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Windows Vs Mac software crossover bias to Mac?

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Posted by Simon Bolivar
Nov 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

 

It’s my impression that Software begun on Windows are often made for Mac afterwards, yet it doesn’t seem to work the other way around, am I wrong? As a Windows user who doesn’t have access to Tinderbox etc because it is one of many Mac Softwares that don’t crossover to Windows it irritates me that so many Windows software developers seem to bend over backwards to help Mac Users. Thanks.

 


Posted by Hugh
Dec 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

 

Some do, some don’t. I’m not sure that it’s justifiable to generalise.

If there’s any truth in the statement, it may be because (in my very anecdotal view) there was a time, probably now in the past, when Apple seemed to make an effort - with “kits of bits” - to encourage a large and disproportionate number of small, one or two-man band developers to enter the application market - disproportionate in the sense that Apple had then and, to a certain extent still has, a relatively small percentage of total desktop and laptop sales. Equally, many of those developers, being naturally “left of field” creative folk, were perhaps slightly more attracted to developing for the Mac platform, then regarded as itself a slightly hippy and rebellious upstart, than for the dominant Microsoft. When the iPad and iPhone arrived, it was only natural that their first inclination was to develop for iOS rather than for Windows, given the similarities between iOS and the Mac platform.

Some of those developers have now started developing for Windows, attracted no doubt by the much greater size of the potential market. But you only have to follow the fortunes of one or two of them and listen to the difficulties, travails and issues they face in developing for a total of what is now three or four plus platforms (including Linux) to understand that those who avoid Windows are certainly not being negligent or deliberately discriminatory. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. But Eastgate, which develops Tinderbox which you mention, is still, like many such developers, pretty much a one-man band. And my understanding is that that one man has been working very hard recently simply on getting Version 6 of Tinderbox for the Mac out of the door.

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Dec 1, 2014 at 06:51 PM

 

That’s an interesting view—I would never have had that impression.  I live in both the Mac and Windows worlds and I buy lots of software.  The only “software begun on Windows” that migrated to Mac that I can think of are the pieces of Microsoft Office.  Word and Excel were very early on developed for Mac as well as Windows.  Later came Outlook to OS X and later still OneNote.  Outside of the Microsoft domain I wouldn’t be able to say there is much crossing of the Windows-Mac barrier.

Maybe I shouldn’t but I’m excluding Java things like TheBrain because porting from Windows to OS X is **relatively** easier for Java apps.

I do agree with Simon in the other direction: Mac apps rarely get ported to Windows.  Scrivener is a major outlier, and there it took years before Keith Blount was satisfied with the Windows version.  Tinderbox’s internals are so hooked into OS X that I wonder if a Windows version would be any match for what was done in OS X.

I don’t know that it’s a matter of one group of developers “bending over backwards” and another not.  Developers collaborate with one another, but that kind of platform-preference group strategizing doesn’t really exist in the software business.  I doubt anyone is thinking “well, I’m not going to help those Windows guys over there; I don’t care if they helped me”. What you see is a combination of market forces (money) and developer time.

Simon Bolivar wrote:
It’s my impression that Software begun on Windows are often made for Mac
>afterwards, yet it doesn’t seem to work the other way around, am I
>wrong? As a Windows user who doesn’t have access to Tinderbox etc
>because it is one of many Mac Softwares that don’t crossover to Windows
>it irritates me that so many Windows software developers seem to bend
>over backwards to help Mac Users. Thanks.

 


Posted by Franz Grieser
Dec 1, 2014 at 07:30 PM

 

Simon.

>It’s my impression that Software begun on Windows are often made for Mac afterwards, yet it doesn’t seem to work the other way around, am I wrong?

What Windows software are you talking about? The only ones I know of are

Microsoft Office
OpenOffice
Mindmanager
Xmind (I think it started on Windows, but as it’s Java-based, porting shouldn’t have been so hard)
Rightnote
Notecase

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

 

From my own vantage point, I’d say this is a misconception. First off, there is not a whole lot of crossover either direction, especially if you remove Microsoft from the equation. Second, it seems to me there is just as much, if not more, software that was first developed on the Mac that was then ported to Windows. For example, the entire Adobe Creative Suite: In Design, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc… Then there is Apple’s own database FileMaker. There is a lot more financial allure for moving a successful Mac product to Windows than the other way around.

I can see why Tinderbox would be an example that would stick out, as there was a Windows version promised years ago, and has never happened. I doubt it will, with an iPad version supposedly in the works, and still a lot of work to do on version 6.

Steve

 


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