Apple has certainly been pushing Mac OS X on its users and developers for quite some time, but it’s all starting to come together: Apple and its third-party developers are both pointing in the same direction with products that appeal to Apple’s strongest professional markets: creative and publishing. That’s the gist of a recent column in Interactive Week penned by Matthew Rothenberg entitled Mac OS X’s Publishing Pitch.
Rothenberg noted that while Mac enthusiasts and consumers can be counted on to make the migration to OS X eventually, Seybold Seminars gave Apple an opportunity to pitch Mac OS X specifically to publishing pros. “Creative pros who’ve spent a decade plus tuning their workflows for the Mac, however, need to see some real progress in the new OS’ performance and high-end features before making a significant capital investment in Apple’s gambit – especially under current, woeful economic conditions,” posited Rothenberg.
Rothenberg said that Apple was up to the task this past week with the introduction of Mac OS X version 10.1, which he said comes “within striking distance, performance-wise,” of what publishing professionals have become accustomed to with the older Mac operating system.
The event also gave Apple an opportunity to demonstrate other new Mac OS X technology that will benefit the creative and publishing crowd — support for the PDF 1.3 standard; ColorSync 4; improved AppleScript technology; and enhanced server communications with support for WebDAV and NFS. Rothenberg also commented on one of the highlights of Apple’s time on stage: The public introduction of AppleScript Studio. AppleScript is a technology long held dear by publishing and creative groups to develop custom workflow solutions. This new tool promises to enable AppleScript jockeys to apply custom interfaces and other enhancements to their scripts.
That wasn’t all, either, according to Rothenberg. He noted that Seybold was also a showcase for third-party application developers to demonstrate their support for Mac OS X — including Adobe, which Rothenberg described as taking “a couple of symbolic but significant steps” with its Mac OS X-native versions of Illustrator and InDesign, expected to be released in the next couple of calendar quarters.
“The absence of native Adobe apps has been a source of profound consternation to Mac veterans (including Yours Truly), and tangible delivery dates for these two important packages provide professional users important milestones when plotting their Mac OS X migrations,” said Rothenberg.
Rothenberg also commented on an apparent change of heart by Microsoft, which has made half-hearted attempts over the years to attract the publishing industry. “After rattling the saber of Windows NT at Seybold gatherings a few years ago, Microsoft has apparently ceded primacy in this market to Apple,” said Rothenberg, citing an anemic digital rights management presentation and a single product introduction.