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Apple released the "revolutionary" $299 Final Cut Pro X on the Mac App Store last week and quickly found itself the target of criticism. Though response to the software has been mixed, video professionals have been especially vocal about crucial features from Final Cut Pro 7 missing in the upgrade.
"I can't believe what apple did with FCPX," one reviewer wrote on the Mac App Store, comparing the release to Microsoft's roundly criticized Windows Vista operating system update. "This is no longer a professional application... this is just an upgrade of iMovie!!"
The Cupertino, Calif., company has also drawn ire from customers by reportedly designating earlier versions of Final Cut Studio, Express and Server as "end of life." An online petition calling for Apple to either reinstate Final Cut Studio 3, restore Final Cut Pro and downgrade Final Cut Pro X to a "prosumer" product or sell the FCP 7 source code has drawn more than 4,500 signatures.
Dissatisfied customers have reported receiving refunds and surprisingly candid emails from Apple representatives as the company attempts to avoid a public relations debacle. Final Cut Pro X project managers also attempted to defuse the situation by speaking with technology journalist David Pogue to clear up some misunderstandings regarding supposed missing features in the release.
With negative publicity over Final Cut Pro X reaching a near fever pitch, Adobe is attempting to drum up support for its competing Premiere Pro. Public relations representatives for the company have called attention to documents assisting users in switching from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro, as well as testimonials from industry professionals using the company's products.
During the preview event for Final Cut Pro in April, Apple boasted 2 million users with a 94 percent satisfaction rate. That satisfaction rate has likely dropped significantly since the release of FCP X, as the application currently has an average rating of 2 1/2 stars with 599 1 star ratings out of a total of 1348.
Apple also claimed the Final Cut Pro user base is growing twice as fast as its competitors, with Adobe and Avid "in a race for second place." By comparison, Adobe touts 22 percent year over year growth in Adobe pro video sales and 45 percent growth on the Mac. The company boasted 2.3 million Adobe Premiere Pro seats in 2010.