Will Apple Ever Abandon The MacBook Pro? – Forbes

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Is it likely that Apple will abandon the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro in lieu of iOS devices? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Glyn Williams, video game industry veteran, on Quora:

Is it likely that Apple will abandon the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro in lieu of iOS devices? Although both devices are based on the same software engineering, there is a gigantic philosophical difference between the two platforms.

OS X (macOS) is a traditional OS, in which each application has significant power to modify the state of the machine. This provides huge utility and flexibility. But there is the risk that the machine may become unstable over time.

iOS has been engineered to be safe. The apps are limited in what they can do, and this makes the devices more reliable and better suited to non-expert users. Whatever the users do, they can’t break the software.

This safety comes at a cost of power and flexibility.

But year after year, iOS is slowly gaining back flexibility and power, because there are new, safe ways to accomplish many goals.

If this trend continues, I suspect that in a decade, almost all computer users will find all of their needs met with an iOS-type safe system. (Although I think a safe desktop WIMP environment might appear in that time). And those users will migrate to the newer platform because they just want reliability.

At the end of such a period, Apple might find itself selling mostly iOS-type safe machines. It may or may not continue with OS X.

In terms of user interface, there is also a philosophical difference. Macs are two surface devices (keyboard/screen), while iOS is mostly direct touch.

Currently direct interfaces are regarded as toylike—and two surface indirect solutions are regarded as professional. I think that distinction is artificial, and probably needs to go away. There would be nothing wrong with an iOS safety on a Windows/mice/keyboard device. Nor anything wrong with OS X embracing direct manipulation, for artists and creatives.

Currently Apple is keeping these two philosophical differences as two product lines.

But really, there should be four.

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