Digital Soap Box on “crippled” Mac software

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
July 17th, 2003 • 1:38 am

Thomas Fitzgerald’s Digital Soap Box has a good post about an issue that has been bugging me for a while as well:

Where are all the Quartz compositors? There is a powerful fast hardware accelerated compositing engine built right in to OX and yet no developers have taken advantage of it. Why doesn’t combustion or After Effects support Quartz extreme? Probably because it can’t be implemented on Windows. Where are all the G4 optimisations we were all told about years ago. It seems that very little professional software has its code truly optimised for the G4.

This effectively means that the Mac versions of many major software products are “crippled” or at least far from using Mac OS X and Apple’s hardware to their full potential. And it’s discouraging, because advanced Mac users just know the potential that their machine has and can tell that the software that they are running is not taking advantage of it.

But it’s a problem that goes beyond the Mac and is really closely related to the stagnant nature of the Wintel monopoly. Bill Gates talking about ‘”innovation” is up there with George W. Bush talking about “weapons of mass destruction” or “freedom”.

The only hopeful signs are coming from smaller Mac OS X developers. But none of them has the resources and market clout required to come up with alternatives for major pieces of software, such as Photoshop, Microsoft Office, etc. So the situation is that we have lots of smaller Mac OS X programs that are great and fully take advantage of the system and the hardware, and then big dinosaurs that are evolving and embracing new technologies at a glacial pace.

And then we have Apple’s own software titles… Some of them are “small” applications, but some of them are major titles, such as Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio. In the current environment, I’d say that Apple itself is our best hope when it comes to major software titles that take full advantage of Mac OS X and Macintosh hardware. I just wish that their efforts would extend to titles such as AppleWorks, which is in dire need of a major revamp.

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