The Critical Path #87: De Gustibus

In the first part of a post-WWDC “doubleheader”, we look back at AirShow and begin our dive into the keynote, with regard to Apples hardcore product Mac Pro, Mavericks, iTunes Radio, and examining discovery versus playback.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #87: De Gustibus.

  • Walt French

    I see the Mac Pro as serving two purposes.

    First, it’s a signal to its developers — most of whom don’t need the intense capability but will find it economically leveraging — that they are valued, that they deserve a really sweet device because they’re Apple developers. Google does a great job of reminding ITS developers and advocates how savvy, empowered and cool they are; this box will do some of that for Apple.

    Second, I take it as the prototype for Apple TV Pro, a high-powered box for gaming, movies, internet-in-a-pinch and (did I say?) kick-butt gaming. No, a TV box can’t be a “Pro” product, but it CAN be something attractive, signaling its owner’s socio/gaming status. Rather than a hockey puck that you hide out of sight, an Apple TV built with this design language would signal its family membership with the most attractive power box on the planet.

    • Dennis Baker

      One of the underlying themes of this year’s WWDC Apple telling the world they are seriously committed to the PC was a separate platform. The improvements to OSX, and the release of the Mac Pro are a giant middle finger at Microsoft’s ‘no compromise’ version of The Pro is Apple’s way of capturing the high end of that market.

      The Pro will appeal to developers and gamers to some extent, but it’s target audience is video and audio professionals. The ideal audience is the medium and large production shops who currently story their video on Networked Storage. Animation houses are going to scoop them up. I can also see these being popular with people who do a lot of math and science number crunching.

      Much of this discussion boils down to pricing. If the Pro is priced below $2,000, I can see it being hugely popular. Much over that and I think it will be limited to actual professionals who require that horsepower. Particularly when you add in the cost of more expensive expansion. Gamers… already don’t care for the lack of upgradability, I suspect most developers would be happy with the pro for a long time, but it’s hard to justify a price much beyond $2k when the iMac is so powerful and comes with a $800+ display.

      Apple now has what is arguably the best PC for every price point from $600 – $10,000. The mini also doubles as a very modular rack mount server.