Twitter is using the Microsoft Playbook

AndroidTwitter.jpgThere's a lot of commotion lately about Twitter launching its own client applications of what I would call "house apps" for platforms like the iPhone, Blackberry and today the Android. While many developers have outstanding Twitter clients, the better ones come with a price. Now that Twitter has introduced more of its own client apps free of charge, those early third-party apps quickly lose their value proposition. Some believe the trend could hurt companies like Seesmic or Twitterific. Developers will need to come up with ways to structure their applications to offer other benefits besides just connecting APIs. This is no different than what Microsoft did in the early days. Microsoft grew to domination in the desktop market on the backs of third party developers. Old applications like Harvard Graphics, WordStar, VisiCalc and dBASE were the early pioneers before we had MS Office. No one should be surprised with Twitter's actions, it's part of the software growth lifecycle. Developers will adapt and Twitter will do what fuels its own business growth. I see no problem with that.