PC/MAC vs. Andrd/iPhone Debate: This Time its Different

November 19, 2010

The big difference between PC vs Mac debate as it relates to the current iPhone/Andrd debate of today is that while it will be beneficial for Andrd to have the higher installed base, it won’t swing developers from iPhone.  Developers will build on both platforms, heres why:

Today everything important is at least somewhat web/cloud based (other than the app itself) but all the back end infra of a twitter or FB or zynga  is cloud based.  So the app itself is more of just a ‘thin client’ then back in the pre- internet era where all the developers work went into the software itself. Over time now I expect 80% of effort goes to cloud back end infra and 20% towards the “app” proper.  The point is that the decision to support one platform over the other (or both) is a distribution issue (i.e.  the goal of which is usually mass adoption) whereas in the past the decision one was one of core resource allocation (i.e. only x number of developers could be dedicated to a given project).  This is the crucial difference, the incremental time to be on both platforms is much less than it was in the past.

So yes, you want the bigger installed base (it can’t hurt), but I doubt that it means GOOG gets a massive edge in terms of new innovative 3rd party developed services the wayMSFT did during the pre-Internet era.

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