Just a quick update on eWallet for Mac. Contrary to what I’ve seen posted in some of the blog comments, we are in fact making eWallet for Mac. As a matter of fact, we’ve ALWAYS planned to make eWallet for Mac at some point. This is something we’ve had in the works for a few years – pre-iPhone even. If you want to know more about eWallet for Mac, check out the rest of the post after the jump!
Disclaimer: In all of my posts I’ve always been very honest in what I tell you – brutally so at times. That won’t change here. Everything I’m writing in this blog post is a business side analysis. I AM IN NO WAY MAKING A JUDGEMENT ON THE QUALITY OF THE MAC OS. Frankly, it’s an incredible OS. This blog, however, is about the business of making software and not my personal feelings about the quality of an operating system.
Mac and Me
Before I get too far into things I want to give you a little history about Mac and Me. Before I graduated from the University of Michigan I’d used two types of computers – Commodores and Macs (OK – I’ll admit, I played Civilization and Doom on Windows towards the end of college but that was it). I was a Mac guy through and through. I owned the top of the line PowerMac and LOVED it. Three things moved me away from Mac. 1st – I couldn’t get software, hardware, or anything else for it. 2nd – I used Windows for my work. 3rd – Price. After college I had no money. When the ol’ PowerMac died I moved on to a Windows machine.
And for those who don’t know, even our founders are “Mac People”. Just making clear that decisions about Mac are unrelated to how much we like the OS.
SO, ON TO THE PRESENT DAY….
Why a Mac Version of eWallet and Why Now?
As I mentioned above, we’ve always planned to release eWallet for Mac at some point. The problem was that for a long time the market didn’t support this. Just looking at desktop OS use alone and even today it comes out to something like this:
- Windows: 91%
- Mac OS: 8%
Making and maintaining Mac software is no easier than making and maintaining Windows software. At the same time, a Windows product has a potential market more than 10 times that of a Mac product. This is a HUGE difference. Simple math demands that we put our emphasis on Windows. 11+ years down the road that decision has proven a wise one.
But there is even more to it than that. We aren’t a desktop software company. Yes, our desktop software rocks, but our primary focus is Mobile Software. The desktop system used by most Mobile Device users has long been Windows. This further reduced the potential market for a Mac version, since people typically buy our desktop software to add-on to their Mobile experience – and these people used Windows.
So for a VERY long time, Mac just didn’t make good business sense based on our company focus.
Enter, the iPod (thought I was going to say iPhone didn’t you?) Suddenly, huge numbers of people were being introduced to the world of Mac devices. Apple got cool rather than fringe. Next came the iPhone! Now we had a full blown mobile device running Apple software.
So here are the factors that changed the market:
- The iPod becomes THE music device. Apple is now everywhere.
- The iPhone/Touch took the world by storm – and moved Mac into our area – Mobile Software
- The internet becomes one of the most used “applications” cutting the importance of the OS
- The latest Macs really CAN run Windows well, offering the “best of both worlds”
Suddenly, the Mac becomes a valid platform (financially) for us to invest in. I see the Mac market share continuing to grow over time, especially as young people who have grown up with white earbuds attached to their skulls go out and buy their first post-college computers. The name recognition alone will drive sales.
But There is a Catch! The Cold Hard Facts…
Look back at those market share numbers I posted. Even though Mac has been around for a long time, from our business perspective it is still an “emerging market.” Mac still commands less than 1/10th the market share that Windows does. No matter how much excitement surrounds the iPhone, we still have to remain realistic about what we will get back on our investment into Mac software.
I mention this due to blog comments saying “why aren’t you throwing everything you have at Mac?” Simple – we’d be completely abandoning the enormous market that pays our bills. Windows is WHY we have the opportunity to make a Mac version. Without Windows and Windows Mobile, we simply couldn’t afford to make a Mac version.
This means that when I sit down and mete out the limited resources available to me, I can’t drop everything to focus on Mac.
Now don’t get me wrong – when we do something, we do it right. Our Mac version is already INCREDIBLY cool. I’m totally geeked about it. And once it is out we plan to support it 100%. I just can’t afford to pull resources from the things that pay the bills to push Mac out faster.
Which Brings Us To the Big Question…When Will It Be Out?
My initial guess was by the end of the year. Now before I go on, I would like to clarify something.
Although it is possible I mispoke at some point (seriously, we aren’t in the business of trying to trick people or mislead them – it’s bad business and goes against our ethics), I always did my best to say “Our hope is that it will be out by the end of the year” and “We are shooting for the end of the year.” I did this because frankly, we don’t do “release dates” (See the other post for more about why release dates and software don’t mix.) As it stands right now, knowing what I know about how long it takes to get things done, I doubt it will be done by year end.
How long until it is ready? Sorry, but I’m not going to try to guess. Recently, my guesses have been interpreted as release dates so I’m going to have to stop doing that. I will say that we have a working version, the UI is coming along, and we actually have people outside Ilium Software using it right now.
Can you show us a screenshot? Nope, sorry. Trade secrets. Seriously, people like to copy our stuff so we seldom reveal it in advance.
So there you have it. We’re definitely going to release eWallet for Mac, but I’m not sure of the exact release date. You can be assured that as soon is it is ready, though, you’ll hear about it here!