Now, there’s an odd headline. It would hardly seem that the two companies could learn much from each other (other than looking over the shoulder of the other in terms of feature sets for their NLE’s).
But in the latest MacBreak Weekly (#70) in which Leo Laporte, Alex Lindsay, Andy Ihnatko, Chris Breen, Merlin Mann, and Scott Bourne discuss what Apple might release at January’s MacWorld show. A few of the participants made the case that Apple has recently defined the art of creating products that occupy their own niches and, moreover, complement each other. Thus there is a laptop, a super small computer (iPhone and iPod touch), a desktop, and a music/media player. It is where these categories have gotten fuzzy that they’ve stumbled (see many Apple products in the 1990s as well as today’s AppleTV). Sure there are different price points within each grouping, but there are very few products with fuzzy identities.
One could even make the case that this philosophy extends to their software as well — their Pro Apps, their iLife suite.
Avid has never been particularly good at creating individually tailored product lines. Are MCSoft and Xpress Pro really different? How are Adrenaline based Composers and MCSoft with Mojo separate? And let’s not even talk about Isis and Unity and LanShare, and Interplay on top of that. I think I get NewsCutter as separate from MC, but is it really necessary? Plenty of news operations are using FCP without buying a different edition of the software?
Now, I’m not saying that some of these products don’t have a reason to live. NewsCutter may be the best tool for the job. But I suspect that there are more product lines than Avid needs, and that they need to do a better job of defining what the different lines do.
What does Apple have to show to Avid? Better marketing of product lines. Better definition of product lines. Fewer product lines, in fact.
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