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JazzAddict

Is Crossover Mac dangerous for Mac Developers?

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Do yal think that the current virtualization technologies, espeacially Codeweavers upcoming release Crossover Mac poses a threat for Mac developers in the future. If they really nail this technology, do you think that compitition from the utterly massive amount of Windows software will challenge developers. Windows developers will be able to target Mac users as a means of growth, and offer software for cheaper prices. They might be able to easily create GUI's tailored for Mac users. It will also offer Mac users with a massive amount of freeware to replace software that Mac users are paying for now. It's a given that that Windows software will not be nearly as nice as a .app built with xcode, but it seems to me that Mac developers do good enough just to get by, and losing sales to Windows developers who are difficult to compete with due to their econmic and resource advantages could be a bad thing. Do you think it will make current and future developers less motivated to develop Mac software? Any thoughts?

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It's possible that some things may get squeezed out. I think there's more to it than just "Hey I can run this Windows app" though. Mac developers are Mac developers because they like the platform, and like what they can do in writing software for it. Win32 and Cocoa are not equivalent. You can't do all the same things with them, or can't do things as well with one or the other.

 

Microsoft provides DirectX, which is a one-stop API for developing games and a common reference point for things like graphics and audio card specs (DirectX version-whatever Compliant). That's why games exploded on Windows. The Mac with Cocoa and Xcode makes it easy to develop multimedia apps. I read once that it only takes a couple lines of code to write a custom video player for OS X by calling upon Quicktime. That's also the point of all these "Core" things Apple touts (CoreImage, CoreVideo, etc).

 

Also, running things through a compatibility layer like WINE will never be as fast or as stable as running in the system's native environment. Classic was only as good as it was because Apple had the most in-depth knowledge possible of OS 9 - they made it after all. It still wasn't perfect though. The people developing WINE have no such access to Windows, it's all one big hack. It'll never really be reliable, so OS X apps will always be preferable on OS X. Running Windows apps will only ever be a fallback solution Mac users grudgingly accept. That is unless MS open sources Windows which... well... ain't happenin'.

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to answer your question all you have to do is think why you have a mac, if your a switcher like me you try to avoid windows as much as possible, fair enough theres a shed load of freeware for windows theres also a shed load of freeware with free spyware and other nasties.

 

Mac developers will continue to produce fantastic innovative products no matter what because lets face it what windows has in numbers macs make up for in everything else.

 

Also the virtualization software wont work with PowerPC macs so theres still a large user base that needs software.

 

jack

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Mac users who have either been Mac users all their lives or came over from Windows don't have the real world experience with this topic to answer it correctly (personal opinion).

 

As a long-time user of IBM's OS/2 (a product which competed directly with DOS and Windows in the IBM-compatible PC market -- a market which Mac has never been in until now) I can justifiably say that many Windows developers would say there is no need to develop a native Macintosh version if Mac users can already run their Windows version. It happened to OS/2 which actually had a lot of great native programs early on, including WordPerfect 5.2, MS Word and Excel, Corel Draw, etc. But when OS/2 began really supporting Windows programs (in the Win3.1 days) many developers stopped writing for OS/2. WordPerfect 6 and 7 for Win3.1 could be run in OS/2 with no problem, so the native version was killed off after 5.2. Word and Excel, of course, Microsoft killed off as soon as they left the joint development of OS/2.

 

And for years after that, it became impossible to convince any other Windows developers to write their apps for OS/2 even when OS/2 tallied up 10 million+ registered users circa 1995 because they could write just one version and sell it to both Windows users and OS/2 users. and if it broke under OS/2 that wasn't a big enough market to worry about fixing it, which further saved them money.

 

Today most (not all, but most) OS/2 development is done by individual programmers as shareware or by small groups porting open-source apps from Linux.

 

So do I believe that MacOS X officially supporting even a subset of Windows programs would be good for the Mac community? Absolutely not. Crossover Office as a 3rd party offering (and at cost) may be alright, but building that kind of functionality into the OS itself would be disastrous in the long run. Once enough major application development of native apps ceased, more and more developers would stop writing native apps in order to write once (for Windows) and reach the widest audience (of both Mac PC and non-Mac PC) users. I know this from experience.

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