Developers Developers Developers Developers: This is one area where Microsoft has excelled: getting people to build software for its operating system. I have worked in an IT shop with the subscriptions Joel details below. It’s overwhelming to have that much software.
“If you’re a software company willing to commit to developing software for any variant of Windows, you can join the Empower Program for ISVs, which entitles you a huge pile of software at the ridiculously low price of $750. You get 5 copies of MSDN Universal (normally $2600 each) … this is the package that includes top-of-the-line versions of every single Microsoft development tool and compiler, and Office, and Visio, and developer copies of every server product, and the MSDN library, and copies of every operating system ever shipped (Greek Windows 98SE? You got it!). Empower also includes 5 copies each of Windows XP, Office XP, and a bunch of servers with 5 client licenses… basically everything you need to develop software for Windows with a team of five programmers for $750.”
A long time ago, I used a neat little global search and replace tool by Funduc Software. I was contemplating a switch to one of the new iMacs when they came out (it was a passing thing), and I emailed Funduc to see if they had a Mac version.
Mike Funduc (I think that was his name — it’s been a long time now) himself responded with a lengthly email about how Apple makes it very hard to develop software for the Mac compared to Microsoft. He said Microsoft bends over backwards to help smaller developers build stuff for their platform, but Apple made it so difficult that they just gave up on a Mac version.