State of the Empire – #2 Cross Platform Development

Being the only operating system to support as many applications as possible is very important to Microsoft. It used to be that companies could build for Windows and be happy that this would serve 90-95% of the market. However, as the variety of devices we use on a day to day basis expands, and the operating systems used on these devices becomes more fragmented software vendors will no longer be able to focus entirely on Windows to reach this large a market.

With more devices, such as phones, MP3 players, UMPC’s, etc, coming into the market everyday we are seeing other platforms emerge which companies are increasingly aware they need to support. As these companies adjust their development to support a 2nd platform, such as OSX for example, they are also seeking out ways to build their applications or services in a more platform independent manner. Many of these companies are looking to incorporate web based applications or advanced containers such as Adobe AIR into their product design in an effort to lower (or eliminate) the cost of porting these applications to different platforms in the future.

Companies can no longer depend upon reaching 90-95% of the market simply by supporting Windows. More applications will be built to support many platforms and the old barrier of consumers not being able to switch to Linux, OSX, or anything else due to a lack of application availability will begin to be a thing of the past.

We need only look to Steve Balmer screaming on stage “Developers, Developers, Developers” to understand how important it is to Microsoft to be the only operating system that developers think of when they decide to build an application.

…and, just in case you forgot about this video, here it is..in all its glory.

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