Mac division has ‘lost clout’ with Jony Ive and Apple design team

By

imac2
Has Apple forgotten about the Mac?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Mac team has “lost clout” with the company’s industrial design group and software team, claims a new report, arguing that Cupertino has “alienated Mac loyalists.”

The picture painted by the article is of a division with a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key employees, and technical challenges — all conspiring to make the Mac one of Apple’s forgotten divisions.

The Bloomberg article notes that ever since last year’s reshuffle of Apple’s design team, meetings between the Mac team and the industrial design team have become less frequent. A similar thing happened with a reorganization of the software engineering department, which no longer separates macOS and iOS — and therefore invests most of its engineers’ time on the more profitable iOS.

“In the Mac’s heyday, people working on new models could expect a lot of attention from Ive’s team,” Mark Gurman writes. “Once a week his people would meet with Mac engineers to discuss ongoing projects. Mac engineers brought prototypes to Ive’s studio for review, while his lieutenants would visit the Mac labs to look at early concepts. Those visits have become less frequent since the company began focusing more on more-valuable products like the iPhone and iPad.”

As for the internal turmoil in the division, the article observes that more than a dozen engineers and managers working on the Mac have left over the past 18 months, with at least a sizable percentage put off by their lack of clarity about the “future of Mac hardware.”

One possible problem is the lack of a singular vision driving the division. Instead of having one concept to work on, increasingly engineers are — in the words of one source — “asked to develop multiple options in hopes that one of them will be shippable.” The result is that resources become more thinly spread than ever, while products ship later.

The rest of the article, while interesting, is more of a recap of the last few years than elaborating on this intriguing situation. Gurman lays out the lengthy wait between Mac updates — such as the Mac Pro, which hasn’t been refreshed since 2013. He also talks about “underwhelming” newer Macs, which have failed to find favor with Apple’s core audience.

What does it all mean?

It’s certainly a bit of a depressing picture. Of course, losing touch with the core audience for your products isn’t necessarily a problem — so long as you’ve got larger numbers of people you can appeal to.

As I’ve written in my daily “Today in Apple history” posts, one of the areas Jobs came under fire for when he returned to Apple was ignoring the education market, which had previously been a strong one for Apple. He also canceled plenty of projects, most notably the “clone Macs” that were a financial disaster for Apple even though they were popular with some power users.

The difference at this point is that Jobs was streamlining Apple to introduce products like the iMac G3 and the iBook laptop, both of which were phenomenally successful.

Today’s Bloomberg article, on the other hand, suggests that there are no big Mac refreshes in sight. And while Apple has paid lip service to its Mac legacy in recent years (like mentioning the old iBooks during the recent MacBook media event, or the 30th anniversary Mac celebration in 2014), we’ve heard repeatedly that the company is not interested in making major changes like merging iOS and macOS.

Personally, I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by Apple’s recent Macs, which have tended to feel like compromised machines from a creative perspective. I fully appreciate that iPhones make Apple the majority of its money, but there have been too many potentially exciting products that Apple has forgotten about. I’m a big fan of Apple in the 1990s, but I don’t want to go back there any time soon.

Do you like the way Apple is headed with its Mac division? Leave your comments below.

  • Larry Fulkner

    Idk, seem like this article leads me towards believing that Mac OS & iOS merging is more of an inevitability than ever. I mean….to be honest, I have never used a device more than my iPhone, and my iPad comes second to that. I think, the same can be said for most of the millennial’s out there. I think Apple is doing what they have always done…..think ahead. Hell…at this rate there’s nothing really stopping iOS from becoming a full fledge OS anyway.

    • mezzalope

      I get what you’re saying, but an iPad simply doesn’t cut the mustard when you’re a pro user. I’m a web developer, and quite simply, I need a computer, not a touch screen with no discernible filing system.

      I’m now at a cross roads. I’ve been a mac user for 20+ years and it was the gateway to other Apple products, to the point i’m now everything Apple from a technology point of view. The new MBP is a bit of a disaster and the complete lack of interest towards computers from Apple has me considering moving to a Windows laptop, and if I do that, i’m not sure if i’ll necessarily stick with iOS products.

      Apple are making a big mistake here abandoning their oldest, most loyal customers in favour of the quick buck. They’re in serious danger of losing the things that made them one of the world’s best technology companies.

      • Larry Fulkner

        Yeah, I here u. But, would if it’s not simply abandonment, but just where the future is heading. I have a younger niece & lol, she just couldn’t wrap her head around why I would be using a mouse & not touching the screen like on my iPhone, lol. She thought the mouse was harder to use. Don’t get me wrong…..I do understand where your coming from, but even Microsoft is trying to team up with Arm, to create x86 apps that can run on arm chips.

      • uniquename72

        Is your young niece a professional graphics person? 3D rendering, maybe? If not, then what is the purpose of your comment?

        Apple became what it is by having an extremely loyal following made up of nearly every creative professional in the Western World. Now they make gadgets for children and laymen, and have left the pros behind.

      • Galaxy_Surfer_007

        Hyperbole +4

        “Now they make gadgets for children and laymen”

        “left the pros behind”

        :-)

      • Larry Fulkner

        No, but she could be in the future, and I just wonder what will catch her interest, and the interest of the generation before her. I know that they will want the power, but I don’t think they will be attracted to the type of devices that we see as power Machines today. This situation feels like when Apple started to focus more on the iMac rather than the Mac Pro. Seems like it’s just simply a sign of the times. Not about, loyalty to a small faithful group. That can destroy companies (hanging on to the past) being to afraid of the future. Look…. this is just my opinion. We will see what happens, but it’s looking pretty good so far.

      • Peter

        If the new MacBook Pro is not enough for video editing, music creation or basically any other ‘pro’ occupation – then perhaps you’re not such a ‘pro’ after all and should go back to the basics ?

        It has more than enough power for everything you might potentially throw at it.

        But sure, suddenly ‘pros’ are abandoned because what, 16gb of ram ? Yikes, it’s going to take a few more seconds compared to a 32gb machine, horrible!

        Seriously, all those ‘pros’ complaining on all the ‘tech’ blogs – I really doubt they are actually professionals – because I imagine a true professional would have better things to do than crying all over the internet about a freaking 9$ dongle or some other stupid thing like that…

      • adam

        Wow is this post a bag of clueless. Lots of pros actually could use 128GB of RAM and 1000x more CPU power (industrial designers being one group. You’re either a pinhead spreadsheet suit guy (the ones that destroy organizations with their pinheaded decisions) or if you are a digital creative/programmer then for sure one that shouldn’t earn money doing it

      • Hannibal

        Peter, a few seconds can add up when doing rendering.

      • Framz Ferdomamd

        Totally clueless–and obviously believes in Apple Infallibility.

      • josephz2va

        Problem is everyone is behind on advancements including Apple. Apple isn’t even in the competitive market anymore against game changers like Microsoft. Apple is slightly higher than Android and higher than Microsoft on the Mobile Division, but Microsoft is much higher on the laptop division when it comes to mobility and stylus usage.

      • Larry Fulkner

        Yeah, true….but advancements for who. To the younger & younger generations, maybe mobile is the only thing that really matters to them. I think the companies that will win the future, are the ones that focus on bringing more & more power to the mobile devices, because that’s where the generation that will own the future’s focus is. We could even say that Microsoft almost destroyed there company hanging on to the past with Win 8 & there still in a horrible state when it comes to developer devotion on there platform, because of it….. and in this day n age, without developer support, u almost have no platform.

      • BAM. Fellow Designer here, and spot on.

    • Devoted Honky

      eat shit dwarf

      • Larry Fulkner

        ……?

  • TheMadTurtle

    I’m glad I bought a new MBPro when they came out in late 2015. It’s been the best PC I’ve ever had. I was pretty underwhelmed with the update. Seems like unless you actually need a touchbar for some reason or have some weird thing for USBC adapters (not judging), you could save tons of cash and get the previous model.

    I can take the merger of macOS and iOS is small doses, but I still need my computer to BE a computer for the most part. My iPhone and iPad are handy because they’re portable but I still do a TON more on my laptop.

    • Galaxy_Surfer_007

      Well, let’s see. New models have clear advantages over last year’s.

      1. Stereo, richer sound.

      2. Brilliant, far bigger display.

      3. Full color gamut.

      4. Touch ID.

      5. Lighter weight.

      6. USB-C. (Yes, I know many would say that’s a negative becaus of dongles, but get a USB-C to USB-A or hub and that’s not much of an issue.)

      7. Wildly fast SSD; step up from past models.

      8. Touch Bar.

      9. Larger, more adept trackpad.

      There are some definite negatives: the revamped keyboard and abandonment of MagSafe.

      However, the killer — even deal breaker — is what seems to have happened to battery life (great reduction in run time).

      • Hannibal

        Have you not heard about the battery fiasco?

  • Peter

    Apple has become too arrogant and drunk on its own success.

    Lackluster products, alienating long time loyal fans, pompous and arrogant CEO that preaches equality and caring about environment while conducting massive tax evasion scams in the same time and arguing he should not have to pay taxes because he creates jobs…

    Apple just screams greed and hypocrisy right now. And sure, they have shitloads of money and will be fine for many many years but… be careful, you might not see it for years but problems will come if they don’t change something soon.

  • HammerOfTruth

    I think the bad attention the new Macs are getting will change Apple’s attitude about the Mac. Sure more people are using iOS, but iOS is getting buggier every release.

    The refresh of the last Macs wasn’t as popular as Apple would have hoped.

    It might take a repeat of the 90’s to get Apple’s attention. Jonny Ive was there at that time and responsible for the 20th anniversary Mac which was terrible. Ive is not the savior of Apple, he needs a sounding board that is not afraid to tell him when his ideas are wrong and why. That was the relationship of Jobs and Ive.

  • dorkus_maximus

    At the end of the day, the CEO sets the company priorities. Apple should not be a place for various people to work on vanity projects, no matter how high up they are in the organization or how close they were to Steve Jobs.

  • dorkus_maximus

    I think Apple no longer sees a role for the Mac in its current focus on personal, rather than business, users. If you don’t need to manage your files with a Mac or get updates via your Mac or store your data on a Mac, it’s harder to see why someone who only uses computers recreationally or for personal productivity would need a Mac. Years ago, Apple had the “digital hub” idea with the Mac at the center and stuff like iPods or iPhones or now Apple TV, etc., as satellites. But if the hub is iCloud, what’s the point of the Mac. In a way, the Mac isn’t going away, it’s being absorbed into these other devices. Unless Apple can see a point to having this other device (Mac) it won’t invest in it.

  • Under Cook there’s far too much talking about stuff, but far too little actual stuff. Yesterday he said there are great desktops on the roadmap. That’s the thing with Cook they’re always on the roadmap when they should be in the f**king stores.

    That’s the opposite to how things used to be under Jobs. Really, how hard can it be for a company of this size to keep its product lines from falling into obsolescence? I’ve been in the market for a good Mac desktop for a year now, but Apple doesn’t have anything to sell me other than underpowered and dated hardware. I’m on the verge of a self build Hackintosh purely because of the lack of new product. Make no mistake, we’re already well into another Apple “Performa Era.”

    Of course I get the argument that says “it’s all about mobile now” and you know what that’s fine. If that’s the direction Apple wants to take let them come out and say it; I’m using an iPhone (I have an iPad too, I just don’t use it) “because” I’m on the Mac platform.

    I like very much cross platform apps like Fantastical and OmniFocus and it’s this that’s been keeping me loyal. But if Apple is going to drop the ball on desktops how long before they find laptops too much of a chore? Well I won’t be waiting to find out. I like my iPhone and I’m sure the V8 will be great but you know what, without the Mac to keep me locked in I’m off. However good the iPhone is, and it is good, nowadays there’s no shortage of premium quality Android handsets. Moreover the Google Assistant is miles better than Siri and Google are now in the Home Automation Speaker Game along with Amazon. That’s an entirely new category of products and one I’ve a need to get into in order to manage the increasing amount of IOT devices around my house and, of course, Apple isn’t even at the races yet, unless you count HomeKit which will get you precisely nowhere when it comes to home automation.

    The peculiar thing here is, and in fairness the article does mention this, that Apple is allowing a core product line stagnate – actually two lines because they’ve been dropping the ball on Laptops too – for no apparent reason. They’re NOT breaking out fantastic new products anymore so what the hell are they doing?

    I know that some people have, or used to have, absurd expectations of Apple, if they weren’t inventing an entire new category of product every 18 months Apple fall from grace was confidently, and absurdly, predicted over and over again. Yet here they are NOT breaking out “entire new category of products” for years on end while NOT even keeping their existing products refreshed. This is bonkers.

    Apple, while they certainly continue to deliver great figures (for the moment anyway), has run out of momentum under Cook. He’s been in this job since 2011 and it’s abundantly clear by now that he isn’t anything more than a skinnier Steve Ballmer.

    Yes he can wring profits, absurdly great profits in fact, out of Jobs’ legacy but that’s where it ends. Apple is now accumulating a massive amount of “innovation debt” and under this guy I don’t see things improving.

    This company has become complacent and lazy on his watch, sad. Cook should recuse himself until he has something to talk about, i.e. PRODUCT! He’s in the press far too often waffling on about politics and other BS. That’s the generous view, increasingly it appears to me that he needs to go because barring something totally unforeseen (and Apple seem to be out of the totally unforeseen business nowadays) the growth curve is about 18 months away from hitting reverse. By then everyone will be baying for his blood. He can still go out on top by managing an orderly and dignified exit and assisting in the head hunt for someone with the vision to take this company forward.

    For the record, I don’t get off on beating up on Apple; I’ve been on this platform since 97 and their devices, particularly the Mac, have been a great enabler for me but I think it’s time for Mac fans to stop pretending that there isn’t something seriously wrong at our favourite tech company. You can just feel the complacency and self satisfaction that’s taking up the space formerly devoted to innovation and product delivery.

    • pootsack

      Perfectly spot-on!

    • Larry Fulkner

      IDK, I here u…..but something tells me that I’ve heard this all before. It’s the same rumblings that I heard when they released the MacBook Air. This is how it’s always been, Apple has always been a tiny tad bit form over function company especially under Steve Jobs more than anything. The super pro users get mad with every new release, & the newer generations buy the device in droves. The device is improved with newer iterations, then that design becomes a sort of PC laptop standard. IDK, why we insist on pretending this is any different. There’s no doom & gloom, no Apple has lost there way, none of that. I year from now, we’ll all be celebrating, and buying the next Mac Book Pro. It has been like this with ever Apple product redesign, even the iMac. The team at Apple has learned a lot from Steve Jobs. They don’t give 2 SH!T$ about complaints of there new releases, and if it’s something that the huge majority really doesn’t want, they just give it another shot next year. But, there always looking toward the future & and not carrying loyalist baggage around with them. These are things that Steve Jobs lived by.

    • Whomp.

  • Dave

    I’ve been wanting to say this for some time but the Mac Pro and Mini should be hived off to a new wholly owned company Apple co (think Filemaker) and left to run with whatever they want to do, using macOS of course (with a few extensions etc not suitable to IOS – Laptops to follow in a 2 or 3 years). As stated in the article Phones, Watch and Services are where Apples focus lies now, and thats how all companies evolve – new products/new markets and vice versa.

    As a Artist/Designer I weep when I see the price of Macs/iPad pros compared to the not that shabby and we should be honest here, Windows/Android alternatives. Every co should always price their products at what they think the market can bear but as already stated, I now think after 26 years of being a Apple & Mac supporter, that Apple just doesn’t care, ‘we’ are just not important or profitable enough.

  • Kira Kinski

    Apple has abandoned the professional space, period. All its efforts today target the larger more profitable consumer space. This in itself is not a bad thing, but it’s unforgivable that Apple has alienated many long time users who kept it alive when times were bad. Apple’s idea today of hardware development is how thin it can make a device. Who cares, when form takes precedent over function? Not prosumers, power users, and professionals; that’s for sure. At the very least, Apple should make one laptop and one desktop, powerfully flexible machines that can be upgraded and expanded. And it should stop dumbing down macOS. Either that, or just give up that space altogether and license their OS to vendors who are willing to step up to the challenge of building the very best user experience possible. You know, that which Apple claims but does not, as its walk does not match its talk. Apple is squandering the goodwill of a small but highly influential and loyal user base. How sad is that?

    • utarasone

      Yes, and what Apple is forgetting is that creatives are trendsetters. Eventually, that stuff trickles down. If, all of a sudden, people begin seeing Surface Studios being used to make “Star Wars 29”, Surface Studios will see a serge in sales. Even wannabe filmmakers on YouTube will think they need one. And right now, it’s Microsoft who is trying to speak to creatives, even naming the next iteration of Windows: “The Creators Update”.

      Or perhaps Apple hasn’t forgotten that creatives are trendsetters; it’s just that Apple thinks creatives will never leave Apple for Microsoft. But that is a big risk to take, especially when even high-end Windows machines can be so much more affordable.

      Today, everyone is seen with a MacBook. But if Apple isn’t careful, that could all of a sudden turn into Surface Pros at every coffee shop. I’m sure MySpace thought they had social on lock when Facebook was only for college students.

      • Larry Fulkner

        This is true, but I think Apple has gone so far past that now. I think in the past these super power machines for creatives were trend setting machines, until the iPhone was released. After this device, everything has changed. Were in a world today, where I can guarantee that the Surface Studio never pics up steam. With IOS and Apples echo system, they have the holy grail of tech company success. The people love, and buy there devices (especially mobile) then because of that, the developers are super devoted to there platform, not because of Apple evangelism, but it’s where the consumers are and love to be. This is something Microsoft, and even Google would kill for, and an extremely hard place to reach. Just look at Microsoft’s situation when it comes to developer devotion, it’s abysmal. Microsoft, even now as we speak, are trying to work with Arm to create x86 apps that run on arm chips, because these so called mobile devices is where future generations will be most comfortable.

      • utarasone

        I agree with how you portrayed Apple at the moment, but that stuff can change. Don’t underestimate a new generation’s ability to not care about Apple at some point. Apple is in danger of becoming like a washed up band: once they were rock stars, edgy & cool, but now they are playing safer music, losing that”rock & roll” attitude.

        A newer generation might be right around the corner—one that won’t remember the biege boxes of yesteryear, but will see the interesting attempts by a company like the new Microsoft (just as an example). Apple products used to be things people aspired to own, but now everyone has something with an Apple logo. At the rate it’s going, Apple is going to be something that parents use, while the kids will be looking for rock & roll.

        For people who want to “Think Different”, Apple is boring. Apple is The Man. Apple is the large face in the “1984” commercial. Apple is soft rock, VH1. Apple is the Scientology of the tech world.

      • My Friendly Atheist disqus acc

        “what Apple is forgetting is that creatives are trendsetters.”

        Bingo! When I was getting ready to graduate college in the mid 90s all of the creative students would go to look at places/studios they wanted to work at or get an internship with and all came back knowing they needed to get a mac since that’s what everyone was on. So kids throughout the late 90s suddenly saw all the film students where using macs. They went to parties and saw all the DJs where on macs. The cool designers who made the great posters around campus where on macs. The creative kids where all on macs since thats what the studios used. And this trickle down effect of cool just kept building into the early 2000s when developers started using them.

        I remember having a producer once buy one of the iBook Clamshells to write scripts on just because she wanted to be on the same computer the editors where using. Hell, a lot of the reason you would see a lot of apple computers in TV shows back then was because that’s just what people where using was on set when someone yelled ‘hey we need a laptop in the shot”. Being seen with a Mac back then really did mean you where a creative professional. That’s what made Apple ‘cool’, and the iStuff while great on it;s own, had a kinda ‘hook’ that allowed non-creatives to ‘buy into’ that image.

        Sadly though the ‘joke’ that macs are for people who want to ‘look’ like they are creative while they sit in a coffee shop is actually become not a joke anymore. It’s already happening that those next gen creatives in college are going back from their tours and thinking ‘I need to get a high end windows machine since that’s what the studio is on”. And there goes Apples ‘cool’ image for the next gen.

  • CapitanNotedus

    Rumors can be (in part) true, can be totally fake.
    In these past years of “Apple is doomed” refrain we’ve read many things which were not adhering to the truth at all. Including fake “Gates” (capital g is voluntary).
    Thus I personally tend to put them on the latter category, than the former one. Especially since the new MacBook Pro has already swiped away many similar “news” from last year.
    Despite some user thinks she can use Photoshop for 10 hours straight on a laptop.

  • Jacob Markey

    “Great products in the pipeline”? If he means this, “Mac fans shouldn’t hold their breath for radical new designs in 2017 though. Instead, the company is preparing modest updates: USB-C ports and a new Advanced Micro Devices Inc. graphics processor for the iMac, and minor bumps in processing power for the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.”, then he is lying or delusional.

  • Rammy

    As far as I am aware, there have been no iOS apps developed on iOS machines. Mac’s are a must.

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    Great reveal! Appreciate the column. It explains a lot about what,s been going on (or not going on) with th Mac line up.

    ———————————–

    A writing tip (grammatical nitpick). You’ve used “like” where you should have used “such as”! It’s a common error, but masks a major difference in meaning.

    “Like” = similar to whereas “such as” = examples of.

    You wrote:

    1. “The difference at this point is that Jobs was streamlining Apple to introduce products like the iMac G3 and the iBook laptop…”

    2. “…we’ve heard repeatedly that the company is not interested in making major changes like merging iOS and macOS.”

    In both cases, you clearly meant “such as”!

    As a writer, I hope you appreciate having thst pointed out!

    • utarasone

      “As a writer, I hope you appreciate having thst pointed out!”

      Uh huh. Nice attempt at English policing there.

      Fail.

  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    We are forgetting the amazing MacBook (yes, it needed one more port). And, the new MacBook Pros have incredibly good features (see other comment).

    So, even if these stories are true, they don’t mean that there haven’t been some ground-breaking developments.

  • MacJedi56

    Apple does not ‘need’ Macintosh hardware sales. In fact, it will not be long before they will abandon ‘hardware computers’ altogether. With Virtualization as all the rage, it is inevitable that we will all end up with a desktop in the cloud that we remotely connect up with through our iMegapad. The only thing we get to choose is threads/memory/storage/bandwidth.

    Until then, Apple would do us all a favor and sell off the Macintosh to some group that wants to do something new, unusual, popular and cost effective. Then more people can dump the stupidity of Windows.

  • utarasone

    “Great artists ship.” —Steve Jobs.

    I think the problem is that Apple USED to be run by a dreamer who posed as a busineman. While now it is run by a businessman. [full stop] This has happened before to Apple; however, this time Steve won’t be coming back to save things.

  • utarasone

    “Something really great coming in 2013 for pro Mac users.”
    —Tim Cook, 2012

    “We have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.”
    —Tim Cook, 2016

  • mike077

    Abandoning or diminishing the Mac is suicide for Apple. It would be like Ford diminishing the pickup truck. It affects everything else. At a deeper level, Macs are still at the core of Apple (so to speak). Whether Apple execs grasp it or not, the Mac and macOS are still the drivers of productivity and innovation. They should ask themselves what they design iPhones and iPads on, and then proceed accordingly.

  • William Donelson

    When Steve Jobs was alive, Apple was all about his ego, about being The Best, about being perfect in every way… AND he was a genius.

    Now, Apple is all about Money. Feel the difference?

  • As a graphic and web designer, I rather prefer a desktop machine. But I am using a mid-2010 Mac Pro. Earlier today I was looking at graphics card, memory and SSD upgrades to keep the machine in service till the inevitable software upgrade forces me to retire the machine. As it stands the machine does not support Mac OS X’s latest technologies, and the current iMac is arguably the higher performance machine. The new Mac Pro intriguing, but far too costly for what Designers earn these days, not to mention having to replace ALL my externals. It is even less appealing having not been upgraded for over THREE YEARS.

    At any other company, that would be a clear sign of a discontinued product line. While Tim Cook assures us that Desktop Max are still part of Apple’s product line, the only referred to the 5K iMac. No mention of the Mac Pro at all. While perhaps Apple has not written off professional users, we are clearly no longer the core market we once were, or a priority at Apple. Apple has position the iMac as the desktop computer for most pro users, and also aimed named the new iPad Pro at the creative market. But for serious professional design work, especially web development, and working with clients, where we need a discrete file system, we need capable desktop machines.

    Furthermore, all the attention has been on mobile and specifically iOS, I don’t see myself or any other developer building iOS apps on an iPhone. I do realize that the insane waterfall of money that the iPhone and related products represent for Apple compared to macOS absolutely is going to divert attention and command the lion’s share of Apple’s attention resources and focus. Of course, Intel has contributed with their rather desultory release of desktop chips, especially at the workstation class. But without a doubt it puts the future of Apple desktop computers in question. They have been losing a slow trickle of professional users for years, and I am also wondering whether my next computer, out of professional necessity, be on a different platform.