John Nack, the Senoir Product Manager for Photoshop recently posted a blog responce directed towards critics of Adobe’s decision to release a new beta application called Soundbooth without Mac PPC support in the initial beta. The beta, available at Labs.Adobe.com is a brand new application built in the spirit of Sound Edit 16 and Cool Edit that provides the tools video editors, designers, and others who do not specialize in audio need to accomplish their everyday work.
John writes: “Notably, and happily, the app not only supports Mac OS X, but also runs natively on Mactel systems. More controversial, however, has been the news that the app runs only on Mactel systems, not those using a PowerPC.
“The elimination of PowerPC support in Photobooth [sic] raises major issues,” writes Macintouch. I’m a little puzzled: how is it that people can refer to the “elimination” of something that never existed–namely, PPC code in Soundbooth?
Here’s the reality: Apple’s migration to Intel chips means that it’s easier to develop for both Mac and Windows, because instead of splitting development resources optimizing for two different chip architectures, you can focus on just one. That’s all good, and it makes Mac development more attractive. Users benefit from having developers’ efforts go elsewhere (features, performance tuning, etc.), rather that into parallel, duplicate work. In the case of Soundbooth, the team could leverage Adobe’s expertise in building great audio tools for Intel chips (namely Audition) to bring the app to market faster and with a richer feature set.
Now, if you were Adobe and had started developing a new application at exactly the time when Apple told you, “This other chip architecture is dead to us,” would you rather put your efforts into developing for that platform, or would you focus elsewhere?”