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Yahoo and Google Just Don't Get It

 7:49 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)


I don't really know what they do, because I can't use them--they both require Windows. I know there are smart people at Google and Yahoo, but they obviously had no say in this. How will you get influencers to praise your product if they can't run it?



 7:56 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Apple will try to convince you that not being able to run cool apps on a Mac is a myth [apple.com].

Myth 3: The software I need isnít available for Macs.
Fact: There are over 15,000 applications available for the Mac, in every category imaginable.

Can Yahoogle get away with ignoring Apple users?


 7:59 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

5% wanting the other 95% to accomodate?... *sheesh*

I fall into the 5% of people who want corndogs to be offically recognized as porkdogs. It's a better name, reflects accuracy in advertising, and makes more sense.

Somthing tells me it's not going to happen.


 8:02 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess those folks should get on board with 88% of the market and buy a PC. :)


 8:02 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

> with ignoring Apple users?

I dunno - I can't get to the site using Windows (Opera browser) either. The mac part of the equation is a myth.

>5% wanting the other 95% to accomodate?

If someone would increase my salary 5% a year for the next 20 years, I'd do back flips in the town square.


 8:37 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett if your time at work doubles for only a 5% increase in salary, then it is not worth it.

I used to offer a cd-rom that only worked on windows. The mac people would complain that I was ignoring them. So every year I would reasearch my market and find out how many users I was losing for my specific product. It was always 2-5%. Then I looked at my costs to make it work with macs and it just never made sense.

I'm sure that in the long run it is ideal to offer all programs to work on all systems. But in the beginning I also understand why people only offer a windows version.


 8:42 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, but the new iMac G5 is so cute!


 8:48 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think Nathan Torkington lives in his own utopian world and dont get it :)


 8:58 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

my favorite experience w/ Mac happened about 6 or 7 years ago. On the cover of MacWorld (or whatever the other mag is called) was this cool topographical scene, you know like a yard w/ undulations in it, you can see the undulations. The story was about what you can do with the Mac programs, but there was no particular reference to how they created this part of the image (it was like a blue print of a house on a hill) So I call the editor of the story and ask how I can get my Mac to perform this cool topographical stuff, since it would be neat to put old battlefields in 3D display, e.g. Gettysburg w/ all the little hills and streams.

She gives me the name of some small company and I call them and they say that program is for PC not Mac. Can I get it for Mac? It's in testing, it's not ready...bla bla.

Probably never saw the light of day.

So yeah, right, the Mac myth is alive and well.


 9:09 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

That Mac OS X thingy... isn't it just another sort-of linux distro (although packed in an expensive designer box w/ a nice graphical interface)?

If you see it this way, at least some people are getting it [news.google.com]


 9:24 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess those folks should get on board with 88% of the market and buy a PC.

Which is akin to saying that everyone not using Internet Explorer should get on board with those who are. :)

As long as it works for the majority, nothing else matters ... right?


 9:29 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

get linux, get wine and sing a song.

but seriously...googlebar no support for mozilla...shameful. I thought they were for the classes not just the masses.


 9:42 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe the reason that there is no Mac version of Picasa is that there already is a Picasa on the Mac: iPhoto. Looking at the Picasa homepage it looks like they're just basically doing an iPhoto for Windows. (I still agree with oriellynet though)


 10:06 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

"People who buy Macs are the same people who said BETA is better than VHS 15 years ago." --Anonymous

*Runs and ducks*

But seriously, these companies are in business to make a profit, and the bottom line is at this point it is more cost effective to work on windows software. With the presence of similar programs such as iPhoto etc., they don't stand to gain much market share IMHO. It would be more like they are gaining 50% OF the 5% (and this seems rather liberal).

Writing software (for profit) for a linux server on the other hand, or plugins for apache, these might be a different story;) I just don't see the financial incentive for Yahoo or Google to do these things, but perhaps along with them I am missing the point as well.

..and yes, the quote is a bit dated now:)


 10:26 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you want to please geeks, make sure your product works with linux not the mac.


 11:03 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a designer on a PC. I have a buddy who always wants to throw me print work, but the mac/pc problems keep us from working as much as we'd like too.

He was having problems designing websites that looked fine on mac, and broke on PC. I suggested buying a PC so that he could design on the platform the vast majority of him users would be viewing the site. He agreed, and his problems were solved.

Unless these reviewers write for Mac magazine, this reviewer is completely out of touch with the marketplace, and so arrogant that instead of wake up and smell the demographics, they wish to change it by spouting off some of their fellow mac user reviewing friends ina futile attempt to make big companies cater to their minority.

Their bosses should take note, and hire someone who knows the real market, but has enough geek to keep up with the fringe markets like mac and linux to keep the fringe happy.


 11:04 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's also very fitting that the child icon at the top looks as if it is about to burst out crying... lol.


 11:37 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you hear me whinging that I can't use Safari on PC?


 11:38 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it's more like the author doesn't get it. I'm an ardent user and supporter of a minority operating system (in my case, Linux), but I don't have any expectations that large software companies are going to ignore their bottom line just to cater for the few of us who break away from the Microsoft monoculture.

I've made a choice which on one hand restricts my choice in terms of some software, but on the other hand I get the other advantages and the software collection for my chosen platform. I'm happy with the choice I've made, but if I really needed some software which is only available for Windows, I would understand completely any company who has made that choice.

I find that I win far more often than I lose, and I suspect most Mac users feel the same.


 11:45 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't see what the fuss is all about. Google aquired Picasa(which is pretty impressive software) they didn't write the software. Perhaps they are planning to port the software, or perhaps they are going to use pieces of the software to augment image search algorithms. If I had the chance to acquire a 57 Karmann Ghia convertible with a leaky roof, I'd jump at the opportunity. Would I drive the car before fixing the roof? Yes. Would I plan on fixing the roof? Yes. If 10 percent of my passengers* get wet on the first few rainy days, I'm not going to worry because I'll be fixing the leak soon.

*(unless the passenger was my mom or significant other)

[edited by: jezra at 12:11 am (utc) on Sep. 9, 2004]


 11:57 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> As long as it works for the majority, nothing else matters ... right?

Not the point. I really don't deal with Mac issues because the market is 88% PCs - I go where the money is, picking the low hanging fruit first. This is the point.

Taking on compliance of a new OS or catering to Mac users for my business area just doesn't make sense at this point - especially taking into account the lack of worldwide projections for significant growth.

If I were at my potential in the PC arena I would of course look elsewhere to increase sales or profitability... at that point going after the Mac market would compete against other revenue generating opportunities.

For our products and services the percentage of Mac market we could secure is not big enough to be considered anything but a niche comparable in dollars to numerous other niches. And in this case I'll pick the most profitable, long term growth niche every time.


 2:17 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

alpha geeks and influencers

I don't think G and Y really need to worry too much about geeks and influencers.... do they? They just plonk the product in the right place and people will find it.


 2:30 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

if your time at work doubles for only a 5% increase in salary, then it is not worth it.

Supporting multiple browsers or systems does not always equal double work.

Online, the extra effort can be as little as fixing a few lines of unreliable code.


 2:58 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Online, the extra effort can be as little as fixing a few lines of unreliable code.

Mostly it's a matter of not using non-standard Microsoft extensions, in particular in Javascript.

The reason most Mac users (I'm one, heck I beta-tested the original Mac [and, alas, the PCjr!]) are passionate about the machines is that they just work so much better.

No spyware. Weird OS conflicts are very rare. Few if any viruses anymore (a pity since I wrote one of the first Mac antivirals). Things just tend to work with little pain. When Windows 2K came out, the joke was "What is Windows 2K? It's Mac 90"

The "code it so it works on IE Windows" philosophy has a deadly flaw. It's guaranteed that sooner or later Microsoft will do something that will cause the code to break, it seems to be their internal company sport. Much better to take a little extra time to code so that things run on IE, Mozilla (and perhaps Safari, though if the code works on IE and Mozilla and validates on [validator.w3.org ], it'll almost certainly work in Safari). That way, the chances that you'll use a feature that MS will later break go to almost zero.

Generally this means no complex javascript (an accident waiting to happen), and simpler page layouts (often the complex ones only work in IE because of a bug interaction, and when MS fixes the bug, the page breaks).

If you KISS, you avoid problems down the road. And you save the sanity of the poor SOB who takes over maintenance of the pages after you move on to bigger and better things.


 3:11 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think G and Y really need to worry too much about geeks and influencers...

Not Y maybe, but that's the way Google got to where it is. It just celebrated its 6th birthday and I'd bet that it really didn't enter into the minds of the general public until about a year later.

It was mostly webmasters -- after seeing the traffic that came from this new SE with a great viral marketing campaign -- that talked it up and encouraged folks to 'feel lucky.' I'd also dare say that if it weren't for the webmaster community that was benefiting from Google most folks would still be using Alta Vista for search (or maybe my favorite at the time, Northern Light).

Influencers and geeks are always important.

By the way, have you heard about the folks who run a couple of great SEs, Ask & Teoma. They have great technology and *no spam*. It's worth a look.

It doesn't take much for a few folks with columns, blogs, mailing lists or any type of an audience to talk things up. All it takes is an O'Reilly/Torkington to start it, a Tabke to jump on board, and, well, you have your viral anti-campaign right there.

Influencers and geeks? This thread is up to two pages of posts within a few hours.


 3:55 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Agreed - we are here and talking about it with gusto... but the money is out there in a world that doesn't even know there are pop-up blockers (let alone free ones).

[With my original post I should've added that I agree with the 88% - 95% arguments earlier.... and that I suspect that many of that 12% or less is people like us who know enough to do a bit more research before parting with their cash. (Or is that just my arrogance speaking?)]

[PS. I code using ocassional JS (tested on Firefox mind) because my target audience is IE with all bells and whistles switched on.]


 6:00 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Alpha Geeks using Mac? Puh-leeze.

Alpha Art Geeks, maybe. Alpha Tech Geeks are on Linux.

I've played with Macs, PC-Windows, and PC Linux, and Mac rates a distant third in overall performance and quality. Closed architecture in not only th OS, but the hardware as well. You can keep upgrading a PC for years and years to keep it usefull, not nearly so much with a Mac.

And Apple has an even worse record for supporting an old OS than MS does. Ever try and get support for OS 9.x? Software for it? Anything for it? It might be out there, but the vast majority of stuff coming out for Mac nowadays absolutely REQUIRES OSX. And OS 9 came out long after Win 95. But you can still get tons of stuff for win95, 98, 2k, etc. Heck, MS still releases patches for 98.

Any of the recent stats I've seen show just as many, or even slightly more *nix users as there are Mac users out there, and whenever someone releases an MS-Only program, I don't see the *nix users throwing a hissy fit. They just go out and build a better version of it and release it themselves.

That reviewer is from planet Zorkon.


 6:13 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Googles purchase of Picasa is mainly to get people using Blogger with the adsense ads.

In May 2004, Picasa announced a technology partnership with Google's Blogger service to make publishing digital photos with Blogger faster and easier.

From: [google.com ]

In this case the alpha geeks are irrelevant - they already know how to post photos, use much more complex photo programs etc. That picasa doesn't support mac? So what. Keep posted for an iphoto -> blogger plugin.

Google gets it - and they will keep getting it. A world where the web=google is not something I ever want to see but in much the same way as MS rule the desktop, google could use their position to rule the web.

Daft article: likening webmail to digital cameras! Ok so only a few ridiculous employers stop people using webmail at work - but I can't think that bosses would be ok with people taking in their digital cameras and organising their photos.

Nice post Brett - finding a really irritating piece of clueless comment that gets people (inc. me) to post after lurking for ages :) -- which I think was the intention all along.


 6:14 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a Webmaster and I have to respectfully yet strongly disagree with the assertion earlier in this thread that we Webmasters should take a lot of credit in the success of Yahoo and/or Google.

Frankly, I don't think we Webmasters affect very much of anything except our own sites. I don't mean to be flippant or overly dismissive, but I'd suggest that two key groups have far more influence over what's popular:
- Consumers (first and foremost). Google and Yahoo have delivered good results for millions of people. People talk to their friends, their co-workers, etc.
- Business people (see above).

Look at Netflix. And iTunes. Did we Webmasters make these sites popular? No.

Look at IE (which Webmasters tend to hate) and all other browsers. Have Webmasters had a demonstrable effect on browser usages? Nope. We can rant all we want about IE being inferior and blah blah blah blah blah, but all people care about is it (to them) works.

Will Google and Yahoo stay on top? That's not really the issue here. Who knows?! But will they fail on account of fickle or annoyed Webmasters? Hardly.

Oh, and about the whole not-coding-for-Mac thing... Mac users should, IMHO, quit griping. I think in many ways Macs are more elegant -- and for some tasks, more appropriate -- than PCs. But life is full of decisions, advantages, disadvantages. Macs are less prone to viruses, but they have a smaller base of programmer support. Such is life. Macheads knew that when they bought their machines, and it seems silly to gripe about it afterwards.


 8:27 am on Sep 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMO it's a huge difference whether you develop software running locally or web apps.

If you do the latter there's absolutely no point in restricting it to just one platform.

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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