How Good Is Apple at Making Windows Programs?


For anyone who has read my blog for a while, you know I usually write about how great Apple’s latest and greatest hardware and software are because in most cases, they usually are truly great.

Yesterday’s release of the Safari 3 Public Beta made me take a step back and really think about the quality of Apple’s Windows applications. I installed it on my Windows XP and Windows Vista machines with no problems, but the performance is sluggish at best, and there clearly needs to be some performance tuning before Safari is officially released in the fall.

The thing that really bothered me about Safari was the blatant disregard for Windows development standards. The user interface matches the Mac version of Safari instead of taking advantage of the look and feel of Windows XP and Windows Vista. Apple did the same thing when they released iTunes for Windows. If they truly want to create the best Windows programs available, they need to embrace and take advantage of the underlying technologies in the platforms in which they develop. Just imagine the uproar that would occur if Microsoft released Office for Mac using the Windows Vista look and feel. The Mac community would go crazy for good reason. Oh wait, this happened already with Office 6.0, and the Mac community did go crazy.

I am lucky enough to have both Mac and Windows machines at home to play with, but if I were purely a Windows user, I would be confused and frustrated by the iTunes and Safari user interfaces. They would seem foreign and sluggish to me. The applications clearly take a performance hit by trying to look like a Mac program in Windows.

It is time for Apple to recognize that if they really want to be in the Windows applications business, they need to embrace the platform and make the best looking, easiest to use, and fastest applications that take advantage of the foundation that Microsoft provides. Why try to reinvent the wheel? Apple needs to create Windows applications that look and feel like Windows applications.