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‘It Could Work: A 3rd Party Email Client for OS X’

Michael McCracken on whether there’s a market for a third-party email client:

I do think there is a market for a pro email client for OS X, and I’ll use another core app category to explain - Text Editors. I think they are a better analogy than music or browsers. Shipping in every Mac, TextEdit is a solid basic free editor, but everyone needs something more. […] How is the market for programmer’s editors? XCode is free and very good, emacs, vim, etc. are also free and excellent. But there are people making money selling text editors.

Probably the best categorical comparison, but the difference is that Mail is far more ambitious than TextEdit. Update: Via Twitter, John Siracusa suggests PathFinder as an example of a commercial “pro” app carving out a niche against a bundled, ubiquitous free app.

Thursday, 5 July 2007