inessential by Brent Simmons

Apple going in the wrong direction?

Robb Beal writes that Apple is going in the wrong direction in creating more and more free software.

Robb makes great points.

My take is a little more tempered—I really want Apple to make great apps, because that makes Macs better, and it means more people buy Macs, and it means that there are more people who can buy my software.

On the other hand, one only has to look at the Watson/Sherlock mess to realize that small-but-cool developers can easily get stepped on, and that has a chilling effect on future development.

No matter how cool Apple’s apps are, an OS needs developers in order to increase its market share.

And so, in my ideal world, Apple continues to make great apps, and it also does a good job of helping Mac developers make and sell great apps.

(By the way, I think Microsoft is far worse in this regard—where Apple can be careless regarding developers, Microsoft is vicious. And on Linux it doesn’t matter because, for better or worse, you can’t really sell much software for Linux.)