I don’t know if Apple seriously expects to challenge the browser market for Windows, but what they will get out of this is a good public shake-out of the Cocoa libraries running on all kinds of Windows platforms – nothing they could test in-house.
iTunes still runs as a Carbon app, which runs on a library with lineage from Quicktime, which began with a port of the Mac ROM Toolbox to Windows in the 90’s. Cocoa is the NeXTStep/OpenStep framework, a better tool for writing modern applications of most types. Give it a year, and I expect we’ll see a cross-platform development environment for Mac/Windows/iPhone. Hopefully they’ll lead the way with an iTunes rewrite to show their commitment to to the platform, this time. After they pulled the rug out from under the developers last time they’re going to have to show they’re serious.
There’s really no better way to get applications over from Windows to Mac than to give the Windows developers a better application development environment, that just happens to run on Mac. Then again, I’ve been saying that for the better part of a decade and Apple hasn’t been listening.
Speaking of pulling the rug out from under the devlelopers – I saw this from the keynote today, “No developers outside of the conference will get Leopard Beta.” Wow, so I paid $500 (and Premiere members much more) for early access to Apple OS releases (I haven’t bothered with the alphas) and now they’re not going to send it to those of us who didn’t/couldn’t pony up for the WWDC conference/trip? That is cult-like – what level operating thetan do you have to be to get the beta? Oh, just make the pilgrimage.