The difference between being an Apple developer and a Microsoft developer

At the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference

Check out this new technology! It will be shipping next year, and it is super awesome! It is the way we are going and we’re putting a huge amount of effort behind it!

It sounds neat, you drop your old silly code and jump on the bandwagon figuring you’ll be ahead of the game . The next year: silence. No mention. What happened? Microsoft dropped it. Whoops, too bad.

At the Apple World Wide Developer Conference

Hey, we’ve completely changed the OS! You’ve got 30 seconds to rewrite all your apps!

This sucks. It happened with the switch to universal and it is happening now with the switch to 64-bit. The worst part is the arrogance that comes from the stage when Steve talks about how easy it is. It makes the software vendors look like crap to their users. The switch to universal was as simple as checking a check box if you were doing nothing interesting. Wolfram Research’s products are unix products, there isn’t any altivec assembly in them. Real products of real substance like Adobe’s or Microsoft weren’t so simple. Everyone in those companies had to drop what they were doing and spend months rewriting code (switching to X-Code was a serious en devour in itself) just to get back to where they started. Now, with the switch to 64-bit, Apple is now saying that they are dropping Carbon support. However, that is not what they were saying up to a week ago. If you look at the cached page on google for Leopard 64-bit, you’ll see the following quote:

Leopard delivers 64-bit power in one, universal OS. Now Cocoa and Carbon application frameworks, as well as graphics, scripting, and the rest of the system are all 64-bit. Leopard delivers 64-bit power to both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs, so you don’t have to install separate applications for different machines. There’s only one version of Mac OS X, so you don’t need to maintain separate operating systems for different uses.

Dropping carbon is MAJOR. For apps that exist on both windows and OS X and for apps that predate Objective C, Cocoa is a non-starter. Many of Apple’s own major apps are written in Carbon. Apple just shafted their ISV’s and then told their user base that 64-bit was going to be awesome gearing them up for a second major revolt when the next set of apps come out and they aren’t 64-bit. This is the universal thing all over again. And WTF with Steve on stage saying “you’ve done a great job switching to universal, well, most of you.” Jackass.

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