find out what it is. But at any rate and given their recent history, we’re not holding our breath.

  38. Stasi Bara Jun 11, 2012 18:54

    Hi Larry,

    I know you do not know what Apple is doing bc they do not show their cards, AND, I believe you are as connected as anyone on the professional mac user level. I refused the “sky is falling talk” with new FCPX. It does seem now the body of evidence is growing very strong that Apple is done with supporting the pro user by not adding thunderbolt or USB3.0 to the “new” Mac Pro.

    My 2009, 8 core Mac Pro is plenty fast via processors but not by how I get the data in and out of my system. It’s clear they feel the money is in the portable market. Like many, I can’t imagine creating on a pc but it seems like that is going to become more of a reality for more folks. I like the iMac’s but I’m not sure their graphic cards support my plugins like Noise Industry / FX Factory.

    The most ironic part of this conversation is the fact that Thunderbolt is complete overkill for the general consumer, but for the pro user, who can justify the expense, it isn’t included in their pro line. Hhmmm.

    I’m sure you have an email into Apple. Please let us know if and what you hear back.

  39. Willian Aleman Jun 11, 2012 22:36

    The news from WWDC is with no surprises, there is a limited MacPro for professionals: New Apple Mac Pro – N0 USB 3.0 – NO Thunderbolt – among No other options for high end video. Then, the current and future develoments of FCPX is that is going to run in an iMac or NoteBookPro in professional postproduction facilities. WOW! The kid next door with his iPhone 4 capability to record “HD” video and FCPX, plus this today announcement should be very happy.

    It seems to be that other than PC, the Hackcintosh will be the only way to go. The worst thing about Apple is that once they close their doors they throw away the keys so nobody can use them. No further licensing to other develpers, just nothing and without previous or ahead explanations. This is the new modality of making business in Apple’s World.

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