Who will beat MacOS?

fatboyhouston

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 6, 2014
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Hi all, reasonably new (2015) Mac convert here. I’ve been Windows all my working life through necessity (never worked for a company that provided Macs). I decided to try a Mac partly for Garageband, and partly because my phone was Apple. So I bought a refurb 2012 Mac Mini, and boy do I love it. So much that the following year I got a used MBP2015 13”. Both machines are a joy to use, although I know they won’t last forever. And I’m seeing plenty of frustration on these pages about Apple’s decisions on form factor & gimmicks vs true “Pro” credibility.

So I’m wondering, if Apple continues to move away from the focus on Pro hardware, whether another OS or hardware provider will come to the fore and tick those boxes solidly enough to take away Apple’s Pro user base. I’m not thinking Windows/PC, more something that provides everything we love about MacOS (including it’s ease of use) and combines it with hardware that’s beautiful but genuinely pro (and that must surely include user upgradeable).

Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already via ex-Apple engineers forming a company to provide the machines they must know we want. After all, there’s only room for one Jonny Ives at Apple.

I’d be really interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on why this hasn’t happened already, or if it ever will. Cheers.
 

Stephen.R

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Nov 2, 2018
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if Apple continues to move away from the focus on Pro hardware
As they say in Wikipedia, [citation needed].

Yes there have been some stumbles of late with faults in QA, but I'd argue that right now their focus is pretty good for pro hardware, given what's been released and what we've been officially told is in the works.
 

StellarVixen

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Mar 1, 2018
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Apple is currently standing on the shoulders of giants.


From 2011 onwards, Mac OS is pretty much the same, and that didn't bother much people, because desktop operating systems are already mature products, and there is little of people who would like to add or subtract from their functionality. That is why Mac OS got away with stagnation. Had it been iOS, people would have ditched it long ago.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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So I’m wondering, if Apple continues to move away from the focus on Pro hardware,
Please give examples or details as Apple's departure from the Professional sector? They've reiterated their desire to provide pro hardware, their MBP marketing is aimed at pros. They rolled out the iMac Pro specifically designed for pros, and a promise of a modular mac that will be targeted for pros. All these moves are counter to your thesis that apple is moving away.

While I think Apple is experiencing an erosion of its core fanbase, its not because they're actively moving away from that them.

Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already via ex-Apple engineers forming a company to provide the machines they must know we want.
Probably because there isn't any likihood to make money. The desktop/laptop market has largely been in contraction, why start a computer making a product who's market is shrinking. The last year or two has been one of growth, I know but the fact remains that market itself is mature and there's little chance a new competitor can carve out a machine that will entice professionals.
 
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chrono1081

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Jan 26, 2008
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And I’m seeing plenty of frustration on these pages about Apple’s decisions on form factor & gimmicks vs true “Pro” credibility.
You can't really go by what forum users say, most of them aren't pro users in any sense of the word, not to mention there's no definitive scale to what a "pro user" entails.

A big problem is people what all bells and whistles included, even if they don't use them. Back in the day this was a common attraction but over time all hardware manufacturers realized this was kind of silly and the additional ports/options just took up space. Stuff got trimmed, laptops got smaller, and then people seeing these extra options disappear started crying about how stuff "wasn't pro" anymore.

There's nothing I can't currently do on both my Mac Pro desktop (which is now approaching 9 years old) and my MacBook Pro which is about 2 years old. I run whatever software I want on both of them and they're both very fast.

Some software I use on a regular basis includes:
Modo
Mari
ZBrush
Houdini
Substance Suite (Painter and Designer)
Unity
Xcode
Photoshop
Affinity Suite
After Effects
Final Cut
Logic

And a slew of others. I do a lot with my computers.

The biggest gripe people have about the MacBook Pro is that they have four USB-C ports, but I don't see that as a limitation. I personally almost never have to hook something like HDMI to it but when I do, adapters are available (and the projector room I hook it into has a keyring of adapters on the projector so I don't even need to carry my own). Others may need to carry a few adapters until peripherals catch up and become USB-C. This thing happens EVERY time a USB standard (or standard in general) changes. One company pushes ahead (usually Apple like they did with floppies) and everyone screams and cries about it for the next two years.

As for the Mac Pro, Apple listened and has stated multiple times they're working on a modular Mac Pro, which would be incredible but I'm sure people will cry about that too when it comes out and find a way to say that a modular upgradable system isn't "pro".
 

Starfia

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
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fatboyhouston,

I'm glad to hear about the favourable conversion. ^ ^

I think you're correct that some people have griped and criticized Apple's use of "Pro," though it's hard to tell whether that's a sweeping opinion or just a few hypey loud people.

I'd agree the 2013 Mac Pro (the futuristic-looking black cylinder) does seem to have something of a reputation for not having been as future-resilient in terms of their choices: for example, Apple was betting on the then-current version of Thunderbolt, and imminent industry support for multiple graphics processors – both predictions that didn't pan out.

Ex-Apple engineers have done some cool stuff, but goodness. Exceeding the two-decade monument of macOS, and the combined skills of the groups that design the hardware alongside it would be one hell of an achievement for a few rogues. Maybe it's possible, but we're talking about better than the best in the history of computing, aren't we?

(And that's "Jony Ive," by the way. Unless you were joking.)

Apple seems to have acknowledged this as a misstep, and spent recent years listening more directly to what they consider the pro community to rethink the philosophy behind their upcoming products. John Gruber typed a good article about this here: https://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

Since then, the iMac Pro launched in 2017, and the new Mac mini – clearly tilted toward power users – in late 2018. (Not even to mention the extremely impressive iPad Pro). Mojave became more geek-workflow-conducive with custom Finder actions.

The Mac Pro is the big remaining mystery, and it seems possible we'll finally see some kind of unveiling at the WWDC keynote in early June this year. Among the only things considered positively known are modularity and future-resilience.

So, "if Apple continues to move away from the focus on Pro hardware…"? They appear to have been doing the opposite, and the best is allegedly coming soon.

I'd love to hear what you think in June; I hope you'll join us to watch. ^ ^
 

Release

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
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Please give examples or details as Apple's departure from the Professional sector? They've reiterated their desire to provide pro hardware, their MBP marketing is aimed at pros. They rolled out the iMac Pro specifically designed for pros, and a promise of a modular mac that will be targeted for pros. All these moves are counter to your thesis that apple is moving away.
I think that a lot of the frustration (at least in my case) is that there are different levels of "Pro" that Apple seems to forget about. For video professionals, yes, they have a few machines that will work well for them, but for graphic designers, those machines are too expensive and frankly overkill for what we need. The iMac's are almost 2 years old now. I'm not sure its fair to say that they're ignoring the "other" pro-users (that aren't doing video).... but we certainly don't seem to be any kind of priority anymore.
 

maflynn

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I think that a lot of the frustration (at least in my case) is that there are different levels of "Pro" that Apple seems to forget about
I won't dispute user discontent, and that in of itself has fueled some degree of an exodus (that might be too strong of a word), of formerly dedicated mac users.

ut we certainly don't seem to be any kind of priority anymore
Agreed, Macs have long but the red headed step child of Apple, taking a back seat to the iDevices.
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Please give examples or details as Apple's departure from the Professional sector? They've reiterated their desire to provide pro hardware, their MBP marketing is aimed at pros. They rolled out the iMac Pro specifically designed for pros, and a promise of a modular mac that will be targeted for pros. All these moves are counter to your thesis that apple is moving away.

While I think Apple is experiencing an erosion of its core fanbase, its not because they're actively moving away from that them.


Probably because there isn't any likihood to make money. The desktop/laptop market has largely been in contraction, why start a computer making a product who's market is shrinking. The last year or two has been one of growth, I know but the fact remains that market itself is mature and there's little chance a new competitor can carve out a machine that will entice professionals.
True, but Apple's hardly getting it right, given the slew of design issues with it's hardware and decreased stability of it's OS. IMHO Apple only wants association with professional usage for the Halo effect to make it's base users feel better about Apple's overpriced offerings.

Apple's all about the image and that's why IMP & MP are in existence as the tech press was literally shredding Apple for it's lack of diligence. Apple will hardly move any volume of such products, equally Apple cant pretend to be a provider of professional hardware with nothing of any substance...

Q-6
[doublepost=1551704786][/doublepost]
I won't dispute user discontent, and that in of itself has fueled some degree of an exodus (that might be too strong of a word), of formerly dedicated mac users.


Agreed, Macs have long but the red headed step child of Apple, taking a back seat to the iDevices.
No exodus is correct, personally I've never seen so many drop the platform...

Q-6
 
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leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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I’m not thinking Windows/PC, more something that provides everything we love about MacOS (including it’s ease of use) and combines it with hardware that’s beautiful but genuinely pro (and that must surely include user upgradeable).

Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already via ex-Apple engineers forming a company to provide the machines they must know we want. After all, there’s only room for one Jonny Ives at Apple.
You might be trivializing the complexity of such an endeavor. There are companies that make user-upgradeable pro-level hardware but that’s usually very niche products that have little chance at the general market.

And there have been many attempts to make convenient distributions on the base of a Linux, but such systems have been most successful as either office boxes or again highly specialized tools. Linux is just too fragmented and you’ll need a lot of money and incentive to attract high-quality commercial software.