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Comment on "Implications of Adobe's Intel-Only Soundbooth"
by Ben — Oct 30
Followup thought and example:
Large software companies (Adobe, Microsoft, Apple) do their thinking about product roadmaps in terms of years, not months, and brand-new products don't look at the way the user base is *today*, they look at it over the next decade.

Here's a followup example to illustrate. When Apple shipped iTunes for Windows in late 2003, a huge chunk of the consumer Windows users were still running Win98 (or even Win95). But iTunes required XP. Why? Because Win9x compatibility was just legacy compatibility at that point, and it was understood that within a few years, any Windows box that mattered would be running XP (or some NT-based successor). iTunes and QuickTime do stuff that requires driver-level behavior, and all that media and I/O stuff is totally different on XP than it was in Win9x. It wasn't worth it to Apple to write a bunch of code up front for a platform that was already on its way out. It was smarter to invest in the future.

Frankly, this was a riskier decision for Apple than what Adobe is doing. Apple was looking to push iPods into Windows households, and they alienated a bunch of the immediate market (e.g. here) when they made this call (obviously it hasn't been a big problem...). Whereas Adobe's customers in this case are professionals, who will upgrade hardware more frequently and readily anyways.
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