Cross-platform development tools may be increasing in popularity with enterprise IT. Today on ITWire.com, Stephen Withers wrote that:
"Almost three-quarters of enterprise IT administrators recently surveyed said they expect to increase the number of Macs in their organisations. Since 1984 the role of Macs in the enterprise has variously waxed and waned. But the growth in Apple's share of the market seems to be translating to increased corporate interest."
It does say that about half the surveyed organizations were already deploying Macs to some degree so the survey is a bit skewed. However, there is no shortage of evidence that Apple's market share has increased substantially in the last few years. The Market Share by Net Applications web site which measures market share based on data collected from thousands of web sites, shows that the market share for Mac OS X has increased from 6.09% to 9.61% over the last two years. That's a 50% increase in just two years. It's also noteworthy that the market share for Linux while small has increased from .4 to .88 over that same period of time. That's more than 100% increase.
The desktop operating system playing field is still far from level. And while most Mac developers have known for a long time now that they can't ignore the Windows market, Windows developers have mostly ignored the Mac. But as Apple's market share continues to grow, it may reach a tipping point. That's the point at which Windows developers can no longer ignore the Mac market. Personally, I think that tipping point is 20%. A developer might be willing to lose one sale out of ten because he or she doesn't support a particular OS, but two out of ten starts to hurt. If Apple stays on their current trajectory, they would reach 20% in 6 years (at 1.5% growth per year). But it might not take anything like that long. I suspect that Apple's market share will increase faster than that. But there are factors that are difficult to adjust for. For example, the economy is certainly impacting PC sales. And what impact will Windows 7 have? Will it reduce the number of switchers or increase it?
The more level the playing field gets, the more important cross-platform development tools become. That's good for REALbasic. But that same trend means that cross-platform software products in general become more important which gives you, as a REALbasic developer, a big advantage over those using single platform tools.
So generally speaking, what's good for Apple, is good for us and for you.