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April Fools: Apple 'bounce back' campaign for Mac users

A promotion to draw Mac users back into the OS X fold after they'd switched to Windows would be a nice idea for creative pros -- but it's just a joke.

Apple's Mac Pro desktop tower.
Apple's Mac Pro desktop tower. Apple

Update 4:57 a.m. PT: We were fooled by April Fools' Day. We have corrected and recast the story accordingly.

Wouldn't it be nice if Apple planned a "bounce back" campaign to win back customers who defected to Windows machines? It would dovetail with the expected reawakening of the company's dormant high-end Mac Pro line -- but the idea is just a joke.

Video producer Lou Borella, the creator of the "We want a new Macpro" Facebook group, had said yesterday -- April Fools' Day -- that Apple itself contacted him about the initiative.

"The campaign is called 'The Bounce Back Program' and it's aimed at professionals who at one time switched to OS X from Windows and then switched back to a WinTel machine recently," Borella said. "I have to send in my serial numbers from the Windows OS that I have used over the years to prove that I am a 'bounce back switcher.'"

Later, though, he added the words that we should have paid more attention to: "I'm hoping to talk with them as the day progresses to get any more info. I'd be a fool not to partake though, right?" (Editors' note: We've added the italics for emphasis.)

Consider the phantom campaign, perhaps, as the marriage of wishful thinking and sly humor. The joke does fit with Apple's recent pro-friendly moves. Apple's Mac Pro line has languished as the company concentrated on consumer-oriented products such as MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. But Chief Executive Tim Cook promised a Mac Pro update would arrive this year.

One prime area where Apple has been vulnerable is video editing, a chore that benefits from huge amounts of memory, expansion bays to add new hard drives, and multiple multicore processors. Some pros didn't like Apple's Final Cut Pro X overhaul, and Adobe has been pushing hard to convert those customers to its Premiere Pro competitor that runs on both Windows and Mac.

Apple has a new campaign directed at Final Cut Pro, though, signaling that it's not willing to cede this segment of the "creative professional" market to rivals. The Mac Pro line received only a minor update last year; it's still missing modern technologies such as USB 3.0 and the even higher-speed Thunderbolt port that Intel and Apple are pushing.

Thunderbolt isn't as necessary on expandable tower computers as it is on laptops, but it's still useful in video circles given the range of editing-specific Thunderbolt hardware from companies including Matrox, AJA, and Blackmagic. Thunderbolt also can accommodate external monitors.