Monday, April 9, 2007

Sea Change and Swatting Bugs

There seems to be a sea change in what is going on in the personal computer industry these days. The resurgence, scratch that, resurrection of Apple, Inc. is nothing short of phenomenal. Consider these confluence of independent events that is creating a momentous shift in the technology landscape.

From the top end, the technology industry elites are using Apple technology personally. These elites are often the trendsetters and forerunners that push down technology decisions. More and more companies are going through the exercise of considering Mac deployment - something that was very rare six years ago.

The iPod and Apple's educational success has contributed at the bottom end by creating a young class of Mac users that are very creative, energetic, and free spirited that are entering the work force and want to stay with the technology tools that they have become accustomed to using. This puts further pressure on businesses to accomodate these young, talented professionals. More than one business manager has been convinced to allow Macs in their organzation after seeing some of the creative results that Mac users produced using the standard tools that came with their Mac.

The middle thrust is the growth of Apple in the small to medium business market. Here, Apple has a much stronger presence than their overall 5% or 6% market share suggests. These businesses ask their software vendors for cross platform solutions. The software vendors not only have to build in Mac support, but also have to ask their integrated hardware devices for the same support. This also puts pressure on development tool suppliers to allow as much as possible, a single code-base for the core application with hooks for the various OS's that must be supported. Eventually, this may pull some developers from a Microsoft-only approach.

There are of course, deeper issues that have caused these market forces to exist in the first place. But I wanted to illustrate what is happening the marketplace. Being in a staunchly PC industry myself, I am witnessing business that used to swat the idea of Mac support like an irritating fly to actually creating and promoting Mac support.

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