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Is a Switch to Windows My Inevitable Future?

Thoughts on my visit to a Windows store and Apple’s Mac Pro announcement

I’ll admit that I’ve become more and more worried with the situation of us pros and Apple. Lately an eventual switch to Windows has felt like an inevitable future. So much so, that when I was last at the mall, I walked into the Microsoft store.

The store is such a blatant ripoff of the Apple store you can’t help but chuckle. I looked around at the poor souls looking at all this stuff and saw the Surface Studio. It’s gorgeous. The display is beautiful and the new mouse and keyboard look really great. I thought to myself, “Let’s see how far Windows has come since 2007.” I opened up what I believe to be Cortana and began to type. I accidentally hit the letter H and when I went to delete it to try again, it froze. I walked out.

I’m not saying an Apple device has never frozen on me, but never for hitting the delete key. Still, as terrible as I may think Windows still is (many love it), it doesn’t change the fact that they hadn’t updated the Mac Pro since December 2013, they’d left the display business, and in general Apple’s actions seemed to point to iPhone being the most important thing.

Now, I understand how that makes sense. iPhone is a very lucrative source of revenue for Apple. But something that hasn’t made much sense is the fact that they need developers to make software for the iPhone. That requires pro-level hardware.

Also, Apple has been removing ports like it’s going out of style. TJ Draper had this to say:

I’m a pro and I need these ports to do the things I do as a professional. Remove all the ports from the non-pro devices. It makes sense and it allows things to move forward. But space is not at a premium in the MacBook Pro — particularly the 15”. So let’s not remove ports for no good reason. Please, Apple, remember what pro means.

TJ nailed it. I felt like Apple was forgetting what “pro” meant. Well, it seems we finally got our answer. I’m pretty excited.

John Gruber, one of the five journalists picked for the tech equivalent of going to Mars except you don’t die in the end, has an excellent writeup on what Apple is doing with the Mac Pro. In it he quotes from Phil Schiller who gives the juicy (but still Apple-like ambiguous) details1:

With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.

Gruber’s whole writeup is worth the read, but this one quote is the one that made me feel like Apple hadn’t forgotten me. I don’t personally own a Mac Pro, but their investment in it is important for all of us pro customers.

Not to mention, they’re getting back into the display business. Which I’m so happy about because the collaboration with LG has been rocky to say the least. The screen is about the only amazing thing about this display. The I/O is virtually non-existent. It’s sad for LG who ended up making a mess out of an great opportunity.

In short, this is excellent news. Apple knows they messed up, and are taking actions to correct course. Yes, we won’t see any of this stuff till at least 2018, but it’s much better than “Apple is very committed to the pro market” junk they’d been feeding us before.

Things feel a lot better now and I can finally cease my apparently unreasonable expectations of Windows being at least “okay”.

  1. All Apple executive quotes are from Gruber’s post.