Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Steve, (an open letter to Apples CEO)

I love my iPad. Its a wonderful bit of kit. The hardware is top notch and the software smooth and elegant.

I've been a software developer for more then 30 years. I already have an Android app on the market. I will not, however, be developing anything for my iPad. And the reason is your latest restrictive developer rules.

Its is unfathomable to me that you, as the platform maker, feel you have the right to restrict what tools I can use to develop my application. No platform maker has ever demanded such of their developers.

This is like your Chinese assembly plant dictating to you what trucks you could use to carry the resulting product or how you could sell them. Manufacturing is their business, sales is yours.

And software development is *ours.*

Even Microsoft, when they decided they wanted to own the PC compiler market, did it by devious competition and not through direct arm-twisting of their developers. They understood how much they needed their developers. Do you?

This is a dangerous time to be playing such games. Android use is on the rapid rise in cell phones, far out-pacing current iPhone sales and Android pads are about to break into the market. All it will take is one that feels as comfortable to me as my iPad and you will have lost not just a developer but a customer.

Regardless of whether I keep my ipad as a consumer or not however, one thing is certain. Until you retract your ill-considered language and tool mandate, the only way I will be personally developing iPad software is if the iPad version happens to come free as a by product of a tool I am using to reach another market.

And given the fact that your position is now to reject applications created by such tools, this isn't very likely.

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