Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apple's Mac Pro update

At the World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) yesterday, Apple released a slew of hardware upgrades.

Many of them look very impressive—not least the flagship retina display MacBook Pro. However, your humble Devil has always been a Mac Pro user—I require the expansion capabilities that the power tower offers—and, in this respect, I can only echo Shawn Blanc's comment...
Not much new — no USB 3.0 ports like the whole MacBook lineup got today, and still no Thunderbolt. Why did Apple even bother?

Quite. This is the first update that the Mac Pro has had in two years, and Apple have elected to omit all of the pro hardware features.

I would like to think that Apple have given the standard model a small speed bump, and little else, simply to keep sales going whilst they prepare for a massively revised model later in the year.

However, I fear that this is not the case. Instead, this derisory update lends credence, I think, to the rumours of the Mac Pro's imminent demise.

UPDATE: I may have called that too soon. Via Daring Fireball, I see that MacWorld reports that a customer sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, essentially stating something similar to the above, and Cook replied thusly:
Thanks for your email. Our Pro customers like you are really important to us. Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year. We also updated the current model today.
We’ve been continuing to update Final Cut Pro X with revolutionary pro features like industry leading multi-cam support and we just updated Aperture with incredible new image adjustment features.
We also announced a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display that is a great solution for many pros.

This is good news.

Regardless of the actual state of the hardware, I love that Apple executives reply to their customers directly like this: Steve Jobs did the same thing.

As far as I am concerned, if the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company can be bothered to respond to a customer via personal email, that is indicative of great customer service across the company.

UPDATE 2: to compound my annoyance, the latest OS X version—Mountain Lion—will not run on my 2006 Mac Pro. So it looks like I shall have to wait until next year until I can upgrade both hardware and software.

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