Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Macintosh: To Develop or Not To Develop.. that is the question.

A blogger named Jon Watson ( recently heard an interview I did with the 411podcast some time ago. He said:

Clickaster: Stats and Why Apple Sucks.

By Jon at Fri, 2006-05-05 09:22


During my first real day as a pro-blogger today, I was listening to podcasts in the background as I created my posts for Biz Podcasting.

While listenening to Scott Converse - CEO of Clickcaster - from the Podcast 411, a couple of interesting stats came out. Apparently the vast majority of podcasters are males between 30-40 years old (guilty!), and that blogging has reached about 43% women.

He ALSO said that his development priority is Windows, Linux and then Mac because...well...he hates Apple's way of closing things off.

Robb and Scott actually go a little head to head on Apple and tensions get a little high at one point. Cool show.

And, so, I felt compelled to add my 2 cents worth:

Just as an interesting

By Scott Converse (not verified) on Thu, 2006-05-11 16:09

Just as an interesting aside, I agree that things did get a bit heated in my discussion with Robb. And, yes, I do have some pretty strong Apple preconceptions, primiarly due to having worked for Apple in Cupertino for the better part of a decade. I ran the R&D for all of Apple's online services development and had a pretty up close and personal view of how things work there. Apple has a way of doing things that's all about control. It's really a philosophical thing, some would say religious. And I, at one time, had the religion more than most.

What I see Apple doing now with the iPod and iTunes is very similar to what they did with the Mac in the 80's and 90's. A closed, completely controlled system that benefits Apple (and it's users.. no doubt). The reason is a good one: The user experience. That is THE driving force in all that Apple does. And it does it at the expense of everything else, including an open user driven community. Jobs is in control, period. Much has been written about this over the years so I won't go into it here.

I'll also share some stats from ClickCaster (which defines how we develop). Here are todays usage figures from ClickCaster:

Windows: 81.7 %
Linux: 12.2 %
Macintosh: 5.2 %
Other: <1%

And this has been pretty consistent since we started in September of last year.

I would agree with Robb that alot of todays early podcast creators are Mac users (mostly due to Garageband, the easy to use recording software that ships with every Mac). He got his numbers by talking to about 100 people (via interviews on podcasting) and about 1/2 of them used Macs. That was the extent of his research. Our numbers (above) are based on hundreds of thousands of users per month that visit ClickCaster. I’m not saying he’s wrong, I’m just saying we have a much richer and more extensive sample to draw conclusions from.

In our opinion, Robbs 50% figure is an early market anomaly that's going to change over time. Services like ours make it very easy to create a podcast on a PC (click to start, talk, click to stop, click to publish.. you're done- and you never leave the webpage).

The Mac is a great product. We have a dual core iMac in our development lab to test with and it’s, by far, the best PC (and the one everyone wants to play with) that we’ve got. Running both OSX and XP, it’s also one of the most useful.

But the fact remains: Windows rules the world. And Linux has a better shot at doing the same then Apple ever will. As great as Apple’s products are, it’s approach to doing business will always limit it to being a small niche player in the computer world.

I'm sure the Macolades out there will skewer me for saying this but it's my opinion: Apple may own the music space, for now, but over time, that too will fade as competitors target all things Apple. History will repeat. It’s a war of attrition that, eventually, even Apple will succumb to.

Scott Converse
Founder & CEO

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