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.

  • http://niceweatherforairstrikes.co.uk radian

    Apogee's just trollin.

  • http://circuitbent.wikispaces.com salamanderanagram

    what's that? your product won't work on my computer because you're too obstinate to be compatible with the OS used by over 80% of the population?

    fine.

    i'll buy someone else's product.

  • http://stretta.com Matthew Davidson

    It may be that the Mac/Win user split for Apogee products is weighted far more heavily on the Mac side than Peter's split. In that case, the costs for developing for and supporting that platform may outweigh the benefits.

    Apogee's brand is a better match for Apple's brand. Apple users are arguably more willing to pay a premium for hardware. This supports my hypothesis that the user split is more Mac-centric.

  • Jason

    I agree that OSX is great, but I fail to see a valid business reason in this case for choosing not to sell to the Windows user market. Windows Vista is a fine OS for making music. Windows 7 will be even better. If they can make money selling and supporting OSX, then they can do the same with Windows. If Apogee had stock, and I owned it, I'd be selling it.

  • neu

    i never test apogee's drivers on windows so can can't not judge the windows side,i hope is not like motu drivers on windows becuase on windows side are not very compatible and issues are very present

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Matthew:

    Well, Apogee had already taken Ensemble and some other products and focused on the Mac side of things. I think there are Windows-using studios and users that do pay a premium for gear, no question — and the premium you pay for audio gear is a much larger margin than the nominal difference between Mac and PC (especially when you consider that Logic is $500).

    So I expect this shift started a while ago. Like I said, maybe it makes sense for them.

    That said, I stand by my concern that dumping either OS can have some ill effects. Seems like we sort of figured that out 10-15 years ago, right?

  • desmond

    And Apogee and Apple have a fairly cosy business realtionship anyway, so it's not surprising they are bigging up Apple in their marketing speak so much…

  • http://rhythminmind.net rhythminmind

    Apogee has been pro apple for years, no surprise.

    I purchase a fair amount of gear for various studios. To be honest company's like Lynx & Larvy have taken apogee completely off of my radar.

  • http://arcanumxiii.deviantart.com/ Sebastien Orban

    First time I've heard of Apogee was because of the (aborted?) deal with Apple.

    Second time, because they seem to work with the new toy from Symbolic Sound.

    Not a big lost I think.

  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    Since this falls under the "least unexpected news ever" category, I assume they made it official just to stave off the emails they must get on a daily basis asking for Windows drivers for the Duet.

    I think for Apogee, the move makes perfect sense, I'm willing to bet that less than 15% of their userbase only has access to Windows. It would be crippling if for instance M-Audio declared an end to Windows development.

    I never get this bit about Windows lacking stability that Mac users like to say, which I assume is based entirely on their experiences with a beta version of Windows ME. Honestly, I've had one system crash in the many years I've used WinXP (i.e. a forced a reboot) and that was caused by a demo version of Fruity Loops. Other than that, nothing. I'm left to wonder just how poorly people maintain their systems.

  • BirdFLU

    Apogee may have had to make some recession related cutbacks and this was the most sensible way to do it.

  • http://www.keyquestmusic.com aje

    I'm guessing that there is maybe a deal going on behind the scenes between Apple and Apogee.

    That's fine for them I guess.

    But conversely it is no suprise to see companies like Digidesign and Steinberg now openly involved in PC production (in partnership with Digital Village): Apple have seemed to try and destroy their business with their anti-competitive price fixing on Logic Studio.

    I just see an even bigger divide opening up now, and to b e honest I think that Apogee's gamble just might not pay off – they may find themselves on the losing side here.

  • http://12.bar.blues.googlepages.com JackAstro

    I would love to see an interface platform war.

    I think both mac and pc suck right now. Funny thing is, a few years ago they were both pretty decent.

  • Rafael

    I don't think I've met an Apogee customer using Windows. They are already a boutique manufacturer. Not every product is a fit for every platform, in fact I think trying to support many platforms (and I'm talking in general, not just apogee) is a hindrance to all manufacterers, especially small ones. The market is filled with choices, better turn out a great product for some people than a mediocre product trying to cater to all people.

  • http://www.keyofgrey.com KeyOfGrey

    Pro audio has always been a niche market. If Apogee is losing money right now, just like many other companies, then focusing their efforts on just a small demographic, but dominating it, makes sense. As Apogee is a small company, this is the only way they might be able to survive, as they most likely don't have the resources to create a lot of products.

  • scntfc

    weird move. i would assume that the lack of firewire on new macbooks would result in lots of lost apogee sales, and in turn stir up animosity that would encourage pc development.

  • http://www.wellmixed.com/blog Clay

    The simple truth may be that it costs Apogee a lot more to sell to and support a Windows user than a Mac User. (There are likely several reasons for this, the main one may be a flooded Windows hardware market.)

    Anybody care to place odds that Apogee gets bought by Apple?

  • http://xfader.com regend

    I have a feeling, Apogee is going to get bought out. I saw this coming when Emagic stopped making Logic for PC. Emagic used to make hardware for Logic. Perhaps Apple might be looking for dedicated Logic hardware.

  • Justin

    This definitely doesn't come as a surprise as me either, but I think it's a risky move based on Apple's history of changing their hardware spec without warning 3rd party developers, like in the case of switching to Intel or dropping Firewire on the new Macbooks.

    Personally I find myself using Linux and Vista more than OS X now since there is a lot of great open source and freeware. The only thing that really keeps me tied to Apple is using Logic.

  • James Y

    I'm with peter, I don't understand it in the sense of, their lack of windows user base is in direct proportion to their lack of windows support.

    I highly believe (especially from working music retail for some years now, and having windows customers interested in it) that if Apogee did start to support Windows, windows users would start to buy their product in droves – at least the duet.

  • ex-fanboy

    i have both macs and pcs.

    i used have logic on my mac and cubase on my pc.

    after logic switched to "apple only", that app went downhill within 1 year IMO.

    that action really forced me to only work on cubase (and ableton of course).

    take a look at the sales for logic after the switch – abysmal.

    that said, apogee has great converters, but hardly worth the price.

  • http://www.33tetragammon.com wasili

    off-topic:apogee should make a usb/firewire audio interface that has at least FOUR balanced outputs.(duet only has two unbalanced outputs)for all dj-type musicians like myself)this would be a certified(mac-only)hit i guess,sitting nicely between duet and ensemble……

    i emailed that to their support some time ago and their response was:

    "currently,apogee doesn't have a four-output audio interface"

    uh,that's why i emailed you guys…..oh well

  • pete.m

    I think the real question here is why did they quit making Commander Keen? ….Anyone? anyone?

    Really though, as a long-time Windows, part-time Linux user that just switched over to the Mac for just this reason, I think niche-marketing is fine.

  • ex-fanboy

    no one here has anything against "niche-marketing". i would go so far as to say we want it!

    the issue is the ill-informed statement: "….the Apple platform with its unparalleled power and stability…."

    like someone already said, my cubase (pc) machine has crashed twice in 6 years, my mac complains with every new update….

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @pete.m: They didn't.
    http://www.commander-keen.com/game-downloads.php

    Well, look, it's their business decision and it may make sense for their business.

    I think what this thread demonstrates yet again, though, is that there isn't a monoculture when it comes to the OS. There isn't any lack of a Windows market here, even for their products specifically; they've just chosen not to sell *to* that market. Of course, that doesn't mean it's the wrong decision. There might be a big market for your product in Australia, but then you have to decide whether you want to invest in setting up sales to Australia.

  • http://chrisschlarb.com schlarb

    I don't use Apogee products but this seems like a smart 80/20 business decision to me. I would be willing to bet that close to 20% of their revenue is coming from PC's as well as 80% of their support/programming headaches.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @schlarb: Just so we're clear, you're making those numbers up, yes?

    If there were an 80/20 pattern like that across the industry, you'd see software companies jumping ship on Windows all over the place. That's clearly not happening — in fact, if anything, the trend has been toward adding cross-platform support.

    Apogee may well have numbers that lead them to this business decision in their case, but I sure haven't gotten any indication that this is true beyond them.

  • Kyran

    I think schlarb is making a guess specifically for the Apogee case.

    The costs associated with supporting a platform greatly depend on the history of a company and the programmers working for that company.

    If you have been using mac libraries for ages and are used to that workflow, debugging process, porting your stuff to windows libraries might be very hard to do. This could be because of legacy code you have to support, because the new libraries (which just an inch away of new language) isn't making much sense to your programmers, because it is conceived differently.

    It most likely is a pareto decission for Apogee. They have always been very mac minded, so supporting windows might be very hard *in their case*.

    At the end of the day we don't know why they decided it, but it's a bussiness decision like any other. The future will tell weither it's the right one or not.

    I also don't think there's much to be learned here in terms of "windows sucks" and "mac ftw". There's tons of companies selling nice little trinkets (like cases) for the iphone and not the latest nokia smartphone, but that doesn't mean one's better than the other.

  • http://trash80.net trash80

    The only product I know of that works in windows is that Duet thing, and they are still supporting it so how does this piece of news change anything? :)

    Maybe they have some fancy new card on the horizon?

    Also note: FW400 to 800 only needs a simple adapter. Those new Macbooks have 800, so 400 will still work. Not a big deal IMO.

  • jonnyfive

    Well i dunno about the 20% business 80% problems but if you have the same number of developers developers writing drivers (equal numbers for each platform) and 80% of your business is mac then you effectively end up paying your windows developers 4 times as much (per dollar of income). Likewise for support though its more likely to be scalable based on demand and more likely that there is knowledge overlap. But given the speculative economics we all seem to agree on and their buddy buddy status with apple, hardly surprising. And re: the cheap shot at Windows stability: Duh, of course they're gonna say that, they're trying to sell you Apple-only hardware!

  • jonnyfive

    Kyran of course puts it much more eloquently while I'm post my babble…

    *sigh*

  • Honkey McGee

    I was under the impression that Apogee NEVER supported Windows, so this is the most anti-climactic announcement ever! Oh well, I'll just never be in a position to buy one of their products.

  • nylarch

    Maybe its a code optimization decision. Mac has a fairly limited set of hardware options and it has been discussed (don't know if its true) that OSX's perceived (maybe actual) increased stability is that it is more tightly integrated with the hardware due to less variables. Maybe Apogee, known for achieving low latency, is just trying to keep their code efficient and optimized.

    I think the whole "limiting options" strategy is an interesting one in music software. People are feature crazy and want flexibility and slag Reason all the time for not supporting VST's but that application is by far the most stable and efficient music app I've ever run by a long shot. I think sometimes setting limitations are a great decision to make.

  • spinner

    During harder times many companies follows the well trodden path of shedding their least profitable side and focus energy on the bread winner. Apogee has been used as a front end for PT users for years and most of them are on Mac. The Duet is obviously,as we all know, clearly marketed towards Macbook users so their decision seems consistent with that strategy.

    What does surprise me is the never ending relentlessness of the Mac vs PC trolls.

    So you got one or the other and you wanna blow your horn by forever repeating whatever key fact you think support your weak argument. We've heard it for years…… Please go and dig a hole somewhere, climb down and stay the fak down!

  • Lolsdaka

    Anyone making music with computers would want to have a mac at some point : it runs every OS you want and have the best specs/design … Vista's still unstable today so musicians stick to XP or OS X … Maybe Apogee will be back on developping for Windows when they release a proper os for music production !

  • Justin

    @ Lolsdaka, I think Vista actually is stable and just get a bad rap because it's so easy to talk down about it, especially considering its poor launch. However, now with recent hardware and drivers I'd say it's as stable or more stable with Live & my RME fireface than either of my Apple machines.

  • http://datamafia.com Nahtass

    I am looking to record on Linux here soon and mix on W7. Apple is less stable and resourceful than Windows (fact).

    My Windows is rock solid in every way. But then again that is what I do for a living. If you are tech / computer smart and want real options and equipment and the ability to write your own software (yeah, I program). Not available on Apple.

    If you want a plug and play solution with little worries or options buy your mac.

    Remember, these same swine (Apple) are charging people under DRM law for jail breaking hardwear. A violation of Federal (interoperability) law.

    I would sooner cut my toe off before subscribing to the Apple false sense of inner peace.

    As for Apogee – lamers and quitters.

  • http://mateomurphy.com Mateo

    <blockquote cite="Peter Kirn">in fact, if anything, the trend has been toward adding cross-platform support.

    I've seen a lot of formerly pc only devs adding windows support, but not the other way around, so I'm not sure how accurate that statement is.

    In any case, I don't think apogee would have made this decision without their being a strong business case for it.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Mateo: Renoise, energyXT, Garritan ARIA sample engine on *Linux*?

    Hardware vendors like MOTU doing 64-bit Vista support (which is, itself, its own platform)?

    Plug-ins increasingly released for both rather than just one?

    Increased use of cross-platform frameworks like wxWidgets, etc.?

    None of that counts, really?

    And yeah, Windows developers going the opposite direction (see: Image-Line, Cakewalk). But those guys aren't dropping Windows support, so this stands.

  • coolout

    When did apogee ever support windows or have a hit product with windows users anyway?

  • carlsbad

    Wow. Some of the wording in this post is almost obnoxious. If I were on Windows, and weren't annoyed about the situation, the language of the post, even down to the photo caption, would probably have me ticked off. You've obviously encouraged the platform warriors to post the traditional ego-defending replies. Way to be professional.

  • richardl

    Apogee may be anticipating the cost of supporting the new Snow Leopard version of OS X which will apparently require developing all new drivers on the Mac side. That's got to be a considerable hit for a small company like Apogee. In this economy something's got to give. So they decided to narrow their market focus.

  • what would the capta

    @ pete m

    I agree comander kene is the real loss here – and to a lesser extent major striker.

    I love digital audio and use windows because thats what I had far before I was making music

    but for me apogee died years ok in my heart

    http://whatwouldthecaptaindo.blogspot.com/

  • chris

    I tend to steer clear of software/hardware that isn't cross platform (preferably mac/windows/linux). I like having the option to switch platforms depending on what changes, but that's a personal preference, and understand this isn't always economically viable. At least apogee isn't going to half ass windows support – Support it fully or drop it, and they dropped it – good for them. There are plenty of devices that work great on windows, that have insufficient support on the mac platform. And while I won't be purchasing an apogee because I cant use it on both, I respect the desicion- because at least it will work as stated, making it a strong choice for the intended consumer.

    Just tired of driver headaches,

    Chris

  • http://undecidedurl.blogspot.com/ Dave Smith-Hayes

    Seems a tad redundant. They must REALLY like Macs.

  • T Muzzy

    I didn't even know that Apogee planned to make Windows drivers!? I think that given the high-end nature of both companies and the overlap of their user base it is not a bad decision. Regarding the Mac/Windows argument I have both but prefer the Mac platform. Windows has always had a very bloated and kludgey feel to me, the install/uninstall process is messy, 3rd party hardware implementations are inconsistent… makeing Windows a much bigger headache. IF you are resourceful and patient, Windows XP/Vista are fine. Me, I'll take UNIX over DOS any day. Plus, I don't feel like wasting my system resources drawing a cheesy UI.

    I've never had a Mac installation get hosed for a mysterious reason that I could not overcome. For many Windows users, troubleshooting often leads to a restart or reinstall for "mysterious conflicts". Also, Windows system restore does not work at least half the time! I could go on…Now, if Linux were more mature there would really be an argument here, to me at least.

  • http://www.myspace.com/djnewmiracle newmiracle

    BirdFLU, "Apogee may have had to make some recession related cutbacks and this was the most sensible way to do it."

    Ditto. Costs less to pay 4 Mac programmers than 4 Mac Programmers and 4 Windows programmers. I'm sure this is just belt tightening.

    As a Windows user, I understand that lots of people like Macs. I don't really mind either OS. There will be plenty of options for us Windows guys so I don't really sweat this that much. But I agree with Chris, I'd be much more comfortable getting an interface that supports ALL platforms. You never know what's going to happen, right?

  • tritone

    Step 1. Drop all Windows Development

    Step 2. Apple buys Apogee

    Step 3. ?????

    Step 4. Profits!!

  • http://mateomurphy.com Mateo

    @Peter Kirn: MOTU has long supported windows for its hardware and plugins, so that's nothing new (them releasing DP for windows *would* be something new). And while increased linux support is encouraging, my point was that l don't see many examples of companies that were not supporting windows deciding to do so recently. That's not quite the same as *everybody* going cross platform.

  • http://www.adamjaymusic.com Adam Jay

    as far as the "what about firewire?" scare for vendors (now Apogee) developing only for the Mac Platform.

    Well that's simple, take a page from the Metric Halo playbook and develop an interface that is future proof and field upgradeable. That way when and IF an interface standard, such as firewire, gets tossed due to making a laptop thinner than a slice of salami, you just ship out a new interface board and rear faceplate and viola… 8 more years of futureproofness. :)

  • J. Phoenix

    I'm not sure if its relevant, but I have noticed a tendency with Apple owners to be somewhat more willing to pay–for either software or hardware–than their windows counterparts.

    I say this on a consumer/retail level; my day job is in a computer repair store.

    I would say that 8 times out of 10 an Apple owner is more than happy to pay their premium price for a replacement part or an add-on than a Windows/PC user who tends to balk at much lower figures.

    In that sense, I can see why Apogee is moving away from Windows. On the subject of percieved quality to cost ratio, I'm still undecided.

  • dajebus

    Honestly and no BS here, what do they make?

  • k.

    The PC music users hardly have quality control check with built to order PCs. 80% PC users and 60% different PC structures. Try giving support to that.

    On the other hand i would not enter a major commercial studio if they were recording on a PC.

    For PC users who now say ok fine than i will buy someone elses hardware -> go ahead it only shows that quality and PC hardware are hardly companions. I truly hope that you would buy Prism or Lavry instead instead of an m-audio audio nightmare.

  • http://www.digitallofi.com Puffer

    Hey, K. I'm gonna call "duh" on your comment. I'm not saying that supporting Windows isn't a potential nightmare. But for all of Apple's vaunted OS/hardware integration they seem awful happy to make developers jump through hoops every time they decide to move the goal posts in writing for their core. But, more to the point: saying "quality and PC hardware are hardly companions" is just majorly boneheaded. Aside from the fact that Apogee seem to be one of the few interface/converter companies writing *exclusively* for the Mac, there's a lot of ground in the market between your high-end Lavry's and your consumer level interfaces. I'm not even going to bother listing all of them; if you don't know what I'm talking about there's no point in trying to convince you. But you go ahead with your sense that your computer brand somehow gives you legitimacy.

  • http://www.keyquestmusic.com aje

    Lolsdaka: "Anyone making music with computers would want to have a mac at some point : it runs every OS you want and have the best specs/design … "

    Sorry, but no. I make my living from music at a number of levels (teach, record, perform) and I have no interest in a Mac, having recently researched it yet again in detail. They certainly don't have the best specs, the best design is a matter of taste, but most important of all their customer service sucks (at least here in the UK).

    The number one reason why as a musician I would avoid Macs though is the lack of a decent mastering software to genuinely compete with Adobe Audition and Wavelab, which are PC only (as is Sound Forge). I don't see Bias Peak as anywhere close at this point, in spite of costing much more.

    I recently read an interview with Mike Oldfield in which he praised Logic, but went on to say he has to keep a Windows PC around for running Sibelius – apparently it crashes his top end Mac. Who (apart from Mike, obviously!) really wants the hassle of sequencing on one machine, then having to move stuff over to the PC in order to do professional scoring and/or mastering.?

  • James Levine

    This announcement is kinda like the Surgeon General finally announcing that smoking is bad for your health, or for the pope to finally update the official list of sins to include spongebob. Not nearly as much as a let down or a surprise as when apple announced it's purchase of emagic. That Apogee has now long been synonymous with mac, I'd dare say as long as apple bought logic apogee has tried to provide an integrated package for workstations on os x. Why all the bother when people knew they could get protools if only to try to be a protools killer? And what platform is logic on? OS X.

  • http://myspace.com/fallsastar Foosnark

    Count me as another computer-basic musician who has zero interest in a Mac. Or Apogee, for that matter.

    I expect this is a cost cutting measure on their part. A lot of companies are having to make hard decisions, and get lean and mean.

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  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, yes, that's right:

    Apogee dropping Mac support isn't a surprise.

    Lots of people use PCs.

    Nothing to see here. :)

    Still, it is "news" in that we haven't seen a lot of shifts in any direction, period, as Mateo says — which is probably a good thing.

    I will say, though, even without a whole lot of change, I think generally the expectation is most stuff comes out for both platforms, from hardware drivers to the editor you get with a keyboard. And Cakewalk continues to do new stuff on the Mac while MOTU continues to do new driver and software development on Windows — even beating some longer-term Windows developers to x64 support.

  • k.

    Puffer if you can not read please ignore replying.

    - quality control check – read it again – quality control check -. That is the issue the specific build music systems.

    If apple made a mistake with bad chip choices , they can work on a fix. If you want to even try this on a PC where there isn't a standard it needs alot of cash. So read it again : -quality control check-

    It's always pc users who complain about exclusive products for a mac. There are thousands exclusive hardware and software items for pcs.

    read it again : the info was about -quality control check-

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @k. Apple isn't building a music-specific system; they're building a general-purpose computer. That's pretty much what everyone does. In fact, the only vendors that even do extensive music testing are the boutique, music-only vendors (Rain, PC Audio Labs, etc.) But even then, really, fundamentally all these machines are general-purpose machines. That's why we love them, but that's also the challenge of them.

    You know, the components inside a Mac are the same as what you get in a PC. Apple even outsources most of the hardware engineering. They haven't done end-to-end manufacturing in-house since the late 80s, early 90s.

    That's not a criticism: I think it's a huge compliment to them that a lot of times they take those same components and come up with something better.

    But let's be clear: a Mac really *is* a PC, just as a Linux box on commodity components is a PC.

  • bliss

    @ aje

    You are seriously uninformed of the mastering options available for the MacIntel platform and Mac OS X. Anything that can be used on Windows OS can be used on MacIntel running Windows. Period. And then there are all of the software mastering options that are available for Mac OS X. The list is extensive. Do some homework.

  • http://chrisschlarb.com schlarb

    @Peter Kirn: I appreciate you taking the time to respond to specific comment I made, however, I'm not sure why you took it out of context. I wasn't making a generalization about industry-wide numbers; we were talking specifically about Apogee and their possible reasons for discontinuing active Windows development. There was no supposition that, "this is true beyond them."

    You may have an idealized expectation that every company should/could sustain multiple development and support forks but I am assuming you have not run a boutique hardware/software company.

    I haven't either, of course, and I can only guess that Apogee has taken a look at their numbers and found Windows development isn't worth their time. It's just a guess on my part but I would stand by the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) in this instance.

  • Alex

    Apogee..who cares anyway? Will my music sound like shit if i use an audio interface by any other company? I don't think so…

    Its clear that Apple gave some big amounts of money to Apogee, as they have done with various other companies..

    Apple = Monopoly = The Art Of Marketing..

    I'm getting sick with their megalomaniac methods of selling their products..Do you remember the "ACME Corporation" that makes everything in the Looney Tunes cartoons? Apple wants to be like ACME..to have the control over everything.

    In the future, if our bathrooms will be made by Apple, we shall have to get their permission first to piss…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    No, I don't presume to tell anyone what's best for them. ;)

    My only concern is this: if you do rely on another company, you're subject to their whims. Apogee has to make one decision. As users, we make another. And after about a decade as a big Mac advocate, I ultimately gave up on that path for that reason. There were too many things that mattered to me that wound up being in their control instead of mine. That's why if I had to *advocate* one OS now, it'd unquestionably be Linux.

    But as far as the site goes, of course, I'm more interested in seeing that everyone gets their stuff working wherever they choose to be, whether that's Mac, Windows, Linux, or a Commodore 64. ;) And that's why I brought up this issue in the first place, though honestly, didn't expect as much discussion of it – wound up being a bigger deal than I expected. (Then again, somewhat skewed by people writing in to SAY they don't care!)

  • Ed M.

    RE: Server logs

    I surf CDM during the day where I work and I am forced to suffer through using a Windows computer 5 days a week because they are just more common in the enterprise whom I develop software for, but I wouldn't dare use a windows computer for personal computing or music and I suspect that trend is fairly common for a decent percentage of your blog readers.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Ed: That may be true, but you know, I'm not as dumb as I may look. ;)

    "Windows" as a tag is nearly as popular as "Mac."

    "Fruity Loops" / "FL Studio" is one of the most popular search terms.

    Windows stories consistently rank up with Mac ones — and even Linux has some surprising interest. Bottom line: people like information, and they want to know more about their platform of choice.

    When we surveyed readers, Mac beat out Windows – but not by very much. (We need to do that survey again to see if this has shifted, but Windows did pretty well.)

    Look, there's a bottom line. The cliche of musicians only using Macs is a myth, plain and simple. And if this site proves anything, it's that, well, people use all kinds of crazy things. (Pocket PCs? Rescued Commodores? Someone said they still fire up their Be box occasionally?)

  • http://circuitbent.wikispaces.com salamanderanagram

    "I wouldn’t dare use a windows computer for personal computing or music and I suspect that trend is fairly common for a decent percentage of your blog readers."

    comments like this are inane. what, are you scared your windows computer is going to blow up on you or something???

    i have both a mac and a pc. the mac, despite being newer and costing a lot more, has less actual processing power and a smaller screen. go figure.

    i have reason, ableton, and sonar, all of them on my windows machine. the only time my mac ever gets turned on is when i'm using it for iphone development.

    the only reason OSX appears more stable than XP or Vista is because apple tightly controls all hardware that goes into making their computers.

    windows tries to allow for whatever hardware configuration you may happen to have, which is way harder than just working on 1 type of machine.

  • Alex

    Peter it is a very good subject and i only said my opinion about an exceeding move of a company..I didn't want to sound arrogant..

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Alex – yes, of course! (I don't want to sound arrogant, either.)

    But more important matters: the dangerous battery acid aside, some kind of laptop-bursting-into-flames event onstage could be very cool… ;)

  • jt

    this is simply because of apple and apogees sort of partnership which they don't talk much about.

    what is unbelievable about it all is that new macbooks don't even have firewire ports in them. you'd think a huge market for the duet and enesemble is macbook users. dumb dumb dumb. apogee and apple deserve each. apogee is plagued with fail lately. there was no excuse for the duet being unbalanced no matter what they say. if the metric halo devices, let alone any other decent firewire audio card can be multichannel balanced all powered over firewire then there is just no excuse for the duet.

    sorry, a bit off subject there but this is getting me all fired up.

  • http://www.keyquestmusic.com aje

    @bliss:

    Yes, I understand that you can run Windows programmes on your Mac. It goes like this I believe:

    1) spend extra on the Mac computer, get a machine with inferior ram/etc but the supposedly supperior OSX operating system.

    2) spend more money on Bootcamp/Parallels/whatever

    3) spend more money on a copy of the inferior Windows OS so that…

    4) you can run decent Windows-only mastering software on a Mac

    So you arrive back where you started, except a whole lot poorer… Very clever. Go figure.

    A classic case of "form over function" – fancy spending so much money to get the Mac when basically you depend on software that runs better and costs far less on the machine it was origianlly designed for. Very bizaare logic going on there, and if it happened the other way around then I'm sure the Mac club would laugh their heads off. Well guess what, I'm laughing now ;)

  • rob

    I think the comment about "anti-competitive price fixing" with Logic was uncalled for. That implies that they're selling it at a loss to drive other players out of the market.

    In reality, I think that when you consider that someone who buys logic pro is pretty likely to buy a high-end mac, Apple definitely turns a profit on the combined transaction of logic pro+computer, so you really can't call it anti-competitive. Vertical integration would be a more accurate description.

  • http://www.keyquestmusic.com aje

    You may be technically right Rob, but turning a profit on logic pro + computer is not the same as trurning a profit on logic pro in its own right (bearing in mind the market value when they acquired it of course).

    In any case, if they are NOT trying to drive other players (i.e. Ableton, Steinberg, Digidesign, Propellerhead, etc) from the market, then why would they lower the price of their full product range to a point where they will know for sure that those developers cannot possibly compete any longer?

    I agree with Peter's analysis that in general at present we have a situation where music developers want to be seen to be supporting all platforms possible. But it seems Apple have sent a clear signal to "rivals" that they want dominance at any cost.

    I suspect that in the next 5 years (unless this changes) we will see a gradual shift in emphasis where the major players focus more on the Windows market, where they can compete legitimately and fairly for customers business. The Mac is no longer a level playing field where fair competition is possible, for the reason you highlight anyway.

    We already see the first signs of this – Digidesign for example have made PT8's look and feel less OS dependant (e.g. PT now has its own scroll bars instead of the nice blue mac ones). As they show more interest in the prosumer market that inevitably means making wure the Windows version is spot on, and I know that they have committed a LOT of resources specific to Windows users now.

    As I mentioned before, Steinberg and Digidesign are now actively collaberating with PC manufacturers and sponsoring PC advertising in the music press! This is not a situation which I think we would likely have seen prior to Apple's agressive price cutting.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    aje: easy, easy. Digidesign is certainly working with PC makers because that's a big part of their market. I know a lot of vendors were unhappy about Apple's price cut, but you know, you have the freedom to price your products at the point you think they're going to sell. The main cost for software is per-user support. That means that even though I'm sure they're happy to sell more Macs, Apple remains under many of the same pressures for selling software. I think Logic was a volume play. It's not the same as a loss-leader that's a physical good — they thought customers would buy more. If a competitor wanted to price accordingly, why couldn't they?

  • Leslie

    "- Apple may or may not have paid Apogee any additional money, but they have already been getting a lot of free advertising and haven't had to make any real changes.

    - The closest Apogee has come to an audio interface for PC was including PC support on their Mini-DAC unit (which was an output only converter with software support rather than a dedicated soundcard).

    - Apogee has been making Apple only audio interfaces for years.

    - Apogee is really making a very minimal change to their product line and making a big deal out of it in order to cross-market with Apple. It's to their mutual benefit because Apogee has nothing invested in the Windows platform but already have a substantial investment in OS X.

    - Apogee does not make any DAW software and EMagic (the original makers of Logic) weren't really doing any hardware worth mentioning so there was no overlap between the two product lines.[/i]

    So really, this is all much ado about nothing: Apogee is making official what has been there de-facto position for years and really the only people that would be affected are people that might want to run a Mini-DAC on a new Microsoft OS (as they will still run fine on Windows XP SP 2). Now if Apogee had announced they were starting to support PCs with their Ensemble and Duet interfaces, that might have marked a significant shift in corporate strategy and been newsworthy."

    by Per Lichtman – original post from KVR

  • marc

    Well, superior converters on a superior plateform (Mac). Besides, if you have the kind of money to purchase apogee products buying a PC is a bad solution, you will want to work on something better than windows OS.

  • http://circuitbent.wikispaces.com salamanderanagram

    if you're incapable of using windows (probably the easiest thing in the world if you have a lick of common sense) then you probably should not waste money on a computer at all.

  • RichardL

    Daringfireball's John Gruber has decided that Apogee stopping development of Windows products they never developed is an indicator of the tables turning for Windows.

    Time to lay off the Kool-Aid John.

  • Glass

    This is a very cool move.

    Why? The world deserves better. Windows should die. :)

    Not a troll at all, I just believe that the world would be a better place with just Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, QNX and every other operational system that is superior to Windows. Developing for Windows is crap, the interfaces are crap, the sofware is crappy, .NET is so bad not even Microsoft uses it, but still, we have to make Windows software because everyone uses it…

  • vince

    Cool. Only a certain type of consumer will cough up that kind of cash anyway. They may be going after the right market. Too bad the current US economy isn't gonna aid them at all about now, who knows.. they may have committed suicide.. But, I wish them luck. Macs are fun, but PCs are user repairable, upgradeable, scalable and cheap.. awesome.

  • Brad Upchurch

    The press release sounds like a red-herring to cover up a bad financial situation- by stooping to engage an ages old polarizing OS flamewar. Forget 'em and any other vendor that can't hold an honest dialog with their customers. Go buy a fireface or some other I/O that is engineered to be solid on any platform. Its better for everybody.

  • OneOfMany

    Look on the bright side. The PC will always support those who bang sticks and stones.

  • http://myspace.com/djbmusic Ben

    Apogee dropping Windows dev's by Economic Crysis.

  • Per Lichtman

    Leslie, thanks for quoting me: I had no idea anyone was reading the post that carefully. :)

    All the best,

    Per Lichtman

  • Jake

    So all I gotta do is run Snow Leopard on my PC to use this equipment… And yes- it works great.. :)

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