Let me make one thing clear. Im an Apple fan. Well, thats not completely true. Im still an Apple fan, but Im hanging on to the last straws, simply because Apple is gradually turning its back to the graphics and printing industry. Which of course is my opinion. You guessed right, Im a creative dude. Ive been working on Windows machines for quiet a few years. Being a fresh starter in the creative industry, my budget was very limited, so I could only afford the best deals Windows XP machines. Yes, I could have bought an iMac, but the all-in-one solutions did not attract me. I was afraid that when the video card would die on me e.g., I would have to wait too long for the iMac to be repaired (which is evidently a no go for me). So, a desktop was (still is) the way to go. Something breaks, you swap it yourself and youre back in business in less then a day. Fresh starters become more successful (not the lame ones maybe), so that was the case for me too. Resulting in an increasing cash flow and budget. So, why not a Mac? Its not uncommon for a designer to consider Mac at least once in his creative lifetime It was early 2008 when my Windows XP Little Shuttle PC kicked the bucket aka ceased to be. By coincidence it was also time to get a newer version of Adobe Creative Suite. I had to update Adobe (more than one step) and buy a new computer, so the Mac consideration popped up in my mind. Well, the Vista story pushed me a bit too. I was hearing and reading horrifying stories about it And lets agree, the security of Windows in general has never been one of Microsofts strong points (Its related to their success bla bla bla, I know) So, there it was, my new Mac Pro 3,1 double quad core 2.8 Xeon machine with 6 GB of RAM and a finger licking design. Did I mention I could hardly hear the machine when in action? Together with the Apple 23 Cinema Display and the flat aluminum keyboard, I could open my studio to the world. Beautiful as it was. Thats what design and designing is all about, not? The machine was pre-installed with OSX Leopard. I had a bit of a hassle with it in the beginning, regarding the beach ball of death, but it was fixed rather quickly. Peanuts compared to most Windows problems. I installed the new Adobe CS4 on it and I was ready to go. Some time later I upgraded to Snow Leopard and that gave me some anomalies with CS4, but not worth mentioning really (just annoying). Now in 2012, Im still working with the above setup, but Im feeling like investing again. Being a Belgian, investing into your business, even when nothings broken, is logical. Ask my government why (not that THEY know, but thats another discussion). Now, Im thinking of ordering an Eizo 27 IPS panel for some serious soft proofing and because of the fact that I enjoy working with the best tools for the job. I dont like compromises. Im a professional, right? I would use my current Cinema Display as the second screen. Now Im using a silly Philips 17 inch square troglodyte as the second screen (its a good screen really, but its old and a bit burned out). Why an Eizo and not a 27 Apple Cinema Display? Well, thats because I need an actual monitor, not a mirror. With that best-of-the-best-state-of-mind, the logical step is a new Mac Pro (imho). But wait, Apple did not update the Mac Pro range since 2010 and some benchmarks show that the iMac (with an i7 CPU) is now the fastest Apple computer. We are 2012, I have a 2008 Mac Pro model and I can only buy a 2010 Mac Pro model? Thats awkward. Maybe Im missing the technological knowledge to really understand the differences between the iMac and Mac Pro, but I cannot help having worries about the Mac Pro not being updated for 2 years and Im still not interested in all-in-one computers. What worries me the most are the rumors about Apple dropping the Mac Pro completely in the very short future (hell, maybe today). Due to the fact that air, pod, pad and phone sales are the main income of Apple now. I called Apple support with a simple question: is Apple still supporting the creative industry or did it turn its back on it? Some friendly lady answered that Apple still supports the creative industry, but in the same conversation she stated that many designers and design studios now work with the iMac and an Eizo screen attached to it. When I told her that nobody I knew in the business (and I know quiet a few people) was using a glossy screen (I refer to the iMac screen of course), except the ones that have never heard of calibrating, she became a little less friendly. She told me that it was absolutely no problem to work with an iMac for that kind of work. I told her that it would be a bit silly to buy an iMac with a screen that one would barely use, because all the soft proofing is done on the Eizo. She told me designers use the glossy iMac screen to check their mails and surf the web... What a great idea! Problem solved Not. The bottom line is: Apple dropped the matte Cinema Display, so now everybody is using the Eizo (or alternative) and the Mac Pro is outdated (and maybe dropped) thus designers should work with an all-in-one solution (with a useless glossy screen). But thats not all. I mean for me. I cannot just upgrade to Lion (or buy a new Mac Pro with Lion), because that means upgrading CS4. I need at least CS 5.5 to make it work properly on Lion. But wait, Apple just released a press communiqué about the newest OSX. Mountain Lion. Seven months after Lion, really? So what now? Wait for Adobe CS 6, just to be sure it runs without bugs or other complications? Wasnt it Apple that said: it just works? If I wanted complicated, I would still work with Windows, right? Lets sum things up. I need a new computer and a new version of Adobe CS. That does ring a bell, doesnt it? With all the hassle Im having, buying a Mac Pro with a stable OS that runs a compatible Adobe CS x.x, the Windows path is becoming very actual again. I was always the one joking that people never go back to Windows once they start using a Mac, but 4 years later, ironically Im the one considering Windows again. I dont know, but it feels like more professional today. Especially when you check the specs of Adobe CS 5.5. It runs on XP, Vista and Windows 7. Which is evidently a wider spectrum of choice. For me that means more compatible. Maybe I should dare saying, more supported There was a time when Apple was the premium choice for the creative industry. Today Apple is a consumer electronics manufacturer, if you ask me. Its nice to have an iPhone and an iPad, but what more than toys are they really? My business does not need that. So what is the conclusion? Microsoft is for work and Apple is for fun?