Thursday, 28 August 2008

Courtesy of OSWeekly.com

(Column) - We've been trained from the beginning to view Microsoft and Apple as bitter enemies, and this type of thinking has influenced the actions of many people. There's been a convergence of both sets of users, but even with this advancement, you can still find devout fans of OS X and Windows who are always on the lookout for opportunities to badmouth the competition. Get a grip, people - it's just software.

Some people might call me an Apple fanboy, but I use both operating systems on a regular basis, and I'm just as likely to speak out against Apple as I am Microsoft. When something ridiculous is going on, then attention needs to be drawn to the issue, and it doesn't matter what the source is. It's not my fault that Microsoft has made an innumerable amount of missteps lately. When Apple catches up (and they eventually will), then we'll have a revised target to point our fingers at.

There's certainly competition going on between the users, and there's no denying the fact that Microsoft and Apple are in competition in the operating system space (and soon to be digital media player market), but this rivalry doesn't extend throughout everything that both of the companies do. When you get right down to it, both companies manufacture software, and when you manufacture software, that means that you try your best to get it out to as many users as possible. For Microsoft and Apple, that means going outside of their comfort zone and developing useful software for their competitor's OS.

One of the last things that you might expect to see at Microsoft is a fleet of Macs and Mac developers, but those things are alive and well within Microsoft. The Macintosh Business Unit was built to serve the needs of the Mac user, and when you crunch the numbers, you begin to see that it's the largest developer of Mac software outside of Apple. Don't we live in a crazy world?

The people that are a part of this team aren't just hardcore Microsoft yes-men disguised as trendy Apple fans, either. Instead, they're honest to goodness Mac users and developers who share the desire to build great software, and they're employed by Microsoft because of that. Either way, I'm sure there are some awkward moments in the lunchroom when the Windows team runs into the Macintosh Business Unit. The very thought takes me back to my days in elementary school.


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