At Swift Software Group, which is our consulting business, we are seeing now more and more projects that have the requirement to run on Mac and Windows. What we found out is that making a Mac version of a software product almost always takes less effort than making the corresponding Windows version. That is a surprise for everybody, as we have been what some people call “PCs” for a long time. So naturally I started thinking why the Mac development turns out to be more efficient. It is definitely not the tools – Visual Studio is still a better IDE than XCode – it is not the OS either, Mac OS and Windows 7 are both nice and modern operating systems and both are centered around better usability and increased productivity.
So why is it faster and cheaper to develop for Mac?
The first thing about Mac is the stability of the underlying platform. By that I mean that you rarely worry about things like drivers, other software messing up with your software, devices not working as expected and so on problems that are common on Windows . Once something works on the developers’ Macs it works flawlesslyon any Mac worldwide. It just works. With Windows the OS/Hardware combo is never guaranteed to work in a consistent way. It is important to say here that the problem is not Windows by itself, but Windows in combination with the infinite number of hardware, devices and drivers out there.
The second thing that makes your Mac developer life easier is the fact that Mac owners upgrade the system software often. As a result most of your customers run the latest version of Mac OS shortly after Apple releases it. With Windows you have Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, server versions, 32Bit and 64Bit, so at the end you must spend a lot of time (and money) to make sure your product works on every kind of Windows.