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  • The Apple versus Microsoft hardware double-standard rears up again with the latest Surface...

    Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

    Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

    The additional $200 in the Surface Studio gives you a 28" touchscreen and a GTX1060 w/6GB in the entry model, which is far better than what Apple offers in the iMac 5K and even the iMac Pro.

    Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

    In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.
    Maybe the reason for the low Surface sales is that there are options from other vendors that sell similar devices with Windows at a lower cost.  Compare that to Apple, that is the only vendor of iOS and macOS devices.  Still, I find impressive how MS is doing after only six years in a saturated PC market. 
  • Apple modular Mac Pro launch coming in 2019, new engineering group formed to guarantee fut...

    macxpress said:
    larrya said:
    Should this really take 2 years??
    You realize that most Apple products that are totally brand new take many years to design, engineer, and fine tune before its announcement? This isn't just slapping parts together like a DIY PC and call it good. Apple is not Dell, HP, etc. If all you want is a bunch of parts slapped together then by all means, go get that or create your own.

    If you need a professional Mac in the meantime, the iMac Pro is actually a great Pro Mac to get. It will still have significant value, even next year should you want to sell it for a new Mac Pro.
    I suppose you have no idea the engineering and design involve in HP workstations.  I suggest you check the HP Z8, which is miles ahead off what Apple offers today.  This model is capable of 3TB of RAM (yes, Terabytes), two CPU's with a max of 56 cores, a three NVidia Quadro P6000.  Do you really think that a device like this is a "bunch of parts slapped together"? 


    In addition, these models have been updates in a frequent basis, so high end customers have the latest specs always.  There is no excuse for what Apple has done to the Mac Pro line.

  • Microsoft and MasterCard working on universal online identification standard

    If its online it can be hacked & stolen -- and identity theft is a growth industry.

    Why would I trust Microsoft with my ID?
    Actually, that's one of the big reasons why I stick to Apple products -- security and privacy.  They're not invulnerable, but they're better than the rest.   Far better.
    There is a large list of enterprises and business that trust MS authentication platform (Azure AD / AD) for their users and customers ID's.  And now they are moving to password less on their services and products, as a method to improve security. 


    Like you said, if it's online, it can be hacked and stolen.  But MS have been prove very solid from a security POV, specially with their cloud services.  I think that's the reason MC team with MS for this project.  
  • Editorial: Could Apple's lock on premium luxury be eclipsed by an era of good-enough gear?...

    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    One of my customers have some users with 9-year old Dell Optiplex.  Those PC's had zero issues after all of these years, and as today the run the latest version of Windows 10.  Different from your 2011 iMac, that latest macOS version you can run in it is Sierra.  Now most of my customers moved to Lenovo business PC's, some of them with 6-7 years with no issues.  Now they are planning to upgrade to SSD, since RAM and CPU is adequate for their tasks.  High quality PC's can work as long as Mac devices. 
  • Apple's MacBook sales growth may outpace both iPhone and iPad this year

    jcs2305 said:
    That's quite a bold statement given it's going to take something major for the 2015 MBP and even more for the 2012 Air users to upgrade given how bad the problems with the keyboards are, and waste of money touch bar, and dongle hell, and and and...
    You do realize they sell the MBP without the touchbar right? 

    Yes, there are MBP 13" without touchbar, but the MBP 15" has no option without touchbar. 
    avon b7irelandcanukstormwilliamlondon
  • Editorial: Will Apple's $6k+ Mac Pro require brainwash marketing to sell?

    madan said:
    Remember that it's 5999 PLUS TAX and Apple Care.  With those additions, that computer almost hits 7000.  If you upgrade the RAM yourself and the storage (the measly 256 GB) yourself, you're looking at another 500 dollars MORE.  And that's BEFORE you even look at a real graphics card.  The Mac Pro's 580 is only 30% faster than the AMD APUs in higher level 3400Gs.  30% over integrated graphics isn't "powerful".  So by the time you sink another 1000+ in a Vega 2 card, you're looking at least 8500 dollars (probably closer to 9000).

    And even then, you could build a Mac with 90% that performance for a quarter of the price.

    That is something I don't understand.  How a device that starts at $6K have only a year of warranty, while workstations from companies like HP, even their low-end models, include a 3-yr warranty with onsite service.  
  • Mac Pro's lessons learned will trickle down to all 'Pro' products, says project lead

    lkrupp said:
    ireland said:
    Anyone like to guesstimate what a fully speced-out new Mac Pro with display will cost?
    $50K at least. The 28 core Xenon CPU is $15,000.00 just by itself on Amazon. Pixar, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic and others will be buying truckloads of these machines. 
    The current 28-core Xeon W series is close to $3K, not $15K.  The other 28-core processor is the Xeon Platinum 8280, and it goes to $17K, but the Mac Pro don't have that option, considering is a single socket workstation.  You'll have to move to a HP Z 840, since it's a dual socket workstation. 
  • Editorial: Could Apple's lock on premium luxury be eclipsed by an era of good-enough gear?...

    Johan42 said:
    Diminishing returns is here. Apple’s planned obsolescence as well. Who will prevail? The customer who has no sense will.
    You’re high. Apple devices have the longest lifespan in the business — both in official support terms (iOS), and in real world useful lifespan. My primary desktop is a 2011 iMac. I have an iphone 4s that was used as a primary device by a family member until a year or two ago and now is a backup device. What other brand has the same support and lifespan longevity? 
    My Lenovo Thinkpad T60P laptop is over 12 years old and runs like it was new -- but with a modern OS and I'm thinking swapping its main harddrive for an SSD.  How does Apple have the "longest lifespan" ?
    Same here buddy. My MacBook is from late 2008. It is 11 years old, running smoothly , and it does so looking 5 times better than your machine.
    The difference is that the good looking machine is running an old OS X 10.11 while the ugly one is capable of running the latest version of Windows 10.  Following the original post about longest lifespan, the ugly one is ahead considering it's running a modern OS.  Still, both devices are to old for modern applications.  
  • Benchmarked: Razer Blade Stealth versus 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys

    This comparison reminds me of the days when Phil would do a speed test on stage with the latest and greatest PC versus the Mac, and the Mac would always win.  It was a smack down.  

    I think the best thing we can do as a computer community is show Apple that they persistently come up short, and that engineers ought to actually focus on the best specs possible, rather than settling for average or bare minimum for a premium price point.  

    I'd love to see Phil out there again with a MacBook Pro trouncing the competition like they did in the old days.  Sadly, when all of the components are off the shelf compatible to every other manufacturer, Apple would have to make the conscious decision to spec out a laptop with that specifically in mind, and it's my opinion that Apple engineers have no plans to be the best in regard to performance.  

    I am aware that a critical component to functionality is the OS itself and Windows 10 has made significant improvements in stability from what I've read.  MacOS is stable, and functional, while I believe we're well past the days of seeing significant improvements and speed increases from one version of the OS to another.  Most of us run the latest version and it "just works", much to our daily contentment.  I feel the significant disparity is revealed in speed of workflow throughput.  We've seen 4k become the standard for video, and HEVC has proved a significant space saver while remaining visibly lossless to the average user, yet creating more work to be done by the CPU and GPU.  I have not seen a noticeable speed improvement with the change of filesystem to APFS either.   When we're seeing other laptops outperforming the MacBook Pro, it's not only a loss of pride in the brand we choose to spend our hard earned money on, it's also taking more time because the laptops we're offered by Apple Engineers are less capable than those by other manufacturers.  

    It has been my opinion, for several generations of Mac products, that Apple Engineers have cared significantly less about performance, and more about esthetics.  While Apple laptops look nice, they fall short in providing the best performance for their Prosumer users, which is truly unfortunate for those of us who refuse to leave the Mac ecosystem.  When the components of laptops are largely from the same vendors and assembled by other manufacturers, it's harder to differentiate them.  While I hope Apple persists in incorporating more of their own chips into their products, I am finding it difficult to imagine the day when Phil will be back out on that stage showing us the Mac trouncing the PC once again.  At least the Mac will look nice though.
    Not that I disagree with anything you said, but comparing MacOS to Windows only on the basis of stability, is only part of the equation:   MacOS is generally more user friendly and world's more secure.  For me, security is a major selling point.   (On the other hand, Windows has more "apps" available).

    How do you get to the conclusion that macOS is more secure than Windows?  Personally I think both environments do an excellent job from a security POV. 

    And too:  Don't forget the entire Apple Ecosystem that simply doesn't exist in the world of Windows.   I love how my Apple Watch unlocks my MacBook and how my messages flow between my Watch, my phone and my MacBook - etc, etc, etc,....

    Don't forget that MS have their ecosystem too.  Two examples that come to my mind are gaming and business / enterprise.  The integration of the Xbox / Xbox Live and Windows 10 ecosystems is non existent in Apple devices.  And the business / enterprise ecosystem MS have is miles ahead of what Apple offers.  From what I'm seeing, both environments have excellent ecosystems, with a strength in some areas and weakness in other. 

  • Editorial: Will Apple's $6k+ Mac Pro require brainwash marketing to sell?

    danvm said:
    danvm said:
    avon b7 said:

    madan said:
    At its 6000 USD base price tag, the computer is a joke. [...]

    You could build a DIY computer with pretty much identical performance for less than 1500 dollars.  No, I'm not kidding.
    Not kidding, just ignorant. Please post your $1500 DIY version of equal performance. Then add additional cost for assembly, and support, which your DIY model doesn't have.
    He made his point extremely clearly. He repeated the logic behind it several times but you still ignore it and label him as arrogant into the bargain?

    He concludes, in his opinion, that the base configuration is extremely overpriced for what you get. His posts were to inform and highlighted (occasionally robustly) why
    he thinks that way. I think most people considering a purchase would be thankful for the opinion (independently of what they eventually do).

    He spelt things out in a perfectly acceptable manner. I wouldn't call that arrogant in any shape or form.

    When you filter out the 'noise' from this thread, there isn't much (if anything) that truly counters the information he has put forward in a convincing way.

    From my perspective, which is purely to watch the discussion and then weigh things up myself, I'm grateful for him voicing his opinion. Unless someone brings something to the table to counter his view on the technical and bang for buck aspects, I'll lean in his direction on this.

    Well, no one has brought up the fact that you can price the same set of components on the HP site and pay about the same or slightly more.

    So he’s basically saying a DIY person can do better, but the reality is anyone buying from HP or Apple or any other quality manufacturer is going to pay about what Apple is charging.
    The difference is that with HP (same as Lenovo and Dell) you can choose a mid range - low end model with the same specs.  For example, I configured a HP Z4 with the same specs as the entry Mac Pro, the cost is $4540.00, with the included 3-yr warranty with onsite service.   The HP is $1500.00 less than a Mac Pro without Apple Care.  The HP Z6 has a similar pricing.  
    From what I remember, in the keynote Apple showed a comparison with the HP Z8.  IMO, that's a wrong comparison, since the Z8 is in another league, considering is supports dual Xeon Scalable procesors (up 56-cores) and 3TB of RAM.  That's the good thing of having options, like HP, Dell and Lenovo does.  
    You're fudging your numbers here, because that is a sale price as HP clears the last-generation Skylake processors in preparation for the next generation. The list price is still $6965, the same as it was when the Mac Pro was announced in June (link to my comment). Z4s with the next-generation Xeon-W that will be in the base Mac Pro will be priced around that same point. They won't be on sale!

    That doesn't negate the point that HP offers lower-tier "prosumer" towers that Apple does not -- it just negates what you've just said here. It also doesn't negate madan's basic point, which he could easily have made without bringing his DIY numbers into it. It only illustrates that his DIY numbers are bullshit and in the real world even the base configuration of the Mac Pro is a decent deal. It's just that the iMac Pro and the iMac are even better deals.

    EDIT: Just wanted to add that Intel's pricing has dropped by half for this next generation, due to actual competition for the first time in a long time. I think Apple knew this when they priced the Mac Pro, but the old HP list price discussed above doesn't reflect it -- so subtract around half of the processor price, maybe $1000 or so? So the equivalent Z4 and the Mac Pro will be priced nearly the same...
    I'm not fudging numbers, I just use what Apple and HP have in their respective websites today.  And that's what Apple did in their keynote, when they compared the Mac Pro to a HP Z8, even though they are in a different line, since Apple use Xeon W and the Z8 is based in dual Xeon Scalable.


    As soon as HP release their next gen devices, we can have a real comparison, but as today the HP Z4 is less expensive.  You think that Apple knew of the price reduction, but it could be that didn't knew, and the $6K reflects the price before reduction.  So we'll have to see what HP do when they release their devices with the Xeon W-2200 processors, considering the Intel lower price.  

    Second, I don't recommend DIY devices for business / professional use for many reasons.  But it's obvious that a DIY device with the base specs of the Mac Pro is going to be less expensive.  
    The Apple price is for the next-generation Intel hardware. The HP Z4 price is for last-generation hardware that is on sale because in a few months it will be obsolete and overpriced. The severe markdown reflects that reality. When the next-generation Z4 comes out (along with the iMac Pro refresh), the sale will end.

    However, looking at the HP site today, while the Z4 configurations are unchanged from June (the processors in the Z4 are actually those in the iMac Pro, not the Mac Pro, but back in June they were the closest parallels we had -- the SKUs and specs of the Xeon-W 3200 series were not known at that time), I see the next-generation Cascade-Lake Xeon-W 3223 is listed among the options for the Z6. It is almost certain that is the processor in the base Mac Pro. That configuration is currently marked down to $4818 from $6786. Ships November 13.

    So why HP is marking this down? It should be obvious. It's not like everything is always on sale at HP. It's because of the Mac Pro. They can't sell it for $6786 any more. Apple will kick their ass if they do. So down goes the price. And it cannot be the same price as Apple, it has to be better.

    EDIT: Danvm and Tht -- Sorry, I was interrupted mid-post by some stuff at home, so didn't see your most recent responses before posting the above. I think we're largely all on the same page here. Thanks especially to Tht for the great post above with the image in it. I missed that AI article.
    I don't think HP is thinking about Apple when giving discounts in their website.  The have a discount for the Z8 too, and Apple has no device that compete in that line of devices.  Dell and Lenovo maybe are stronger competition today than Apple.