Forced to telegraph future product plans, despite a promise to double down on secrecy
FORTUNE — Apple AAPL power users — professionals who do video editing and other computational heavy lifting with high-end software suites on multiple screens driven by top-of-the-line computer towers — have been taking it on the chin lately.
Mac OS X Lion killed all the older versions of Adobe’s ADBE Creative Suite and removed the all-windows Expose function many power users had come to depend on. Film editors who built their careers on Final Cut Pro found the latest upgrade almost unusable. And the Mac Pro — the powerhouse workstation of the Mac line — hadn’t seen a refresh in nearly two years.
According to Moore’s Law, that’s the same as falling behind the rest of the world by a factor of 10.
So when 9to5Mac reported last week that a new Mac Pro might be unveiled Monday at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, many of the 5,000 developers in the audience listened eagerly for a word — any word — about their beloved workstations.
That was bad enough. But when the Mac Pro appeared on Apple’s online store sporting a “New” banner but with none of the new chips or features lavished on the consumer-oriented MacBook line, the power user community went nonlinear.
Apple PR, which had been hoping to bask in the glow of its other announcements, went into high gear. The “New” banner was hastily removed from the Apple store and high level staffers were dispatched to call reporters — including the
New York Times
‘ David Pogue — to assure them on background that the company hadn’t given up on the Mac Pro.
Then word came from the highest level of all. CEO Tim Cook, who less than two weeks earlier had promised to “double down” on secrecy, took the time to compose an e-mail to a power user named Franz, who promptly posted it on the Mac Pro Facebook group. It read, in full: (via Macworld)
“Something really great” isn’t exactly a promise to bring the Mac Pro up to snuff. Or to address the rest of the power users’ complaints. But it’s a start.