Dojo (HowTo)







  Easter Eggs




  Martial Arts

The truth about when Mac users get their software - which is often first.

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999


While it is true that many packages are PC first, it is true that many packages are Mac first.

PC users don't realize that many of their hottest selling packages were on the Mac first, because they are blissfully unaware of the Mac market in general. This is an amusing sort of cultural bias -- to Mac users it is like being an American listening to member of the Soviet Communist Party describe how all the major American inventions were created by various Soviet Inventor first (decades after the American equivalents of course). So part of the answer is propaganda.

I was going to create a list of all the Mac only software, or Mac first software, but after realizing that there were 2,000 Mac ONLY titles alone, I gave up. Here is a link that should help -

Mac Only software link - Mac Only!

That link does not including the Mac First titles like Adobe products, MS Products (word, excel, powerpoint), all the Claris products, Aldus Products, and more. Remember, there are 13,000+ Mac titles.

See the Mac software link pages if you want to find out about Mac Software - lots-o-software

Ignorance is bliss

PC people also tend to think that the Macs lack certain packages when Macs had that category first, or they already have that package and PC users are just unaware.

An example I dealt with all the time was PC users telling me about Corel Draw or Ventura Publisher. PC users thought these were hot PC packages, and in the PC market they sold well, but these packages were copies of Mac packages that existed for many years before those packages and the Mac versions were often rated better by magazines and professional users of both Macs and PC's. Then when those PC software companies did create Mac versions, Mac users were forced to suffer for a few more years hearing PC users tell them that they don't have those packages (it takes a lot of time and effort to educate all the PC users and correct their myths). So the PC users myth was that Macs lacked illustration or publishing software, the reality was that it was because of the Mac that both of those markets took off and the Mac users had better choices than the PC users. When the remaining PC software came out for the Mac, the Mac versions were often superior to their PC counterparts (Corel for example brags incessantly about how much better their Mac version of Corel Draw is).

Another interesting example was Lotus. PC users would rant and rave about how great Lotus123 was, while Mac users were using Excel (which PC users caught on to much later). Then Lotus created a product for the Mac called Jazz - which was a super Lotus123 with Office type functionality. (Unfortunately it did not catch on at the time because computer were not powerful enough to exploit its features). The name had changed and the Mac version had more functionality, and there was a Lotus123 clone or two on the Mac market, but Mac users had to suffer PC users incessant ridicule about not having Lotus123. Later PC users got a sub-set of Jazz, called Symphony, but it didn't go anywhere on the PC either.

Windows users are just Beta-Testers for Macs

Even when packages are Windows first, they are often somewhat buggy. The bad Applications die out, and the good applications get ported to the Mac (and often made better). In fact is that many games that gained quality, features and levels, when they moved to the Mac. The same is true for many Applications. So Windows then just gets to be a bunch of beta-testers for Mac users -- and they have to pay for the priveledge.


So usually the reason that people think the Mac doesn't have enough software titles, or get software later - is just that PC users are living in their own little sheltered world, reading their own little magazines and know very little about the rest of the world.

NOTE: Since originally writing this, things have been changing a little. There are a few more companies that are starting to release PC-First. So it likely is a tad more likely that PC's will get some mainstream programs first -- far less often than the rumors lead most to beleive, but it is happening.

First is still not best. For example: MS-Explorer releases are staggered (PC's first), but the Mac version gets features that aren't available until the NEXT version of explorer... and some features just aren't available at all. So the revision numbers do not always reflect usability, features, or stability. Also many games come out later on the Mac than the PC (where most of this myth comes from) -- yet the Mac versions are often far more stable, often have better resolution and performance, and have features that may not be incorporated in the PC version.

Created: 02/06/97
Updated: 11/09/02

Top of page

Top of Section