SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] Re: RE: Project Management Software for MacOS X
[Sigia-l] Re: RE: Project Management Software for MacOS X
On Jul 20, 2005, at 11:32 AM, in v10, issue 23, Ziya wrote:
>> - Given the size of the potential market (which was affected by the
>> deep penetration of MS Project for Windows in the overall large-
>> project-management market) and the cost of producing a full-blown Mac
>> version of MS Project, there was essentially no profit to be made in
>> recreating Project.
> That's verifiably absurd, to be polite. There are many, many
> companies with
> hundreds, thousands of Macs happily engaged in many types of
> projects, some
> quite large. ...
In the interests of brevity, I left out a deeper explanation of how
the MacBU's financials limit their ability to produce more than one
large project at a time. I started to describe that issue here, but
when I hit 700 words, I figured it was time to turn it into a blog
post. I'll post a link to that on the list later for those who are
interested, but for now, let me sum up:
If you think of the MacBU as part of Microsoft, and therefore as
having access to Microsoft's deep pockets, you're going to have to
think again. The MacBU faces strong pressures against growing past a
one-product group, and surprisingly, those pressures have very little
to do with any specific manager's like or dislike of the Macintosh
For now, please take my word for it that - *while there is obviously
a market for advanced project management software on the Mac
platform*, the MacBU can't afford to invest the resources to make it
happen without seriously endangering the health of its current
organization. The payback, while nothing to sneeze at, wouldn't be
worth the risk *for a group in the MacBU's circumstances*. Once
again, this isn't about devious plots in upper management - it's
about Microsoft's organizational structure.
I'm on my second draft of the article for my blog; I'll try to give
y'all a better view of my thinking there.
>> - The current and potential customers for Mac Office are seen (by the
>> MacBU) as being mostly in the SOHO market.
> This is a tired, oft-repeated piece of normative 'thinking' on the
> part of
> MSFT. I guess the reason why Access, Visio or other platform-strategic
> lock-in apps have not been ported to Mac OS X is because nobody
> ever does
> databases or diagrams on that platform! Just how stupid does MSFT
> people are?
Actually, the reason that Access, in particular, hasn't been ported
is that A) the core code for Access was originally written in pretty
damned unstructured x86 assembler and hasn't been cleaned up since
(only patched, over and over) and B) the Access team has repeatedly
refused to commit resources to aid in the port.
The previous (and considerably more aggressive) upper management of
the MacBU gave an estimate of five years to develop MS Access for
Mac, using the MacBU staff on hand at the time. ALL of the current
>> In other words, in their view at the time, most Mac users don't
>> use their
>> Macs to coordinate big projects.
I expressed myself badly there. I should have said "... most medium
to large organizations currently buying Mac Office don't use their
Macs to coordinate big projects." This focus on 'organizations
currently buying MacBU products' is overly cautious, in my opinion,
but it's a fairly natural bias when you can't gamble with your
current business. Again, to be explained elsewhere -- soon.
>> Those two decisions led to the light-weight, small-project nature of
>> the project management features in Office 2004.
> It's a toy. But I find it useful and actually use it.
Although I worked on it, I have to agree that it's quite toy-esque.
Backpack easily beats it as a small-team coordination tool now, and
at the rate 37Signals is producing new stuff, I expect that they
*could* rival MS Project in a few years, if that was one of their
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
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: Thu Jul 21 2005 - 14:27:29 EDT