Nothing Real and Photoshop for X
Last week Apple acquired Nothing Real, a high-end graphics software maker located in Venice, California. This comes on the heels of other Apple purchases of small software and DVD-related companies. Analysts expect the acquired technologies to appear in future Apple products.
Forum member KitsuneStudios has thoughtfully stated in various posts that the release of OS X versions of important software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop, will make a significant difference in the sales of Apple’s pro-line machines.
I expect Apple to make a major sales effort in the creative markets, leveraging its newly acquired technologies to enhance its product offerings. I believe Apple is working diligently (albeit quietly) to ready new pro products for the summer and fall of 2002.
The new iMac will no doubt be the focus of Apple’s attention until manufacturing meets up with supply. But I expect Apple’s focus in terms of publicity and products releases to turn to the pro market in time for WWDC.
I believe KitsuneStudios is correct. The release of Photoshop for X and other important OS X software releases will increase sales of Apple’s pro machines. I also believe Apple will soon be releasing new products designed specifically for creative pros and commercial studios, gaining share in areas once reserved for companies such as Sun and SGI.
What are your views? Will the technologies Apple has quietly acquired over the past several months help bring major commercial studios to the Mac?
Absolutely. I also expect Apple to market Mac OS X as a “pro platform.” There’s been virtually no marketing of OS X up ‘til now; I think it will start with the release of OS X 10.2, which I’m expecting at MW Tokyo in late March. I’m sure we’ll hear all about PhotoShop on X, Apple/Genentech BLAST, and some of Apple’s new high-end creative applications.
Later, when the G5s arrive, Apple will be in a very good position to push their pro line.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wilby on 2002-02-10 21:59 ]</font>
Architosh currently has several interesting articles concerning future high-end hardware from Apple, including Quad-G5s.
Pixar provides the pressure for Steve Jobs to get into high end graphics, such as Nothing Real’s Shake and Tremor. I read recently where Pixar just purchased IBM workstations running Linux to replace SGI units throughout the company. That has got to piss Steve off to no end, and I think he will be working very hard to make a product that his own company can use. Of course the purchase of 400 IBM’s to be completed next month (March) makes me wonder how close a G5 is.
Do people think the market is stable enough for Apple to be making purchaces? I just don’t want to see this bite Apple in the behind later down the road… It seems like a good decision to me, I just hope the market doesn’t go funky.
Actually, Apple’s aquisition is a really smart idea, when you consider the recent push in the technologies Apple has been focussing on. Apple has been striking hard in the video category, bith with iMovie and Final Cut Pro. You might be surprised how many editing studios use iMovie for basic jobs and rough cuts, before taking the project into Final Cut Pro.
Apple systems have always had a strong showing in the creative industry, but weaknesses in the product line have left them vulnerable to Windows NT and SGI. The lack of top-level 3d applications (the _real_ reason Pixar is using Linux ststions instead of Mac IMHO, since the most current high end of Maya and the plugins aren’t Mac capable yet) means that often people have to create 3d graphics on a PC or Unix workstation, process the files using a 3d-aware compositing program, then send it to the Mac for video and post production. As great as After Effects is, it’s not a strong 3d compositing program, and lack support for all the features of 3d render formats like the RPF (Rich Pixel Format) files.
Because of that, Apple has a disadvantage: if workflow begins on a PC, and can continue on a PC, then why buy two computer system when one will do? Fortunately, Apple video production is superior to most (if not all) PC variations, and video systems are configured differently from 3d workstations, allowing them a foot in the door with large creative companies.
Nothing Real gives apple strong 3D compositing abilities, while the recent push towards the GeForce 4, Maya, and MacOS X finally gives them a foot in the door with the high-end 3d. Suddenly, Apple has the ability to compete directly with Windows NT/XP for the graphics workstation market. Apple can’t do this alone, they need to rely on Motorola and/or IBM for the PPC chip increases to match these workstations for processing power, Adobe to port Photoshop for MacOS X, and Maya to bring the MacOS X version of Maya in line with the other variations available to the creative community. But having the software in place to do this is a huge step, and can help Apple encourage both developers and users to come around. This won’t change the opinions of 3d users and graphics professionals overnight, but it’s certainly a leap in the right direction.
This is a good market for Apple to be in. Workstations have always been a great high-margin area, and are upgraded more frequently than consumer and office systems, to take advantage of new technologies. While the pieces for a real explosion in the market won’t be ready until at least the end of this year, I think when it does, happen, it’ll be huge.
BTW, thanks for the nod, DawnTreader. =)
Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.