SCENE 1 — INTERIOR
VIDEO EDITOR returns home to find that his long-time companion has packed and left. His head swirls with multiple emotions, from anger to revenge.
That’s basically the scene that played out in the heads of the Pro crowd when Apple unveiled Final Cut Pro X.
I get the feeling that a deeper truth will be revealed in the scenes to come.
Because Apple isn’t actually abandoning the Pros. They’re simply redefining what the word Pro means. FCPX is only the most recent indicator.
For proof of Apple’s diminishing interest in the old definition, take a look at the Creative Pro page on apple.com. The most recent case study here is almost two years old. In technology years, that’s the equivalent of 1.4 eternities.
This page is so ignored by Apple, it still features Final Cut Studio as one of the Pro products, even though we’re all painfully aware of its death. (Interestingly, they updated the link but left the image. Wake up, fellas!)
As the definition of Pro has changed, so have Apple’s priorities. That’s why iMac is now faster than Mac Pro. That’s why Aperture has remained an also-ran to Adobe Lightroom. That’s why the upgrade to FCP7 took forever, and why FCPX turned out as it did.
In the world of Apple, a Pro product used to mean “designed for high-end professionals with needs far beyond those of mortal men.” Now it simply means “the high-performance model.”
Most people don’t want a MacBook Pro because they’re Pros. They want it because it’s more powerful than a MacBook. Most people won’t buy FCPX because they’re Pros. They’ll buy it because it’s powerful and intuitive — and way better than iMovie.
So basically, if you aspire to owning the faster/better/more advanced computer or software — congratulations, you’re a Pro.
I’m not criticizing this change, I’m simply observing it. This is a business decision by Apple, reflecting a point in the company’s evolution when they need to delight the millions, not the thousands.
That’s not to say that Apple won’t continue to create products that are very useful for the high-end pros. It just means we’ve all got some adjusting to do.
SCENE 33 — INTERIOR
SUPER: Two years later.
Doorbell rings. VIDEO EDITOR opens the door to find his former companion, FCP. Warily, he invites FCP in. Things are different now. They’ve both changed. But despite their troubled relationship, somehow the spark is still there…