Thought: Secrecy in Apple marketing and development tools.

I have been as impressed as anyone with Apple’s return to prominence as a viable desktop computing alternative to Windows. I think that a few things behind this including the popularity of the iPod, the adoption of a BSD-based core for the operating system, and of course brilliant control of their brand messaging.

However, as adoption of the Apple platform grows they are starting to spread out from the truly devoted fans into a group of users who really don’t care about the cool factor of using a Mac Book Pro, or whether their headphones are white or not.

If you look at the corporate computing environment today, IT professionals and software developers have visibility years ahead of what technologies and features their platform will have and can start planning ahead. I know it sounds terribly boring, but as these people get exposed to the big bang effect of the Apple marketing machine, I can’t help but wonder whether they will get turned off or not.

As an aside, I also don’t feel that Apple has done enough for software developers on their platform. It seems the best IDE they can manage is Xcode and the best language Objective-C whereas on Windows I can use .NET and it is fully sanctioned and supported by Microsoft. I know that I can download Mono and MonoDevelop for the Mac OS X, but the IDE in particular doesn’t look at home on the platform.

One of the biggest software houses for Mac outside of Apple is Microsoft, I wonder if they could turn their hand to producing an IDE for the Mac? I wonder whether it would cannibalise Windows sales much.

2 thoughts on “Thought: Secrecy in Apple marketing and development tools.

  1. Andrew Tobin

    Thats one thing that gets me as I see more devs pick up mac book pro’s etc.

    If the business follows us, they won’t like booting different OSes and if they find OsX that exciting, will it mean that we will have a future where we have to look at cross developing for Macs?

    And if Microsoft followed the “Developers, developers, developers!” then the last thing they’d want to see is devs jumping ship to macs… it’d cut the revenue on potential Vista users.

  2. Kevin Daly

    Microsoft might enter the Apple development tools market (or rather re-enter it, since there was of course Applesoft Basic years ago) if Apple claims a big enough share of the desktop/Enterprisey market.
    On the other hand I don’t think it’s all that likely: the only revenue stream would come from the development tools themselves, and they would after all be hurting Windows by making the Mac a more attractive platform for developers.
    On the other hand…the Mac is a supported platform for Silverlight (wouldn’t it be cool if the iPhone could be as well? Sigh), so there would be some incentive for them to create a Silverlight 2.0 development tool for the Mac, especially since the absence of Mac tools is a disincentive for Mac-only designers to adopt Silverlight.

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