Steve Job's vision of a future "Mac Pro"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IceMacMac, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    Think of a future "Mac Pro" as a "service" rather than a big bulky product. I honestly think that's how Steve sees it.

    I am still only beginning to grok why the Cloud is so important to Apple's vision of the future. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, where Apple launches it's own satellite network or something...Here is what I started to consider this evening:

    Instead of merely distributing data on the Cloud, what if we we saw Apple build distributing processing power into the next OS, and used their new massive data farms to churn renderings, simulations, etc.. Mondo power could be accessed over the Net.

    For a subscription service starting at $100 or year or could batch render any 3d model or mathematical formula remotely on Apple's processor farm. Your OS would tap into Apple's service..and attain Gigaflops of power. Software vendors could write easy hooks in the SDK, so that their application could tap into it.

    Granted 95% of apps have no use for such power. But the power users would dig it...and a big battleship computer like the current MacPro would cease to have much relevance.

    Apple would secure another revenue stream, and make both end-users and vendors all the more dependent upon Apple.

    Additionally Apple could sell this "Mac Pro service" to hundreds of millions of customers on a as-needed basis. It wouldn't even matter what device you were using: iphones, iPads, Macs...All could tap the same power. Surely Apple would begin to conceive, program and pitch true next generation applications that utilize virtual reality, and AI at a whole new level. Apple could use its marketing whiz to make customers line up to access Apple's Massive SkyNet.

    The circle would then be complete: Jobs would be the very Big Brother he satirized with the 1984 commercial. ;)
  2. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    At 1:16 AM quite a lot of ideas look much better than in the morning after ;)
  3. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Isn't this service already offered by Amazon ?
  4. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    As powerful standalone machines, quite a few people still need Mac Pros. On the other hand, powerful machines can still coexist with the "cloud". In the case that the cloud is blown away due to many unpredictable causes, one can still get things done with a powerful standalone machine. Still, many top-secret things are rather done with standalone machines so that supercomputers will be around for quite some time.
  5. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Cloud computing is moving faster than US ISP's can support. Apple cant expect users to buy into a service like that while they have to maintain a 250gb/mo cap. That is unrealistic.

    Actually, capped bandwidth and speeds make all of this "cloud" talk a little unrealistic. ISP's are completely at fault for stunting the growth of cloud based technologies. /rant

    Still though, I don't feel like the personal computer is going anywhere. The reason we get this type of speculation with the Mac Pro is because Apple doesnt want us to buy a Mac Pro that we can upgrade and use for 5-7 years. Apple wants us to buy a new Macbook Pro every 2-3 years once the non-upgradable parts become obsolete (CPU's, GPU's, etc)
  6. secondhandloser macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Wash, DC/ HSV, AL
    I came in here to post the first part of this.
  7. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Your idea was invented 40 years ago. It's called video dumb terminals connected to minicomputers.
  9. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Apple drones, that's the key. Unlimited bandwidth everywhere.
  10. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK
    Newsflash: most high end video workstations aren't connected to the internet.

    How does that work then?
  11. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    Heavy-duty cloud computing will work for rendering etc. (provided ISP's play ball) but the net's inherent latency would never work for stuff like music and AV.
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Isn't this the truth. There are area's that are still on dial up. I, along with others who are in the Mac Pro family are wonderin what the future holds for the Mac Pro.
  13. drjrg1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I was about to order a new DT horse with every thing- to go with my new AIR purchased 5 weeks ago - which is now outdated by the new release. So I don't intend to purchase a new super desktop. I had been "fantasizing" on Apple's web site and last week received a note from Apple ( I didn't know they watched the carts) that they had no FireWire to FireWire cables anymore-personally I felt that was a big hint that the BIG MAC was soon to change. So am waiting to buy one while I sit and play with my new outdated MacBook AIR!
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Just let me know when 10Gb NIC's and guaranteed bandwidth to match with no data caps happens and the cloud will be in business. Until then it is an overused phrase to blow up bubbles. Nothing more.
  15. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
  16. Clive At Five macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

    May 26, 2004
    St. Paul, MN
    Exactly. This is also the reason, by the way, that Apple has converted their "desktop" line into immobile laptops, save the MacPro. The long-awaited "xMac" will never be.

    I was going to say... I though we evolved PAST having gigantic, building-sized, shared computers... why would we go back to that model when it only appeals to 0.6% of the population?

    If this comes true, I'm going to immediately tap that thing to mine Bitcoins.

  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't know that Mac Pros are going to be replaced by the cloud anytime soon (maybe some day, and probably in Korea or Australia or someplace where there's better internet infrastructure, and not the US), but the vast majority of the population is now making pretty heavy use of data centers and centralized computing. But it's much more iPhone than Mac Pro....
  18. Clive At Five macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

    May 26, 2004
    St. Paul, MN
    No doubt that "cloud stuff" requires these data-centers, but that's very different from centralized computing in my mind. Not to quibble over semantics or definitions, but I see the former as a hard drive and the latter as a CPU. The shared computers of yore were CPUs.
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Yeah true, but they are CPUs too in a lot of the applications -- Nuance's iPhone app as far as I know does voice translations on server-side CPUs, and LaDiDa and Shazam and the like work on server-side, I believe. In the Nuance case, for instance, it's a smaller step to go from this to being able to lower the client-side computer requirements for Dragon Naturally Speaking by using server-side CPU power too.

    Again, though, this is predominantly the low end of the market -- enabling phones and netbooks and MBA's to do more on less hardware -- not the high end of the market.
  20. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    The problem I see with all this cloud and "iCloud" stuff is bandwidth limitations currently. Although my ISP offers 10Mbit and better download speeds (I routinely download at 1.7 Megabytes/sec and higher), my upload speeds are capped at around 150k/sec. So uploading a gigabyte video file to the cloud would take a considerable amount of time. Music files would take time too. It just doesn't make much sense now. Until we have Gigabit connections, it doesn't make sense to me.
  21. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    what about security? Do companies really want all their rendering and trade secrets being sent through the cloud to apple and then back again? Also, ISPs are just now starting to cap bandwidth. Do you want to use up your entire cap in an afternoon rendering 3d?
  22. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    I'm not claiming any originality. But I think there is inevitability to this model.

    I've been arguing for five years with a Telecom friend that Apple or Google or both are going to build their own ultra-high-speed networks. He always scoffed, until Google started launching in some markets.

    If Apple had their own network they wouldn't strangle users with a pay-per-byte model...they'd make money through apps and services.
  23. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
  24. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010

    Your arguments against cloud-centrality (which I happen to agree with) hasn't stopped Jobs from forcing us to use the Web everytime we want to to install apps or the new OS.

    I argue that this Cloud model is going to get pushed on us from lots of angles.
  25. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    Only 0.6% of the population use apps that justify a MacPro. All too true.

    But what about full, deep Virtual Reality, artificial intelligence, etc? One could argue that software development has hit a plateau. But there are lots of every day applications that could utilize massive CPU power.

    -The ability to travel freely around Yosemite virtually...with absolute realism...from 5,000 miles away...

    -A virtual personal coach or therapist

    - An iRobot


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