Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

An open letter to Apple, asking them why they don't (and if they will) port all of their applications to Windows.

Dear Apple, Steve, or well, whoever reads this - because your press relations people sure as hell don't,

I would like a Mac at some point. It's taken me quite a while to admit to this, but not only has my ZDNet Education blogger counterpart Chris Dawson jumped on the Mac bandwagon himself, it's also hit me like an sudden case of e-Legionnaires'.

The reason he has over $5,000 worth of Apple kit and I don't is not only does he earn an awful lot more than me, but I already have a laptop. Sure, the Generation Y are very spendthrifty in nature, but I am not to be completely honest.

My laptop is a HP Touchsmart tx2, a multi-touch device which was great at first until it started to, frankly piss me off. It dual boots Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04, and I even tried to put a hacked version of Mac OS X on it. That didn't work though; unfortunately for me but probably better off for you.

I am conflicted, Apple. I feel like I'm mid-way through an operating system identity crisis; not knowing which one to use and stick with, and limited to the hardware by either price or the inability to run your fantastic software. I will buy a Mac, I promise, as the academic discount allows a good price reduction. I may dual-boot it with Windows admittedly, but until my laptop actually breaks then I can't seriously justify the expense.

But then another colleague of mine wrote today that your FaceTime technology might ported to Windows, as well as your own in-house Mac OS X operating system. How I filled with glee, sincerely. iTunes of course is already on Windows, and it works excellently when yet another colleague of mine comes along and describes in great detail actually how to install the damn thing without clogging up your machine.

But then it got me thinking. You've just started a venture into social networking with Ping, which let's be honest it went down a treat with spammers and few people else. But Facebook won; so why try and compete with something you have little hope in beating?

The same with Windows. Yes, Apple took over as the student laptop choice over Dell, HP and Toshiba this year but it doesn't say all that much about Mac OS X. It shows that there is by chance a potential for Mac OS X users to increase but the option of running Windows - something that people of my generation are more accustomed to, seems far more likely.

So why not go whole hog and take advantage of the fact, that you as a company are engaging better with the iGeneration and Generation Y than Microsoft, and start branching out your existing Mac software to Windows? It would give you a better user base, a better following and would really annoy Microsoft in the process. Three birds, one massive rock.

Safari, check. QuickTime, check. All good and well so far. But what about PhotoBooth? Or throw in Mail and iCal as a Windows Live competitor? Some applications in-built into Mac OS X would surely be a little difficult or pointless. But iLife on Windows I could personally see taking off, as with Final Cut Studio and especially Logic Studio. iWork, perhaps not, but I'm just throwing ideas around really.

I do understand that by putting these applications into Mac OS X and making them available for only your operating system would increase the chance of users being swayed towards Mac and not Windows, but the numbers prove otherwise. There are a great number of Mac users already, but just think of the revenues you could make by spicing up the Windows experience with Mac software.

My argument is relatively simple. Students who need to use Mac software will not be too happy about paying through their ears to buy an iMac or a MacBook. Instead, they'll opt for the cheaper option as most will be running a PC laptop with Windows, and use a viable alternative application.

And surely of someone at my age, nearing the end of my university education and the start of my career, Apple needs to convince people like me to stick with their software over others in hope this will reflect on the workforce I enter into. Microsoft are doing a pretty good job of this, but as I said, our Generation Y members feel that they are not listening to our needs.

It's just a thought really. My readers seem to be pretty clued up on these things, so do have a read with their arguments for and against the case.

Lots of love,

Zack xx


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