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Where The Developers Are: Macs, MarkLogic, Autodesk, SAP

I noticed an interesting quote today in the press release about MarkLogic 4.2

“MarkLogic 4.2 further cements MarkLogic’s commitment to the developer community,” said Mike Brevoort, enterprise web practice lead, Avalon Consulting, LLC. “There is a continued shift in developers using Apple’s Mac OS X so having the Mac build is key as it allows everyone to build applications in an environment where they are comfortable and productive.”

Now Mac support is hardly revolutionary. RedMonk has recommended tools vendors supports Macs since, well, forever. Indeed, one reason Eclipse became so pervasive was that developers could do their enterprise Java stuff on a Mac. Not supporting Macs means not supporting many of the best software developers on the planet.

MarkLogic is certainly not alone though, in terms of the new reality of Mac adoption. In late August Autodesk announced AutoCAD for Mac… is back.

According to Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business:

“The release of AutoCAD for Mac marks the return of professional design and engineering software to the Mac platform and an important convergence of power and design. Over 5,000 customers have helped develop this product through our beta program and they are delighted to have the choice of a native Mac version of AutoCAD.”

So the Mac is increasingly back in commercial software. But developers were the leading edge of the trend, and RedMonk has followed this trend. A related trend worth considering – for many web-oriented software houses with offline clients Windows is now the poor cousin. If you’re using Evernote, say, or Doubletwist (ok they are both consumer oriented platforms) the Mac version will be released ahead of Windows, and will be more feature rich.

Even the home of enterprisey tech – SAP – is now going gung-ho for the iPad (yes I know that’s not the same as the Mac, but its an equally significant trend). Executives use the iPad for all their demoware. The company is happy to support the iPad natively – check out this demo by SAP Chief Sustainability Officer Peter Graf.

Its increasingly looking like the much touted consumerisation of IT has already happened, and Apple’s revenues are benefiting accordingly. I always thought Apple’s refusal to play the “enterprise technology” game would hurt the firm in terms of Fortune 500 and enterprise adoption. But the rise of new kingmakers, with their Apple fetish, is changing all that.

Bottom line – if you want to attract developers to your platform you need a solid Mac story.

Categories: developers.

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One Response

  1. James, I agree with you that presently the preferred developer platform is the Mac.

    But I wonder if this will change as Apple starts to lock down the platform. For example, the new Mac App Store will not allow applications to be written in Java. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to predict that, in the future, we’ll have to jailbreak our Mac laptops in order to run our own software on them…



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