Apogee Electronics has just announced they’ve dropped
support development for Windows. Now, that’s their prerogative – not least because customers who prefer using Windows can simply choose to buy their competitors’ products. But in a press release entitled “Apogee Discontinues Windows Support,” “Apogee Discontinues Windows Development,” Apogee decides to tell you why, if you’re using Windows, you’re using an inferior platform.
Correction: Apogee just sent an updated press release.
ATTENTION ALL RECIPIENTS: Correction to Apogee’s most recent press release titled “Apogee Discontinues Windows Support”.
IMMEDIATE: Please revise headline to read “Apogee Discontinues Windows Development”
Guess Apogee is either reading CDM, or they just got some email about that subject header. And yes, dropping development of new products is not the same as dropping support for old ones, so this makes more sense (though the arguments I’m making about the tradeoffs between supporting platforms still apply).
Apogee Electronics will no longer develop products for the Microsoft Windows platform. Apogee has made this decision in order to focus all research, development, and support resources on the Apple platform with its unparalleled power and stability. Apple offers a wide range of affordable, powerful desktop and laptop solutions ideally suited for music creation and audio production.
This comes as no surprise, as Apogee’s interface line has already focused on the Mac. And, honestly, maybe that’s a good thing; the added focus could benefit Apogee as a small, boutique vendor.
More helpful advice if you are using Windows:
Windows users can obtain the Apogee sound by connecting Apogee converters to their Windows-compatible audio interface via AES, optical, or S/PDIF. Apogee technical support will continue to support legacy Windows configurations installed on Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Well, of course, that’s correct: if you’re just using Apogee for their converters, you can connect to Linux or FreeBSD or an Amiga or whatever you like, provided the audio interface itself has digital ins and drivers on your OS of choice.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Apogee is free to do what they want. It also doesn’t speak well for Windows – it’s a vote against Windows as a platform and the costs of developing for and supporting it. But locking yourself to one platform has dangers, too. Apogee invested a lot of time and resources into supporting their Duet FireWire interface, only to see Apple drop FireWire from their non-Pro MacBook line.
Anecdotally and statistically (in surveys and server logs), we see about 40-50% of you using Windows. So, whatever Apogee’s opinion of the Mac platform’s merits, I don’t see this as making that market any less relevant. In fact, I expect the handful of vendors paying attention to Linux, too, could have an edge as platforms evolve over the coming years. Apogee may be better off focusing on the Mac, but that leaves some opportunities for those vendors supporting PCs.