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Comment on "Cocoa for Windows Will Not Happen"
by Brendan Dowling — Jun 12
You've got it wrong. Remember Steve Balmer's speech? Developers, Developers? The platform is the important thing. It's the network effect. People buy Windows machines because Windows is the platform for the applications they want to run. Apple wants to sell Macs. There are two ways to get people to buy Macs, get Macs to run Windows applications, or get developers to write apps for the Mac platform.

If Apple were to put support for the Windows API into Mac OS X many developers would stop developing for the Mac and only develop Windows API programs. Those applications would of course be "least common denominator" functionality that would work on the Mac, but probably wouldn't be able to fit in with the more advanced features of OS X, like Spotlight or Desktop Widgets or whatever.

Now, because at least 95% of machines out there are PC's, the software has to run on Windows. They're not going to target Mac unless they're either a niche developer who does things just for the Mac or are a massive developer that can afford to make a port for <5% of the market. And ports tend to be crappy. That's not really what Apple wants. They want a top-shelf experience for their users.

If, however, Apple makes all of its development tools and libraries available for Windows and provides technical support, at least some developers will shift over to it, if only for new projects. The business reasons make sense since developers can get access to a 5% larger market for free. Technically, it's not that hard for a developer to use one framework over another, it's just different stuff to learn. So if you could either use .NET and be able to sell your app to 95% of the market, or use Cocoa and be able to sell it to near 100%, which would you choose?

If Apple is successful with this, they will gain new applications and developers and perhaps attract more market share. Of course Microsoft could lose developers as developers start using Cocoa. Microsoft might get scared and start producing .NET for Mac. Either way, Apple wins and gets more applications.

It is my expectation that XCode and Cocoa and most of the related framework classes for Windows by the end of the year. And the Windows version will be capable of producing OS X binaries.
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