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Reader Comment: “Loss of confidence in Apple, what are our options?"

Get 2020 iMac 5K at B&H Photo.

The rapid changes and instability of macOS show Apple’s lack of concern (contempt?) for anyone using a Mac to make their living. Compatibility with software people rely on is clealy a NON priority, and it is particularly damaging to the workflows of pro users, and educational and other institutions, where software goes into “production” and needs to continue to run and run reliably for years.

The foregoing should give pause to many a professional. It is why MPG strongly recommends the “toaster” model: if your computer works, do NOT upgrade macOS to a major new version. Leave it alone and let it toast your bread perfectly until the day it dies.

Andrew V writes:

So what are our options?

Although I am not a “Pro” user by most definitions, I still want a machine that can:

1) Handle the wide range of activities from business applications as such accounting and tax (which is run Windows 10 using VMWare Fusion) to hobbies (amateur photography/video) and entertainment center to run my large uncompressed music/video collection.

2) Run flawlessly for 5-7+ years (like my previous 2009 and now 2013 Mac Pro).

3) Somewhat future proof in terms of specs whether upgradable or not - again the 5-7 year mark.

4) Operate a well constructed/designed and useful operating system (unfortunately this has been like a slow death march since 2006 with my first iMac).

5) Keep the cost reasonably down. Why does a module system have to start at $6000 even before adding the monitor? (I don’t count the Mac Mini as being a true module system) The starting price is an enormous leap from the 2013 Mac Pro line.  I bet the desktop case alone adds $2000 to its cost; they are asking $400 for matching wheels and $999 for the monitor pro stand.

My main concern/fear is applicable to either spectrum: 

A) Buying an existing Intel based Mac computer only to have Adobe/Microsoft stop software upgrades in favor of the ARM based Macs.

B) The ARM based Mac will most likely have even more issues both hardware and operating system and upgrading all of my software will be an added expense and untested experience. 

Waiting too long to make that decision will leave me with only the ARM based Macs.

I have lost my confidence with Apple.  They seem to believe that it's the hardware that is most important to the user (thinner, lighter, sleeker, etc..) and the more they focus on that the more individuals will believe it too.  For me, it has always been the operating system, the smooth integration between products, it just worked; at least it did several versions ago.  

So what are we getting now?  Hardware with issues (16” MacBook Pro) and software that is more concerned with emojis than actual working use. A bad and ever growing sign of the future.

Maybe the Mac Mini is the way to go for now and see what the future brings……  At least if it all goes south, I will limit my losses and the add-on parts (monitor, external drives) can be reused with a (gasp) Windows machine. 

Just trying to figure out what to do.

MPG: I’m trying to figure it out too.

At this point I have a Mac Pro and though I’ve partially rejected the 2020 iMac 5K, I might buy one simply because I want the best of the known while I can, before we are forced into an unwanted macOS Big Sneer and new hardware that likely will underperform for pro users (possibly excepting video) for at least a year or two.

I don’t want the hassle of macOS Crapalina, and I don’t want to waste $600 upgrading my Catalina-incompatible accounting software, but I might resort to Parallels Desktop to deal with that compatibility issue. It’s a question of balancing my priorities.

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