At their Build 2016 developer conference Microsoft all but announced an end to the growth of sales in Apple’s Mac line of computers. My prediction is that the decline will begin in the fall.
Microsoft, has always been developer friendly (if you developed for its Windows platform). However, now under new management Microsoft is signalling its willingness to embrace all developers regardless of their preferred platform. In an unexpected turn-of-events Microsoft have announced their partnership with Canonical in order to bring the Bash shell, complete with all of its GNU/Debian/Ubuntu command line tools to Windows 10.
This is a really, really big deal as Bash will be a first class citizen on Windows 10. This move speaks directly to the heart of developers who find the familiarity of OSX’s Linux like toolset alluring. Sure, similar things can be achieved today on any version of Windows, but they feel clunky and compromised, but this will be different.
How does this affect Mac sales?
The inclusion of Bash in Windows 10 is a watershed moment in the history of Windows. Microsoft has finally recognised GNU/Linux as a thing, which is good given that Linux powers an awful lot of enterprise software not to mention large parts of the internet. For developers who are targeting a Linux based platform this announcement means that they no longer have to buy a Mac in order to enjoy the power of Bash and the ease-of-use of Windows.
When combined with Microsoft’s excellent (and free) cross-platform software development tools that enable iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows applications to be developed on a Windows PC, there can be little reason to pay a premium for a Mac.