Good news for movie pros today: Apple is rumoured to be releasing a new version of Final Cut Pro this spring, with an ambitious overhaul that will see the biggest change "since the original version was created over 10 years ago." Apple has enlisted several film industry professionals to give their feedback and provide a helping hand in shaping the new version, according to TechCrunch.
The overhaul is expected to encompass everything, from the user interface to the underlying architecture. Final Cut Pro is still 32-bit only, limiting professionals wishing to work with very large files, so Apple could be making the jump to 64-bit with this release. Eyewitness reports vaguely describe the release as being "dramatic and ambitious," and Steve Jobs himself has said in emails to customers that the "next release will be awesome."
The Final Cut team has been hit by cuts from Apple, and according to insider reports, Randy Ubillos (responsible for the iMovie redesign) is now head of the team. In an email to a concerned customer, Steve Jobs crushed rumours that Apple is shifting its efforts away from Final Cut. "Folks who left were in support, not engineering," he said.
Fear has rippled through the tech community that Apple is neglecting the pro market in favour of the average consumer. In the past, Apple delayed Mac OS X Leopard to make sure the consumer-geared iPhone would be released on time. Owners of the recently discontinued Xserve were left without a practical upgrade solution, forcing IT professionals to come up with their own roadmaps. In the film industry, the widely popular Shake was discontinued without explanation, the same year Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS to rave reviews. It's easy to think that Apple doesn't care much for its professional audience anymore, so a Final Cut Pro overhaul might be needed at a time like this more than ever before.