Dave talks about iChat and Apple. I think people look at these things the wrong way. Yes, Apple is releasing a chat client with the next version of Mac OS X. The complaint seems to be that with their iSoftware applications, Apple is entering the space that independent developers are already in, and stomping all over their efforts. On the other hand, most chat software is free. Having said that, Apple doesn’t have the history of taking advantage of undocumented system features with their apps like Microsoft has with Office. They tend to expose the same interfaces for third parties that they use themselves. So, my conclusion is that a third party chat application with better features does have the opportunity to play in the market. These built in applications, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and the online application suite iTools, tend to be best of breed applications. They make the platform more attractive to consumers, without a doubt. I think that the long term gain of market share by delivering applications like these to Apple customers outwieghs the negatives. I do wonder, however, where the line should be drawn. By continuing development of all of these applications, is Apple losing it’s focus? How many of these applications does it makes sense for them to invest in? Finally, god forbid they decide to discontinue development on one of these applications if developers have decided to vacate that space.
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