BusinessWeek Online “Byte of the Apple” columnist Charles Haddad is the latest industry journalist to pick up on recent rumblings by Mac developers that Apple isn’t playing nice when it comes to iApplication software development. Haddad’s comments appear in a new column entitled Where Apple doesn’t always play nice.
Apple’s new iChat software, coming with the pending release of the “Jaguar” upgrade for OS X is one example, said Haddad. “As described by Apple’s own press release, it sounds strikingly familiar to Adam Iser’s Adium chat software,” he said, referring to a freeware AIM-compatible instant messaging client available for OS X. iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes were inspired by developers outside of Apple as well, posited Haddad.
Haddad said that when Apple releases software for free like its iApps, it weakens the market for third party software with similar functionality. “Microsoft, of course, has long been chastised for similar behavior,” he said.
Regardless, Haddad suggested such competitive efforts from Apple don’t appear to be holding Mac developers back from supporting OS X. “In fact, despite Apple’s growing number of knockoffs, Mac software development appears to be entering a second golden age,” he said.
Adding that Apple “has to play nice” with third party developers, Haddad said that the company should do more to emphasize the third party products available for the Mac, as it has begun to do with software now bundled with Power Macs from other companies. “Showcasing more third-party programs on Macs would illustrate that there’s room enough for everyone in the Apple playground,” concluded Haddad.