I am not really sure how I missed this one, but I guess (like many others) I was so blown away by the awesome specifications of the new Mac Pro that I didn’t notice an interesting omission. Now I need to give credit where it is due, because it was listener Scott who actually brought this to my attention, “Despite the great configurability of the new MacPro, did you notice you can’t add a remote control?… “The addition of FrontRow (also missing from the specs) with a remote would have been so nice!”
Ah ha, you see it now too. I guess Apple feels their Pro customers are too busy working to enjoy a little media experience on their Macs?
Now I am sure that to some people who purchase a new Mac Pro this may not be a big deal, but for other customers like Scott it does obviously matter. I think I tend to be in agreement with Scott on this one. The Mac Pro could really serve double duty as a nice secondary home entertainment device. It could be ideal our secondary forms of entertainment like IPTV, video podcasts and iTunes TV downloads. Note that Apple dropped prices on their Cinema displays and many of those buying Mac Pros will also pick up a 23″ or 30″ HD display. Wouldn’t that make a Mac Pro an awesome, and easy, way to add a media center to a spare room or den in your home? We all know that OS 10.5 will have FrontRow built in, so part of this omission will be solved then, but it doesn’t ship until Spring 2007.
There is no doubt that the Mac Pro is the king ca-macho macho of all Mac-dom, but there does seem to be a couple of niceties (FrontRow, Apple Remote, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) Apple has decided to reserve for it consumer customers. I would expect things to change when Apple releases Leopard with FrontRow in the Spring, but I guess for now Pro users will still need to rely on the great 3rd party solutions like Media Central to get their Mac media center fix.