Why do some developers treat OSX as an afterthought?

At last month’s ‘Back to the Mac‘ event, Steve Jobs highlighted the impressive statistic that one in five computers sold in the US are Macs. OSX is growing in popularity all the time, and yet some big developers treat it like a second class operating system.

Last week’s release of Skype 5 Beta for Mac highlighted this – a late release. Skype 5 for Windows is already out of beta, and that came out months ago! When it comes to small developers, not creating Mac versions is understandable. But Skype is a huge service, with over 500 million users – don’t they have resources for simultaneous development?

Meanwhile, Google has never released a Mac version of its hugely popular Google Chat client. While you can of course chat in your browser with Gmail, it’s surprising that such a big company would fail to support OSX.

Gaming is improving, with this year’s release of the Steam platform for Mac, but progress has been remarkably slow. Big releases like this week’s Call of Duty: Black Ops are still usually released on every platform except Mac. Perhaps games haven’t always been a big part of Apple’s image but it’s not only hipsters and designers who buy Macs anymore, so surely developers are missing out.

Then of course there’s that program that’s constantly in our Mac top ten downloads despite being dormant for five years: Internet Explorer. Sure, Microsoft and Apple aren’t always best of friends, but IE is the only major browser that’s not cross platform, and that’s pretty incredible. Lack of IE for Mac support makes life difficult for Mac using web designers, although I think you’d struggle to find many other Mac owners who really miss it!

With OSX gaining market share, can developers continue to leave their Mac development as an afterthought?

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