We recently announced OmniFocus for the Web so that customers who use OmniFocus and are stuck on Windows at work could be more productive, but we don’t have any plans to create native Windows or Android versions of our apps in the foreseeable future. In general, the downside of tackling a new platform is that we have to code everything all over again and then maintain two separate codebases in parallel going forward. This slows down our ability to deliver features and fixes to our existing customers.
Here’s how our CEO Ken answered this question on our forums when someone asked this a while back:
At the Omni Group, our goal is not to make as much money as we can; our goal is to make the best software that we can make. To do that, we’ve chosen to focus our attention on the development platform which we feel makes us the most productive.
I started my career developing software for the broadest possible set of UNIX platforms in the ’80s: I figured that would guarantee that I’d always be able to run the code I was writing. When I encountered the NeXT platform in 1989, I realized that it not had only a much more polished user experience than all the other UNIX platforms, it also had a much more productive development environment. I realized that I had a choice: I could spend five years writing an app with a so-so user experience for a broader audience, or I could spend those same five years writing several much more polished apps for the NeXT platform—with its much smaller audience and less certain future.
I decided I could guarantee that I would always be able to run those apps by buying my own NeXT (a significant investment at that time)—so I bought one, left my job, and started working (with Omni’s co-founders) to try to help the tiny NeXT platform survive and flourish.
Fast forward a decade: in 2001, NeXT’s development environment became the foundation for the new Mac OS X platform, and we considered its survival relatively assured. Fast forward a second decade: now, in 2011, that same NeXT development environment is not only the basis of the Mac platform, but also the wildly successful iPhone and iPad platforms. The development environment and user experience have continued to improve over time and are now better than ever.
Are there other successful platforms out there? Certainly! Could we make more money by bringing our software to those platforms? Maybe. But I don’t think that software would be any better than what we’ve already made, and it would distract us from improving the software we’ve written. And again, our goal is not to make the most money—it’s to make the best software.
So, just as I chose twenty years ago to focus my attention on the tiny NeXT platform (which sold fewer systems in its entire history than Apple’s iPad sold in its first weekend), we’ve now chosen to focus our collective attention on what that platform has become—Apple’s Mac OS X, iPhone, and iPad platforms—platforms where we feel we can make our software the best it can be.