Has The Microsoft Surface Pro Leapfrogged Macbooks For Music Software?

Has the Microsoft Surface Pro leapfrogged Apple’s Macbooks as a platform for music apps?

That’s a question many are asking, as some Mac-based musicians have become frustrated by the combination of the stagnation of Intel’s CPU’s and Apple’s slowing schedule of computer updates.

Writer & musician Marc Weidenbaum (disquiet) shared his thoughts on the subject, and the above video:

This video is simply a glimpse at how the (Surface Pro 4) touch screen works for music, specifically in this case how the Aalto synth, from Madrona Labs, works. Aalto is running here from within Ableton Live.

The short version is that the screen is great for this sort of software, something with lots of virtual knobs and patch cords and buttons intended for touchpad/cursor use. Aalto is fine with a keyboard and trackpad, but it’s even better with the touch screen.

The main thing that happens once you start using a synth like Aalto with a touch screen is that things that aren’t touchable, such as the shape of an envelope, suggest themselves as touchable. Perhaps software will become more touchable as time proceeds, with some features only available on touch screens. As a friend said elsewhere, once some things are touchable, you want everything to be touchable.

Weidenbaum’s comments highlight the quandary that many musicians are in.

iPad music apps are where much of the most interesting synth and interface design has been happening over the last few years. But, now that multi-touch interfaces have proven themselves, musicians want that same level of immediacy and usability everywhere.

Some kind of convergence between iPad-style multi-touch interfaces and traditional desktop power seems inevitable.

But, devices like the Surface Pro 4 show that, while a touchscreen is nice, the user experience will be kludgy until apps get completely redesigned with multi-touch screens in mind. And, on the iOS side, even though the iPad Pro offers power and a mature multi-touch interface, few of the apps that musicians actually base their workflows around have been ported to the platform.

It looks like it will be years before we’ll have a mature, powerful multi-touch enabled platform for music. And it’s too early to know which approach, Apple’s or Microsoft’s, will get there first.

Do you think Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is leapfrogging Apple’s MacBook? Let us know what you think – and what you think of the state of multi-touch computing for music – in the comments.

83 thoughts on “Has The Microsoft Surface Pro Leapfrogged Macbooks For Music Software?

  1. No. The Mac user base will not switch to Microsoft. I think its cool that Microsoft is merging tablet and laptop into one platform. I heard Steve wouldn’t make an iMac touch because of arm fatigue. Anyway, there is no software!

    My fantasy is a touch compliant Mackie Tracktion on a large touchable Mac monitor with a Moog Voyager. But that’s just a fantasy.

    Also, can you imagine any team of musicians wanting to trade skin diseases? Gross.

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    1. Honestly, as a Mac user (for over a decade), I’ve been very VERY frustrated lately with Apple, between the complete abandon of the Mac Mini, the outdated Mac Pro, the ridiculously expensive MacBook Pro, the iMac that is quite a shame from an innovation point of view in comparison to the Microsoft Surface Studio… but most likely the software that are not stable and perfect anymore. The whole “it just works” mantra is not anymore.

      Since they did adopt a 1 year cycle to release new hardware AND new software, it became highly unstable because most of developper can’t even follow this cycle (not even Apple itself… by the time they finally release a x.2 or x.3 version that is almost stable, then it’s time for a new major update). The last real rock solid OS X version was Snow Leopard… Since then, it’s not really any better than Microsoft Windows!

      Apple users like me were always ok to pay more, because the Apple design was always ahead of the curve, and because the whole system was stable and worth the price difference. But now, most of Apple products are just crap and way too expensive to the point the price difference can not be justified anymore… surely not when it’s not more stable anymore!

      Now, it’s all about mass market products for Apple… iPhones, iPads, Watches… Facebook, Pokemon Go and all the mainstream crap! They don’t care about their original market, the niche market of Professional users in Music, Video, Photography, etc… When looking at Microsoft Surface Studio, we understand that Microsoft is clearly targeting this market and they do it well! Tim Cook is the new Apple Steve Ballmer. He was a COO, and now instead of being a CEO, he’s a Super-COO. He only cares about making profit… and he has absolutely no taste! Steve Jobs wanted to make profit, but at least he has some taste and even if he was not always right, he could recognise what was good or not.

      I still like OS X more than Windows… but every year it becomes really really hard to continue this path that clearly lead nowhere. And it’s the first year in decade, that I’m sincerely & honestly considering to switch back to Windows since Apple makes nothing interesting to me anymore! (and I know, I still can’t process this sentence because I would never thought about that years ago).

      I was still interested in Logic, but since the new Cubase Pro 9 release (that introduce a lot of Logic features and workflow), I have to admit the switch become more and more plausible. Here’s an interesting video:

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      1. I agree 100%! With the last 5 OS releases we are choosing between current bugs and new ones (and some that just keep going from version to version). Perhaps it is partly my age and my sense of expectations that a solid OS SHOULD be possible.

        But I am continually trying to find a “sweet spot” with hardware and OS that I can hunker down with. I am no longer excited about new OS releases. They just fill me with an annoyed dread.

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      2. My 2012 quad core i7 Mac Mini is doing just fine…Sierra et al….don’t have a clue what you mean by “abandoning the Mac Mini”

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        1. 5 years in computer tech industry, it’s almost like 2 decades! We are in 2017… and Apple didn’t release any update for the MacMini for years now. The last “update” was even a step down in performance… so yeah, they did abandon the Mac Mini! Just like they also abandon the Mac Pro, since it’s been 4 years now without any updates…while in the same time we have a brand new iPhone & iPad every single year! It just shows where the focus is. If you don’t know that, you’re pretty ignorant then!

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          1. In case you didn’t notice, the processor lifecycle is far longer than it used to be so no need for new hardware every year. My mini is kept current with updates and enhancements to Logic Pro X and also regular OS updates.

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      3. I agree with almost every word.

        It’s this bullshit upgrade cycle that’s the problem really though. They’re just trying to squeeze even more cash out of us while delivering worse products with promises of amazing new features that you don’t even vaguely need.

        I have a relatively new MPB which is buggy as hell, freezes often, takes ages to boot and has crashed on stage for no good reason but a lot of my work is still done on a trust old iMac running Snow Leopard – it just works!™

        And my first Mac was a Titaniam G4 PowerBook which was a total beast until the hard drive eventually failed (and I foolishly decided to buy a new computer instead of a hard drive).

        I’ve been using Logic almost everyday for 15 years I don’t have to worry about learning while trying to create but it’s getting ever more tempting to try something new as Apple are primarily a phone company now.

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      4. That video looks pretty cool overall, as a product demo. A few things come to mind, and none of these are that original, but worth repeating:
        -That looks tiring / and fatigue inducing.
        -It looks slower Drawing automation across that whole screen vs. the scale at which you can do it with a trackpad or mouse.

        Instead of a product demo, let’s see a producer / musician bang out a track on that with the same speed as using a MBP with its awesome trackpad and gesture support (or even a PC) rather just a technical demo of what CAN be done a touchscreen. If this stuff has “leapfrogged” MAC- why do you see so few people who actually make music like this (rather than geek out about the tech side). The surface has been out awhile and I see very few people using it for anything other than attaching the keyboard.

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    2. “I think its cool that Microsoft is merging tablet and laptop into one platform.”

      I’d think it was cooler if they hadn’t spent literally the last decade-and-a-half trying to make “tablets that are laptops that are tablets” a thing.

      On the upside, “ZOMG TABLETZ WILL REPLACE PCS GUIZE” is practically a never-ending source of article fodder for the tech press.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
    3. oh are you the supreme ruler of mac users?

      i have 5 ipads, 3 iphones, 3 macs and tons of peripheral.
      i waited with cash in hand to get a new macbook pro but will probably never buy one again after the dumpster fire called mbp 2016. the simplicity and ingenuity of apple products is long gone. having put form before function, they have turned into a sort of parody of itself.

      there will be definitely some migration and this comes from someone who hates microsoft.
      if ms get the drivers right, apples reign in the audio area is dead. and to hell with them.
      we are all between a rock and a hard place.

      sorry to hear your friend and colleagues are suffering from disgusting skin diseases though.

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    4. As someone currently making music on my new Surface Pro 4 and looking over at my old MBP now collecting dust, I couldn’t disagree with this comment more. Apple has abandoned their “creative” customers in favour of quarterly profits some time ago, people just haven’t caught up on that fact yet.

      I spent the last 6 years waiting for some level of innovation from Apple even slightly as good as what Microsoft provides with the SP4 and at the same price point, and the lastest offering from Cupertino has failed miserably. I don’t want to go into the long list of features, functions and applications that Apple has removed from their product line over the years and told me that is was because they are so courageous. When truth be told, it is simply Apple streamlining profits over future development.

      I have spent the last few weeks with the SP4 and it performs far beyond my expectations, and puts my mid-2012 MBP to total shame. I spent years building up my MAC environment throughout my personal and business life, and am now reconsidering how each element can be replaced with something more functional. Just look at the Apple TV and tell me that isn’t just some afterthought with a mind for profits over functionality.

      I am sorry, but the Apple team that built OSX and the original Macbook line are long gone. They were replaced with iPhone/iPad developers a long time ago, and no one told us.

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    5. Ummm, I’m a Mac user who switched to PC after the MB Pro announcement this year. I’ll keep my 2015 Macbook for a lightweight browser/travel computer, but I’m done with Apple. The OS has done nothing but get buggier while they mine the iOS cash, and the desktop value proposition is simply gone.

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    1. Wrong.
      Ipad is a smartphone OS based device.
      Surface is a full featured computer OS based device.
      That makes those two totally different.

      Ipad need Mac OSX to be really usefull.

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      1. People like iPad just fine for professional work. iPad runs macOS, just with a different user interface and some adjustments to make it work for touch. Other than that it runs on the same frameworks.

        iPads are now as powerful and some cases more powerful than some mid-range laptops. Apple could work a little bit on getting some of the legacy macOS developers to develop for iOS, though.

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      2. Yes, that IS a good point. I was thinking about comparing them as touch screen products, but you’re absolutely correct – one is a full on computer and one isn’t, really,

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  2. I don’t know if would want to make long patch sessions like that,
    It may be ok for a few short interactions,
    it makes me wince if I see that interaction.
    I also think intel dropped the ball with low energy chips.

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    1. Also we are talking about multitouch here,
      this isn’t multitouch at all,
      It’s point and click with one finger.
      The windows strategy seams kind of pointless,
      because the application are still point and click.
      This won’t change.
      these we are having some afterthoughts with our UI about touch isn’t anywhere near the interaction of applications that are designed from the ground up for multitouch.
      Go away with those pigs with lipstick.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
      1. FL Studio is multi-touch. The hardware is multi-touch capable, but developpers have to implement it in their apps, which too few are doing right now.

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  3. This is actually a funny article. If it were political in nature, a similar question asked would be, “Do you think Vladimir Trump will make a good president?” Both premises, i.e., Surface devices will become the music industry’s primary hardware platform and Donald “Vladimir” Trump will improve the United States of America, are absurd questions to propose.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  4. Of course it has.

    It has everything mac has, AND a touchscreen.

    Even if every software doesn’t have ui tailor made for touch screen yet, most of them are still better, than to be completely without touch.

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    1. “Everything a Mac has”…?
      Nope. It still runs Windows. Oh, and no Core Audio.

      Look, I try not to get into these Mac vs Windows, iOS vs Android, hardware vs software, analog vs digital debates, namely because if you are productive with what you’ve got, then you’ve made the right choice.
      I get it that everybody’s got a different workflow, different production needs, etc., but I still prefer to interact with physical keys, pads, knobs and sliders over a flat screen whenever possible.

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      1. Yeah but a Surface has not done away with that. The Surface laptops come with a removeable laptop/trackpad. They have bluetooth so one could use a wireless mouse and/or keyboard. I use mine with midi controllers as well. But, man, is it good to have multitouch to supplement all of that.

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
      2. And you can add the physical control to Surface Pro.

        Apple just doesn’t have touch screen. Apple dropped the ball. They misread the market as well as the bus.

        Apple has lost lots of customers and continues in that path.

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        1. Why Apple – who had such huge success with the iPhone and the iPad – continues to ignore multitouch in OSX is … words fail me. I suspect it’s some kind of irrational reverence for something Steve Jobs once said. But I’m seriously considering dumping most of my Mac hardware and going with the MS Surface – I don’t have an urgent need to upgrade right this moment, but if MS introduces a 2nd generation Surface Studio, that’s going to be my main system for the next few years. Apple could still redeem itself if it introduced a nice 27″ iMac with multitouch. Why they have not done this already just baffles me completely.

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      3. Producing audio with a Surface Pro 4 removes none of the things you mention, as a matter of fact it brings new options to the table, and doesn’t do that in a way which forces you to change a single area of your work flow (with the exception of migrating to Windows if you are an OSX user).

        If you are working with physical devices in combination with your Mac, you will work with physical devices on as well with a Surface Pro device, but it will give you additional options for interacting for the computing elements.

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
      4. That is kind of silly. Surface Pro does so much more than a MBP it is crazy – tell me something you can do on a MBP that you can’t on a SP and when you come up with nothing I’ll give you the long list of things you can do with a SP that you can’t with a MBP. Also, why do you like to touch plastic and not glass? Mac OS and Mac devices seriously fall short of Microsoft’s.

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  5. As an iPad pro, MacBook pro and surface pro 3 owner, I use the iPad a lot, next to hardware synths, samples, drum machines, bass and guitars, during the creation process. The mac is more used as the main production tool of my setup. I tried to use the surface but it’s not as convenient as the iPad as a portable and multi touch device (a lot of iPad music apps are great), and not as powerful as my mac. But it is a really capable machine.

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  6. frankly it isn’t stable enough to be used for live performance – have the surface pro 4 and it has frozen too many times for me to trust it again for ableton or traktor. Perhaps as a non-essential synth voice or controller, but in my experience it is not a production-ready device.

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  7. I love the Mac system with the iPad. They complement each other so well as Core Audio is supreme. Windows needs to stop being lame before I become a PC fan boy again. That haunting blue screen. .. Once is enough!

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  8. I’ve got one, Surface Pro 4, and the answer is absolutely unequivocally yes. I’ve never used a laptop live, mostly because I’ve never been able to afford a Mac and PC laptops just did not cut it. But I’ve used other people’s Macs for years in the studio. Last year I had the opportunity to get a free Macbook or a free Surface Pro 4 and there was no question which one I was going to choose.

    It’s low latency, stable, light, power efficient, and the multitouch is amazing. It’s well-grounded (no buzz or noise), and I’ve slapped it onto my keyboard stand with a magnet. Most of all, it’s inspiring. AMAZING.

    THAT SAID, not all apps are designed for multi-touch. Bitwig is absolutely amazing live, and many of the synths I use work great, but Arturia’s Analog Lab is terrible. They can’t figure out how to size their applications within a screen. The basic UI failures make it nearly unusable with touch-only, and it’s gumming up the works, sadly.

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  9. The only thing I have to say is… RAZOR
    Finally a company that is talking and designing their computers with musicians 100% in mind… I do not work for this company. Nor do I own one of their computers yet. I bought my last MacBook Pro, before the release of this new “whatever it is Moneybook Pro ££££”
    I hate to say it, but my money is on Microsoft and maybe even better Lenox

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
  10. another apples and oranges comparison again.
    just like the one about which was the better operating system
    COMES down to the program or application your are going to use, if the computer does not run it or do it it is just a boat anchor (or in this case a discus)
    ((now watch the linux clowns come out about better OS))

    One reason the surface may be gaining is the fact it is windows based which has an enormous amount of programs and VSTs available . Just like in tablet world the iPad wins because of the sure number of apps compared to android . Plus the selection of interfaces also there (I have heard stories on how the under-powered USB ports of the all in one Macs have issues)

    One other reason is (((PRICE))) , I love the ending of the “Steve Jobs” movie where he talks about how the computer will help the world.
    My question is this,,, “How do you help when the computer cost more than a used car???”

    Me I am just looking to have some fun to make some music, so i just take My ipad and use some apps there and call it a day. To use any computer seriously for music making technically you only use for control and not full generation (last time i checked Sampletank was only VST that was used in a top 40 song)

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    1. “(last time i checked Sampletank was only VST that was used in a top 40 song)”

      Are you kidding? Most top 40 songs use VSTs.

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      1. I was referring to an article I read quite a few years ago which talked about hardware versus software and they talked about at that times how many songs had use software (around the time the movie “8 mile” came out) there are probably allot more now but have to look deep to find
        Now as far as master sequencer that is a different story

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    1. “In my experience windows systems always have diminishing performance, not so with macs.”

      What are you trying to say? This is not a technical statement or one that makes a ton of sense.

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      1. You’re right, I didn’t mean to be too technical anyway as its just empiric observation and again MY experience. I have used both systems over the years and I noticed new windows systems work brilliantly, for the first few weeks. Over the course of time they get somehow bloated, buggy and slower, and tend to crash consistently. Not so with macs, I still keep a 2009 imac which i use daily – with snow leopard albeit – and still runs like the first day. Never formated or reinstalled, as I did have to do a number of times on the windows machines. Shame snow leopard is no longer supported by apple or third parties -chrome, and many others-.

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  11. I really want to defend iOS as far as music making on a tablet. But, Every single iOS update breaks alot of the $1000 worth of apps I have purchased. Sure the app makers try to play catch up on each update, but, the timeline is unpredictable.

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    1. Simple, give it a few weeks before updationg ios, or do you need to update right away? What is the point?

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      1. some apps don’t even get an update for months. what if the device gets a security update? ignore a security update? um, no. that’s the point !

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        1. I had no issues with security updates vs apps, its true though for ios 7 vs 8 vs 9 vs 10. I wait for the dust to settle after each new ios is released and devs catch up on my primary devices, and keep older/unsupported apps on older devices running the older systems.

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  12. These conversations are always amusing. Almost everyone’s favorite music, when asked, comes from artists who recorded onto.. a tape recorder. If you depend on software to make music, as opposed to having software that does your mind’s bidding, your music is probably not very good.

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    1. As easy a workflow as possible is important to the artist.

      All artists appreciate their tools, and implying that the only true artists use tape recorders and do not have workflow concerns and preferences is pretty silly.

      Dictating that a more technical workflow makes music “not very good” indicates your personal insecurities, not so much your abilities.

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  13. Apple support for the creative market is dying… deny it all you want, but its happening for real

    if thats your thing, go ahead and have fun with it

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  14. in answer to the headline question – no. not yet, anyway.

    but it highlights a greater question which is apples’ continued commitment to professionals. i’ve been using a mac to make music since 1990 after switching from atari , and have never really wavered in my “fanboyism” until very recently. i’ve been using protools a bit on windows and it’s still too unreliable to make it usable in a critical environment like a scoring studio – too many random hangs, crashes, inexplicable AAE errors, and weirdness regarding system audio (core audio is mostly great)

    but in recent times apple has released “pro” machines for c £5k that aren’t really expandable/ upgradeable and that now haven’t been updated for 3 years, a new laptop that is less powerful than two year old models (according to geekbench), is 30% more expensive and also has serious battery issues; it has neglected the imac and the mac mini (after removing quad core options a couple of years ago); core audio support for third party hardware was knackered a couple of OS’s ago, and their drive to build common os elements across macOS and iOS has recently borked PDF editing, I’m told.

    It’s also telling that they now have one OS coding team rather than two, with iOS taking priority.

    i’ve spent my entire professional life in the music business, surrounded by mac people and i’m hearing a lot of muttering about how apple is losing it’s way, choosing form over function (seriously, have you met anyone who would rather than have a thin laptop than one with a usb or ethernet port?)

    i’m still not there – too bought into the ecosystem and the incredible stuff for music making on iOS – but it’s getting harder to justify….

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  15. Times change, change is necessary.
    Those good times using Apple are gone for us Pro users, accept it and move on, it’s irreversible.
    Apple doesn’t need us anymore.
    We feel entitled, but be grateful.
    Grateful there’s still alternatives.
    We are spoiled for choices.
    Hardware is gaining more popularity, which ties in beautifully with Apple’s abandonment.
    Embrace it and start making music.

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  16. If you are being honest with yourself, you will know that there is currently no hardware anywhere in the Apple lineup that is truly of professional audio caliber by today’s standards. Sure, you can still use plenty of it, but pound for pound, Apple is years behind at this point. As a Mac user since the early 90s (Quadra 700 for ProTools 3!), I have built a new PC and couldn’t be happier to see the back side of Apple. For 2k you get hardware that is far more powerful than anything in the Apple lineup, pro models included. And this build includes a new monitor and a 1080 video card, so it’s powerful enough for development work and also silent enough for audio.

    You don’t have a choice in this, and Apple isn’t coming back for you. Seriously, just move on guys. The old Apple is long gone. We don’t have to be happy, and can even feel betrayed, but we can’t really blame them for dumping creative professionals in favor of the billions of dollars they make off of iPhones. The only choice you have in this situation is how long it takes you to realize the truth, how much you want to be in charge of your own creative tools, and how elegantly you want to handle your switch to a new platform.

    Two issues of significant note to us…

    1 – Apple has said they will change their file system next year. That will undoubtedly break everything you use. Everything! I expect this to be the tipping point for many users and companies. If you are wise you will be ahead of this fiasco instead of “dealing with it” in some reactive way.

    2 – Apple has already merged it’s MacOS and iOS operating system development teams. That means there is one OS team at Apple for all products. And guess what user needs are in the driving seat? Not ours. Not by a long shot. Expect the MacOS to get more emoji centric and feature rich with junk like “handoff” and things that use maps, social media and data integration. Nothing they do from now on to the desktop OS will benefit professional audio.

    The Surface Pro isn’t really where I think it needs to be for creative professionals yet though. It’s too clunky, heavy, hot to be a tablet, and it’s not powerful enough to be a desktop or high end laptop replacement. It’s awesome for general use consumers right now, and I think in a couple years when my 2014 MBP is ready to be retired, Surface tables will be where I need them to be. But for right now, a better mobile choice is the iPad. The music apps are super interesting, the functionality is there for mobile sketching and some finishing work, and you can integrate it into a studio environment really easily now.

    To recap:

    Short Term
    – Apple is a dead end for creative professionals. You can hang on for a couple more years in denial, but things are only going to get steadily worse.
    – Start your transition now! A high end Windows laptop that beats the pants off any MacBook Pro can be had for half the price, and if you spend 2k+ you get phenomenal hardware. A high end desktop PC is an even better value proposition. I’ve switched my desktop to PC, and will continue to use the MBP as a bridging tool for the next year or two (or just as soon as it becomes irrelevant)
    – Stop using all Apple services… iTunes/Calendar/Mail, etc, and replace them with cross platform tools that sync via the web. This way you can use mixed Apple, Windows and mobile tools with the same services. Swap the hardware as it makes sense for you over the next months or years.
    – iPad Pro is still a great audio sketchpad, and general purpose mobile tool.

    Long Term
    – High end PC desktops will do you right for the foreseeable future
    – High end PC laptops will remain readily accessible and affordable
    – In a couple of years I expect the Surface to get faster, cheaper, lighter, to a point of being able to replace either/both a laptop and tablet. By then many of the unique iOS developers will have started producing software for what is a far larger user base, and will bring all that touch/tap/cloud experience over with them to a far more robust platform
    – Maybe you have an apple phone, maybe not. Apple is now a consumer electronics company, so if they make a nice phone, car gizmo, home stereo, whatever, buy it! Just don’t count on their shitty ecosystem anymore.
    – Stick to cross platform services for all things. Don’t buy into any one companies ecosystem.

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    1. All of Apples computer hardware are more or less fantastic for Pro musicians even the humble Mac Mini and the AIr series. Silly to claim otherwise. And the software works great which one can’t say about windows software.

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  17. I’ve been using a Surface Pro 3 since it came out. I use it in the studio with the official docking station.

    It’s had its ups and downs – I actually had a month where the WIFI on the device was working really slowly thanks to a ballsed up firmware update that Microsoft released. Thankfully they resolved it – but it was frustrating… But apart from that the experience has been pretty awesome.

    As far as music production goes, the only Mac envy I have is for aggregate audio devices… Even though it’s not perfect, Windows has nothing of the kind baked into the OS (the closest we get is using ASIO4ALL as the driver for all audio devices, but it’s flakey)

    Before I got the SP3, I was considering getting a MBP. Personally, I’m glad I didn’t. I used to loathe Microsoft about 3+ years ago. Now I think they have become one of the more innovative tech companies out there.

    For music making, Microsoft already have an amazing platform. We just need software to catch up with more support for touch.

    Mac’s will remain a force in music production without doubt, but with Apples continued lack of innovation in recent years (and gimmicks or making things thinner & lighter don’t count as innovation) will certainly push a lot more producers to the Microsoft platform – which is not really the Dark Side it once was.

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  18. Apple platform has really gone to heck the last few years. A lot of problems. Windows was getting better up until W7, but W10 is a massive &*#( and not usable for high performance without lots of tweaking, or buying a costly machine, same price as a Mac, that’s been tuned. Linux is simply DOA. Sure there’s all those guys on this and that forum swearing they are doing high performance audio and video work on Linux, but when you try to pin them down for details, they scatter like sand lice at the beach.

    What’s the solution? Despair. Hopelessness. Clinging to that old release and hoping the forced nonconsensual upgrades don’t manage to install.

    This and not the sound is the main reason for the analog resurgence. Computer stuff in its current state kills productivity.

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  19. Apple was once all alone in the music category. They have since become complacent and now Microsoft is leading the way now. Maybe they dont have the followers that Apple has currently but that will change. Everything is touch screen and music applications are much more intelligently created with the use of touch controls. I have made the switch from Apple to Microsoft.

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  20. I haven’t read all comments, but I thinks that with the current iteration of Windows it is possible. Now we just need developers and OEMs to catch up. We need TOUCHABLE interfaces in VSTs and DAWs and we need hardware compatible with these new Laptops, no one has thunderbolt 2 and everyone has usb 3.0 and usb 3.1

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  21. Is there any software for the Surface Pro that compares to Garageband for iPad? Simplicity, touch instruments, ability to import files directly into a desktop DAW? Garageband > Logic Pro has been my go-to songwriting/production pipeline since they introduced the iPad app.

    The other thing that gives me pause switching to Windows for my next laptop is malware and viruses- it’s still much more of an issue on Windows than Mac OS (I have both Mac and Windows workstations). So I would still prefer a Mac for email and anything I do involving business on the internet. I hate the newest Mac Pros (I have 4 pre-ashcan MPs) and I don’t like the new Macbook Pros either. I feel like Apple is dropping balls right and left; Itunes has become unusable, for example, since they started the Music service…

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  22. Say what you want about Apple’s release cycle, and I do agree with the annual cycle of bugs to some degree and I know some people do experience that, however:

    -I use Ableton & Logic on mac and I didn’t have any problems on any OS X versions. Same with my iOS upgrades. If anything one my apps needed to update, the rest just worked.
    -The surface is ok in my opinion, but i STILL believe it is a “master of none.” Its awkwardly sized, hot, and clunky for a tablet when compared to my iPad pro. Plus iOS apps are made to be mobile iOS and do that EXTREMELY well. Yes there are some cool touch windows full fledged programs, are they cool? Sure? Are they the same when it comes to the immediacy and creativity and portability of iOS? No.
    -The synchronization between devices with ONE login, including even phone calls, etc, if you have multiple, is really cool. Yes there are web versions of that, but being built in is nice. Thats a person preference I suppose.
    -I only EVER see people using a surface as with the keyboard, even my friends. People seem more excited that they CAN touch their screen than they actually do it.

    Even if you don’t agree with any of the above, the one thing that is annoying is everyone is saying Microsoft is more “innovative.” They are years behind, and if anything, reading the market for people who do want things that apple has left out. The iPhone / iPad was innovative. The touch strip is innovative (even if you don’t like it). There is nothing innovative about a surface. Does take what apple pushed with multitouch and finally combine it into a full desktop class computer? Yes. Why is that so innovative though? I used to have for a work a super clunky portable touch screen PC by Compaq (yes that dates me). It was a PC and shitty touch screen. So they took multitouch and shrunk down that computer. That’s not so innovative. Does it work for you, are they reading the market decently? Probably. It’s not that big of an “innovation” however.

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  23. All I care, It’s how can you keyboard control UI? When can Apple give me a menu key?

    It’s great Apple finally gave us resize-window-from-any-corner… was it year 2012?

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  24. I’m confused…How has Apple abandoned the creative class with the new MacBook Pro?
    This is the first MacBook with a 4gb video card in it.
    Yes the lack of USB ports may suck, but Thunderbolt seems to be a much better solution for “Pro” accessories given its speed and versatility.
    PC users will be quick to claim about how much power they can get for less money, but PC’s dont have anywhere near the level of hardware to software optimization.

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  25. Late to the party, but… I’m a long time Mac user who is also frustrated by the direction of OS X development (becoming merged with iOS). This is a much bigger deal to me than the slowing hardware upgrades. The abandoning of pro-centric to consumer centric has been a long time coming… started when Jobs was still in charge.

    It’s a separate question as to what will replace it. Certainly not Windows for me. Microsoft will have to do a lot more to convince me they really care about any user base other than corporate employees.

    My “work” computer could easily be replaced by a cheap laptop running Linux.

    For music, I mostly use hardware now. Computer is just for recording. If there was a good dedicated alternate hardware device for recording, I’d be interested. I need to be able to collaborate with people who use computers being the catch. Also need clock sync.

    Barring that, though, I’m keeping an eye on Bitwig, which supports Linux.

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  26. the new macbook is just awesome in every aspect and full of innovation, apple does it just right, like always.
    and it costs the same as always. yes you can go up to 5k but it starts the same as the older ones.
    in the end the investment has nothing to do with the actual cost of a product, you can sell your apple hardware for some great money as always it keeps his value. while the other side mostly don’t last till you want to sell it.

    as always it will take some time for people to realize what apple gave with this new product.
    did you ever had one on your hands and actually used it ? its mind-blowing !

    someone says mac mini no quad-core…. well, its a lightweight and cheap mac and not meant for hard work, which music in most cases, actually is.

    another one said it crashes often, how can a mac crash? thats not really possible at all, because everything is sandboxed. if it happens then you have faulty hardware for sure.

    the iPad pro has the same single core score as a 3,46 Ghz mac pro, and

    apps are made for touch from the ground up <- THIS IS WHY, this is the most important one on the subject here

    things like the surface studio may seem innovative but in the end, its crap
    in the end something has to be invented before it can be innovated

    of course apple had a full touchscreen imac in 2005 already but they realized it was a bad idea

    Apple's software engineering chief tells why there's no touchscreen Mac:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HIPYUh4s_Q&spfreload=10

    something to think about Apple: (great Artwork)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ1SDXbij8Y&t=20s&spfreload=10

    windows 10 got somewhat "good" again after the windows 8 nightmare, and windows 9 never saw the light

    i like the new CEO of Microsoft and I'm curious what they will come up next, but still a surface is a no-go for me

    wish you all the best with your machines, may it MS or Apple: in the end its YOU what matters.

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  27. Since I see it mentioned a few times, I want to say that people really need to stop falling back on the blue screen of death to make their pro-Mac arguments.

    We see the same situation over and over of people using discount PCs as the basis for comparison against Macs. One of the most common causes of blue screen is hardware failure. Part of the reason Macs are expensive and see fewer crashes is they generally use quality components.

    Software is another reason for crashes, often from bad drivers. But again, do you really expect no-name knockoff hard drive company to make quality drivers, let alone keep them updated? On top of that, it doesn’t help that you’ve already had changes made to your system due to bloatware – preinstalled to bring your price down further.

    Point is, if you want reliability and quality you have to pay for it. This isn’t to say that a high-end PC won’t ever crash, but hey, so do Macs. Shocking, I know.

    If you don’t think a Windows PC can be reliable, I’ve had a Surface Pro 3 for 28 months now. I use it 8+ hours/day in a multimedia heavy environment. Number of crashes in that time = 0.

    Again, zero crashes, ever.

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  28. I use an iPad pro 12.9″ linked to my MacBook Pro using an app called duet. It allows some touchable usage on Ableton etc. I appreciate it is not as elegant a solution as the surface book. I’m not a professional music producer but enjoy ‘tinkering’ with technology, apps, found sounds etc.
    I hope everyone can settle their mac/pc debate and just enjoy what they have 🙂
    Peace!

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  29. I use Macs and Windows both for music. (My employer gives me a MacBook Pro for my office, I teach in an iMac lab, and I have a Windows-based home music studio and also own a Surface Pro 3.) Both platforms are excellent, but for me Windows has the edge. With my Surface Pro, I have the power of a desktop computer, the ultra-portable size of a tablet, and an interface that lets me use my 10 fingers like a musician the way I do in the physical world when I play or mix music. And then there are apps like StaffPad that allow intuitive notation entry with the pen, not to mention the universe of painting/drawing apps, etc. etc. etc.

    As to which OS is more dependable in general — I have more problems with the Macs — things like hard-drive fails, OS upgrade fails, crashes that require a reboot, things of that sort. On the other hand, yes — Core Audio seems to perform better than native Windows audio. But I use an ASIO driver and that makes up for any difference.

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