Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The unexpected influence of OS X - an explanation

Scoble posts about a product he's excited about, but it has an unexpected marketing problem ...
... Right now it’s a Windows only thing and requires Internet Explorer. Firefox support is coming “within weeks” and Macintosh support is being built out, but probably won’t be here until sometime around the end of the year. That alone will keep the hype down on Vivaty, because most of the top bloggers I know are now using Macs...
Mac Classic was a Designer's OS (before it choked around 7.x). It was never a Geek's OS though, back then a Geek OS would have been Unix or OS/2.

OS X became a Geek OS. That alone would not have given it great influence, however. In the old days, the days when Ziff-Davis ruled and BYTE was suffocated, the trade media was fully advertising controlled. You read what advertisers liked. Ok, what Microsoft liked.

Then came the blog. The Geek could Speak.

Since Geeks have a compulsion to Speak, they (mostly) did it for free. Sometimes Geek Speak solves problems, so readers came along.

Ziff-Davis is almost gone now, killed first by the web then by blogs. I miss BYTE, I don't miss Z-D.

It's the combination of being a Geek OS and blog enabled Geek Speak that has given OS X such influence. So much influence that a non-OS X product will suffer way out of proportion to OS X market share. Developers seeing this realize that even if only 15% of their users will be on OS X, they have not choice but to deploy early on OS X.

Which increases the value of OS X.

It would be good if Apple understood this. Maybe they do. OS X 10.6 sounds like it's very much a Geek release ... (smaller, faster, less buggy, more cores ...)

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