I don't wish to dwell for too long on the actual merits of Objective-C over C, or the benefits of Xcode, Interface Builder, and other tools - I mean, which tools someone prefers is a very personal thing, and debating that issue here is pointless and bound to end in tears and torn stuffed animals anyway. What is a very interesting point is that Apple gives away all its development tools, including their various profilers, for free, and how that affects the Mac software ecosystem.These profiling tools are, as with all the Apple developer tools, free," Bright writes, "In a world where most equivalent tools are rather expensive, this is very welcome. There's a clear contrast here with Microsoft." According to Bright, a 'bean counter' at Microsoft realised that you could sell development tools and make money from them. While the Visual Studio Express tools are free, it are the extras where Microsoft is weak.
The problem with this is that it is a rather short-term way of generating income. If you purchase software development tools, you're going to write software. This application can attract new users, who buy Microsoft software to run this application - and let's face it, that's going to generate more money than a single developer buying tools.
As Bright explains:
Apple also 'eats its own dog food', as the saying goes. It actually uses the tools, APIs, and frameworks it provides, reassuring their development community that said tools, APIs, and frameworks are sound and stable enough. In fact, in the Apple world, it's usually the case that Apple will introduce some sort of new UI element or framework, which will later be made available to everyone else. If there's an API in OS X, Apple is bound to be using it somewhere.
Finally, Apple has finally settled on Cocoa. It took them a while, but ever since 10.4 and 10.5, the direction has been clear: the future of the Mac OS is Cocoa. While Carbon is still there, and it's still in use in for instance the Finder, it's on its way out, as evidenced by the fact it won't become available in 64bit. "This willingness to leave old technology behind is a great strength of the Apple platform," Bright writes, "Rather than enshrining past decisions in perpetuity, Apple has a willingness to say "enough's enough; this new way is better, so you should use it"."
Part four will detail what and how Microsoft can improve things.