Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

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

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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

Topics: Windows, Apple, CXO, Operating Systems, Software, IT Employment

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191 comments
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  • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

    "Fantastic software" ?? You have to be kidding. iTunes on Windows is the biggest POS ever produced .... QuickTime is bloated, like it's iTunes cousin. If you need to manage music and video, the Zune software is far superior.
    roteague
    • Until Zune software FUBAR's your library...

      @roteague... Which it did mine, never again.
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • iTunes FUBARs libraries too

        @JM1981
        http://www.google.com/search?q=itunes+deleted+library

        Cue the double standards...
        NonZealot
      • I believe you are telling us a lie, JM1981

        As I doubt you have anything Microsoft branded, so how is it you own a Zune, and not an iPod.

        Plus, as NonZealot pointed out, a search of the web finds a great deal of aticles and posts from people who have lost, or had to repurchase lost music due to something as simple as an iTunes upgrade.

        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @NonZealot: Liar. I looked at your link, and nothing in there said that iTunes deleted the library. In fact, it's quite difficult to accidentally delete a library of many hundreds of Megabytes (Ok, tens of Gigabytes in my case.) Yes, it's possible that the .xml file might get lost, but that's not the files and certainly not the library itself It takes me no effort at all to rebuild the library file and effectively pick up playing right where I left off.

        I can't make any comment on Zune's abilities or lack thereof, but I've been using iTunes for nearly 10 years now and haven't had more than minor complaints from the beginning, and most of those are due to synchronizing my library with my wife's, who never cleans out her duplicate files.
        Vulpinemac
      • @vulpine: You are so laughable

        Got it, so it is impossible for iTunes to FUBAR your library because anything that goes wrong is the user's fault. You are totally comfortable with the fact that if anything, I mean [b]anything[/b] goes wrong with Zune, hey, it is MS's fault.

        Get with the program vulpine, I was highlighting JM's ignorant double standards.
        NonZealot
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        vulpine@...
        You didn't read very carefully, at all.

        Even the simplest look would have shown you that there is no lie involved, it appears by the complaints that iTunes, for whatever reason or errors has deleted libraries of music. While you might disagree about just what happened to make this music disappear its something that should never happen that easy. Its ridiculous that it should be able to happen at all. Somebody at Apple created a fluke in the software and its something I am going to be very wary of because I own an iPhone 3G and an 80GB iPod so yes, it has me worried as should all iTunes users.
        Cayble
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @NZ, Mister Spock, and Cayble Reading the links it looks like to me that iTunes deleted the library.xml files NOT the music files themselves... However I do agree that this should not happen but it is really a minor inconvenience rather than the total erasure of music files as seems to be implied here. Just my 2 cents.
        athynz
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague Two thumbs up
      idiot101
    • iTunes is like old faithful

      @roteague
      iTunes is like old faithful. I can expect it to crash every single time.
      illegaloperation
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @day2die, what are you trying to run iTunes on? Windows 3.1 on a 286? :-P

        Seriously, I think Apple's insistence on QC for PC apps is considerably low. Windows users are not the primary audience to please (whether this SHOULD be the case is debatable). I have never experienced an iTunes crash on any of my computers, Macs or PCs. If I were you, I'd consider that maybe the problem was more my system than Apple's programming incompetence.

        Of course, that's really the case for 99% of all commercial software--only the 1% who DO have trouble can be really, REALLY grouchy.
        macmikey
      • RE: iTunes is like old faceful

        @day2die: Yeah. Faithfully the old thing borks my MP3s so that any other MP3 player doesn't quite understand the tags any more. User data is sacrosanct. That is something iTunes has never grok'd.
        ansak
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague I totally agree, Apple's poor software was what made me switch from iPods
      davidhayes
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague
      Er, no. While I hate itunes & quicktime & most of Apples software (how people can thinks these programs are intuitive and open - as in easy to use how ever you want - are beyond me) Zune is much the same. It is a closed environment with, to me, an annoying interface. I still love the interface I had w/ my creative 40GB Zen touch & Win media player. I enjoy drag and drop, not tied to anything. To manage video & music, I am far superior, for me, than either of these.

      Written on my MacBook, of which I will never buy again.
      jahcriado
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @jahcriado
        I've been a iPhobe for years now and refuse to drink that koolaide...unfortunately, because of my job, I need to test iPhones in my Exchange environment...and I have to say...iTunes? What a piece of cr@p! Intuitive? Not at all! After I pick stuff, how do I get it to upload to the phone...there's not "Sync" button that I can see...
        Easy to use? Nope...none of the groups of things to do make sense....Fast? Wow...not at all! it took all day on an AMD 965 to catalog my library of 140GB of MP3s...and forget about using iTunes to scroll through them! That's just a joke! I'll stick to my custom made MSSQL database thankyou! If Apple starts making more software for Windows, this will do one thing...make people either stop using Apple products or...hmmm, switch to Apple? That's a thought...perhaps the cr@ppy Windows software is on purpose!
        tech_ed@...
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @jahcriado, I'll take that off your hands if you're through with it. ;-)
        macmikey
      • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

        @tech_ed

        Wait...140 GB of MP3's ? MP3's are small !

        Uhm, how many WEEKS of music is that, and can you ballpark it's value ?

        So, your problem is that indexing all that data didn't take fifteen minutes...

        "After I pick stuff, how do I get it to upload to the phone.."

        I don't have an iPhone, but when you plug in an iPod it shows up as a device and you drag songs to it. Sync is automatic whenever you plug in.
        Jkirk3279
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague <br>I might agree that iApps are bloated, but Zune software superior? That is a laugh. The Zune software locks you into their way of doing things like no other MS application... it's also such a hog, I can't use it on my notebook without excruciating slowness, compared to iTunes (except startup perhaps). I'm not a fanboy for any brand, but Zune software has definite faults. I don't let iTunes manage my music library, but Zune halters the user into their awful interface. I have a Zune and -not- an iPod... but I only use the Zune software to load things onto the Zune player (which it doesn't do all that well)... and a rare buy from the Zune store. iTunes, on the other hand, is more flexible (as I don't let it manage my library)... purchases are easier... and the software is more responsive on my older notebook. Don't bother to tell me I need a new machine. It runs just fine, with Win 7, all the web browsers, ... not with Zune software. Zune software was given over to the 'designers' who 'prettyfied' it... but it is -not- intuitive, the menu organization is less than stellar, and did I mention slow? iTunes library management is bad (which I don't use), but Zune software navigation is worse... it's 'decorative', obfuscating, and limiting. The Zune itself is very good.
      RpDnn
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague I think he's talking about the Apple software [i]on a mac[/i] although I have not any issues with iTunes until recently when I broke down and installed iTunes 10 to get the iOS4.1 for my iPhone 3G...
      athynz
    • RE: Open letter to Apple: Make more software available on Windows

      @roteague

      I agree, what's with QuickTime. I admit my PC is long in the tooth but it should still run a QuickTime movie but won't. I can run any Microsoft or Divx format just fine but not Quicktime.

      Itunes while works ok crashes far too much for my liking.
      voska1