There are many technical and enterprise professionals who come to depend on Apple's hardware and software. In fact, their livelihood may depend on these products. Then, when Apple makes a course correction, the howling begins. It's happened so many times with Apple, it's hard to keep count. It's time to size up the howling, the aftereffects and the opportunities.
Apple has its business to attend to, and other companies have theirs. That's a frequent source of partnership, but also a cause of potential friction. In the case of the Final Cut Pro X snafu, video editing professionals were generally appalled with the changes and limitations of the new app, and they steadfastly clung to the previous version.
Apple, on the other hand, almost always understands the impact of its actions. For example, in previous times, Apple needed the support of scientific and UNIX professionals in order to promote (Mac) OS X. In time, as the iPhone and iPad became the vast majority of its business, Apple's emphasis on the UNIX and scientific aspects of OS X mostly dried up. There were bigger fish to fry.
Here's another example. A decade ago, when universities and research groups saw the power and simplicity inherent in rack mounted Xserves, they built clusters with huge computational power. In time, Apple saw high performance computing and clusters as a low ROI market, and moved on to tablets and smartphones. These changes in direction allowed Apple to grow enormously as the company left progenitor markets behind.
Similarly, when Apple saw a market opportunity to simplify Final Cut and broaden its appeal in the larger population of casual video editors, it seized the opportunity. The same goes goes for the late 2013 Mac Pro. It's a giant leap forward, but some professionals are still tied to the concept of the massive box with all kinds of internal expansion and storage. Or a rack mounted server. That's not where Apple wants or needs to be nowadays.
One might wish that Apple had consulted closely with its curent base of video professionals and stuck with them, but that's not how Apple rolls. Apple has never felt, deep in its bones, that it has an iron-clad obligation to support certain niche markets because doing so ties its hands with respect to growth in broader markets. I've seen that very process over and over, going all the way back to the (infamous) abandonment of OpenDoc in 1997.
When this happens, the technical professionals get in a huff and declare that Apple has lost its way and made them martyrs. Because these professionals are experts in their field and their business has been affected, the hostility is heightened. But in the end, Apple always does what it thinks is best.
From time to time, Apple risks making a mistake, but I can't recall one that severely damaged Apple's growth prospects. The bottom line, is that when Apple does go its own way, creating a palpable sense of betrayal, it's always fodder for criticism that gets blown out of proportion by those whose business it is to criticize Apple.
Another, perhaps beneficial side effect is that some smart business people can jump in and fill the void that Apple has left. Different professionals have different needs, and often another company can cleverly fill the gap and make some good money. The way to do that is with an aggressiveness that makes Apple look bad, but then business is war.
Some competitors fight more charmingly than others, and that's the focus of the first item on the next page of news debris that highlights an ingenious video smackdown of the Mac Pro. When you read what appears to be a cool, objective analysis on the Boxxtech page, keep all the above in mind.
Next: The week's tech news debris.