Microsoft Developer Marketing Question

Anthony Long along at
Sat, 13 Sep 2003 02:38:17 -0400

It occurs to me that a large part of Microsoft's success has been based 
around its ability to attract and sustain a hefty number of software 
developers for its platform.  I'd like to figure out why.  Why did 
developers initially develop for Microsoft's BASIC, DOS, and Windows and 
continue to do so in droves?  Same question goes for Palm.

Is it the case that an entity must first capture a dominant market share 
in order to then capture substantial numbers of developers?  So maybe 
the answer to this question, it was MS's cornering of the PC market that 
led to developer attraction?  But if this is true, then why in the early 
80s,  when it was uncertain which way the PC industry would go, did MS 
attract developers?

Using what we learn from answering these questions, how can we apply the 
lessons to better attract developers for open-standards platforms like 
Linux, Mozilla, and OpenOffice?

I'd love to hear peoples' thoughts on this.