When Apple announced its new Mac Pro at WWDC, the first thought of many customers was that they wanted it. Badly. Then reality sunk in; this is a Mac Pro for professionals. It'll be too expensive for the Rest of Us. However, here's why you'll need it anyway. And will love doing it.
Whenever a new Mac comes out that breaks new ground, the first reaction by many is: "Oh sure. It's cool. It's fast. But I don't need it." In time, however, we'll all come to realize that we really do need it. Here are couple of reasons.
1. Developers. Apple's developers spend a little money to make bigger money, so the investment in a Mac Pro or two will be recovered in several ways. First, current compiles will go faster, so better, more complex products can get to market faster. Plus, new products can be developed faster. But more importantly, the availability of a very, very fast Mac invites the developer to explore richer, more capable apps.
For example, if rendering in a game is almost realistic, the new Mac Pro will tempt the developer to shoot for photo-realistic. If a computation was too long to tackle and would make the developer look bad, this Mac will invite new computations that delight the user.
Of course, knowing that a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro from 2009 wouldn't be able to run this fabulous new app does give a developer pause, but one has to move on. The computational masterpiece runs nicely, and a Mac Pro may be specified as the optimal Mac. But the developer is unlikely to shy away from pushing the limits on Apple's fastest Mac just because a lot of slower Macs can't handle the app. Pushing frontiers has always been the norm.
The future's not back there. It's over here.
2. Ripple Effects. Once a Mac like this gets into the field by the hundreds of thousands, it will send ripple effects throughout the customer base that we might not appreciate today. It's speed, by its design, sets the bar. Soon, fewer and fewer customers are happy with what they have.
New peripherals that augment the speed will become available. Those peripherals, unknown to us right now, will flesh out the Mac Pro, enhancing its capabilities and making it look more attractive than the sterile view we have of it now.
Eventually, customers who felt like they didn't need a faster Mac will become exposed to new possibilities with the Mac Pro by friends, businesses, tech websites and Apple stores. They'll come to realize that their plan to fall a little behind in Apple technologies just isn't a good plan.
The near future is all about IPv6, 802.11ac, USB3 and Thunderbolt. One can only hold out so long before coming to the realization that this is a bold new beginning for Apple and desktops. In short order, it gets to be unnerving when one goes into an Apple retail store, and there's nothing for sale there anymore that works with an aging Mac. Soon the notion isn't "I want a new Mac Pro," but rather, "I need one to get on with my Mac life."
Finally, new faster Macs lead us down the path of doing new things in new ways. To be sure, a faster Mac isn't required for email and browsing, but new apps invite new adventures and new ways of doing things that couldn't be done before. In 1996 with 56K modems, it was inconceivable that one could, one day, download a feature-length movie in minutes, not weeks, and watch it in 1080p. Now we think nothing of it. The computational power of the new Mac Pro will invite similar adventures.
The question is, how long will you wait to get back to the future?
Image Credits. 1) Mac Pro: Apple 2) Future Computer Display: Shutterstock.