LabView design & test app abandons the Mac after four decades

Posted:
in macOS edited October 2023

Having been created on a Mac in the 1980s, LabView has now announced that its latest macOS update will be the final release for the platform.

LabView on Mac (right) (Source: NI.com)
LabView on Mac (right) (Source: NI.com)



LabView is a visual programming language tool that lets users connect virtual measurement equipment together to input and process data. AppleInsider staffers have seen it used across a variety of industries and applications to help design a complex monitoring system, or automate a test sequence.

It's been 40 years since Dr James Truchard and Jeff Kodosky began work on it and founded their firm, National Instruments.

The first release of the software was in October 1986 where it was a Mac exclusive. In a 2019 interview, Jeff Kodosky said this was because "it was the only computer that had a 32-bit operating system, and it had the graphics we needed."

Now National Instruments has told all current users that they have released an updated Mac version -- but it will be the last.

"LabVIEW 2023 Q3 on macOS, has just recently been released and is now available from NI.com," says the email sent to users. "This version has support for all current Apple-silicon-based chipsets, and the most recent release of macOS. We hope you find the product provides everything you need to create a first-class test system."

"In addition, we are informing you that this will be the final release of LabVIEW on macOS," it continues. "Starting with releases in 2024, LabVIEW will continue to be available on Windows and Linux OSes."

Saying that "we understand this... likely impacts your active and future plans," the company suggests moving platforms.

"The VIs from the macOS LabVIEW version will port easily to LabVIEW on Windows and Linux, often without changes," it says. "In addition, the LabVIEW for macOS that you purchased includes the right to download and use LabVIEW on Windows and LabVIEW on Linux as well, so you don't need to buy any additional software to do these migrations."

Users would, of course, need to buy either additional software such as an emulator, or additional hardware such as PCs.

"If you are unable or do not wish to, move your development to Windows or Linux computers," says the company, "you can continue using the LabVIEW 2023 Q3 for macOS development system indefinitely."

National Instruments says it will cease selling licences for the Mac version in March 2024, and will also stop support. LabView has also been sold as a subscription and National Instruments says it will switch users to a "perpetual licence for your continued use," though seemingly only if specifically requested.

As yet, there have been few reactions on the NI.com forums. However, one post says "This came as a shocker to us as the roadmap still indicates support."

LabView's move comes as, separately, Valve abandons the Mac versions of its "Counter-Strike" games.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Would be great to know why. Personally I’m. it going to switch to a PC just to play games or use LabView. Their loss is great for a future company that will do the opposite: exclusive development on macOS. Looking forward to that 😃
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    The Mac version doesn’t have parity with the Windows version anyway. For instance LV RT and FPGA are only available for Windows (maybe Linux).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    I just received an email that NI is part of Emerson now. I would have expected NI to be the larger company.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    I can understand Valve abandoning Counterstrike on the Mac. I don't believe any of them were ported to 64bit so were abandonware at best. None would run on a current Mac/MacOS.

    LabView 2021 was 64 bit.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Labview was a surprisingly well written and extremely non-trivial app. Of the three platforms, VIs on the Mac always ran fastest and smoothest. They just released a native apple silicon version over the summer.

    There isn't a clear winner to replace it.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,477member
    I just received an email that NI is part of Emerson now. I would have expected NI to be the larger company.
    Emerson has more than 10X the number of employees as National Instruments has. Emerson has grown substantially over the years through large acquisitions. They are a major player in industrial automation, process control, power distribution, etc., which generally don’t touch much of what Apple does. 

    The industries that they compete in and the software applications and tools that they produce are heavily oriented towards Microsoft Windows, and more recently, Linux. Their employees may use Macs for some of their work, but the vast majority of companies in those problem domains and markets are Windows clients, servers, and embedded servers. I’ve never seen a Mac based product used in a factory setting, but I’m sure there must be some out there. 

    All of these companies are strapped for employees these days so they may simply be cutting back in areas where it’s possible to do so without jeopardizing the company and their customers. 
    kitatitthadecwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Good thing Macs can run Windows natively, by booting into it, or with software like Parallels. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    mknelson said:
    I can understand Valve abandoning Counterstrike on the Mac. I don't believe any of them were ported to 64bit so were abandonware at best. None would run on a current Mac/MacOS.

    LabView 2021 was 64 bit.
    Lots of the work that was being done on Macs 25 years ago is being done on Linux now.  I guess you can say that Windows lost client market share to Linux (as ChromeOS runs on top of Gentoo Linux) and macOS lost workstation market share to Linux. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Flojoy is essentially an open-source, Python-based replacement for LabVIEW and runs perfectly fine on Mac:

    https://www.flojoy.ai/

    You can download Flojoy for free for Mac here:

    https://docs.flojoy.ai/getting-started/install/?platform=unix

    (Disclaimer: I'm a founder of the Flojoy project and company. If you have any questions about downloading or using the software, please feel free to ask here: https://community.flojoy.ai/)

    watto_cobraiqatedo
  • Reply 10 of 10
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,435member
    That sure doesn't look like a Mac app on the right. ¯\(°_o)/¯ 
    watto_cobra
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