Mac as a service?

Apples new focus on services brought me to the thought of a future with the whole Mac and macOS as a service, macOS for the web if you want. You would pay for your power and buy a keyboard, mouse, magic trackpad and a screen but all the computation power is just streamed your way for a monthly fee.

Do you guys think that will come eventually with Final Cut Pro and Logic for the web?

Anything is possible. Google announced a streaming game service recently, but didn’t give a target date, price, or any specifics on titles available. A system capable of streaming major console/pc level games would be capable of providing other processor intensive programs.

Microsoft, from what I’ve read is much further along with a similar service. And some in the industry expect MS to begin streaming high performance apps (i.e. AutoCad, PhotoShop) to whatever screen you have in the next few years.

The technology apparently exists to do what you describe. But streaming music and video is much different than streaming major apps.

Currently iCloud is still missing important features common to other cloud storage systems (sharing folders, etc.). It is still impossible to upload multiple files through a browser making it almost useless if you aren’t working from a Mac/iPad, etc.

And IOS is still crippled because Apple has not chosen to give it parity with a Mac in several areas (i.e desktop Safari). They are a hardware company, and, AFAIK, with the exception of music, and possibly video, their services require Apple hardware. I don’t think Apple has any interest in this area.

Personally, I would put the chances of Apple ever streaming their Pro software at slim to none.

Just reminds me of using CompuServe at the start of the 1980s. For that you paid by the hour. I don’t want to go back to the past now that computers are so inexpensive.

I was still using CompuServe into the early 90’s. Seems like it was around $6/hour at that time. The TAPCIS program saved me a lot of money.

All clouds are variants of TSO in a loose sense.

Nothing new under the sun?


The concept of a centralized computation unit with dumb terminals is older than the personal computer, yes. In a way it seems personal computing was just a detour that will vanish soon enough. Wonder if Apple has a plan for that.

Probably would not be attractive until 5G (or later) is globally pervasive, entirely reliable, and attractively priced. Otherwise, why give up the superpower that’s sitting right in front of all of us on this forum?

I doubt we’ll ever retreat to ‘dumb terminals’ even though you’ve suggested it before. Local power has tremendous uses and will for many years to come.

Yes I know, it’s an idea that I can’t get out of my head since I read about it some time ago and could not come up with good counter argument.

Sorry for going on all your nerves about it:)

and, by all means, we shouldn’t want a big, centralised, computer brain that handles all the trivial tasks our local, owned, machine can do…

It’s funny how some ideas in computer science are evergreen: