How Final Cut Ended up at Apple

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How Final Cut Ended up at Apple: an Excerpt from John Buck's 'Timeline: a History of Editing'

Did you know Final Cut wasn’t actually an Apple product but a Windows program written by Macromedia that Apple purchased? Did you know Apple purchasing Final Cut was a result of Adobe rebuffing Apple over a Mac version of Premiere? Did you know Apple was in danger of going under when it purchased Final Cut? Even if you already knew all of these things, the particulars of how Final Cut ended up in Apple’s hands is a fascinating story for anyone interested in video editing. John Buck’s $4.99 book Timeline: A History of Editing (also available on iBooks) tells the full tale. There’s also a Volume 1 book, which covers editing up until the digital age. Let’s take it back to 1998:

In the days after Randy Ubillos’ Final Cut demonstration at the 1998 NAB, Macromedia’s stock climbed as analysts speculated on the company’s future. Computergram magazine signalled the first of many rumblings about Final Cut’s future.

Macromedia Inc hasn’t been saying very much about its next generation Final Cut digital video editing, compositing and effects tool since Compaq Computer first previewed it at NAB. But the hype machine is now beginning to build up for the tool, which is due to be launched during the first half of this year on Windows 95, Windows NT and Macintoshes. Rumours suggest that Apple Computer now very much focused on the digital content creation market, is very interested in the tool, which uses its QuickTime 3.0 technology, even to the extent that it was considering buying the tool outright.

Final Cut’s product manager, Tim Myers recalls:

We were pretty unsure about whether a move to Apple at that time was going to be a good thing or a bad thing. It certainly wasn’t in its second wave of success, far from it and it was very questionable whether they were going to be able to pull it off. And a lot of us were thinking if Apple is struggling just selling computers right now why would they want to support and sell an editing product? read more...

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