Requiring a browser is one thing. Telling me to buy a new computer is going a little far. Homestead is an old name, but their new product led me to their front page. I wanted to try out SiteBuilder, which they describe as “simply the best.”
Homestead could have been nicer in their error messages. They had my best interest in mind, since there is no reason for me to download a Windows program to my Mac. SiteBuilder requires an Active-X control (IE only) and that the user download an 8 MB Windows program. If Homestead explained this in the initial error, I might not have written about this experience.
Google is showing that when it comes to web-based applications there is only one platform: the web itself. Google Maps isn’t even 100% platform/browser independent, but they are apologetic:
I understand Homestead’s catering to the majority with the Windows/IE requirement, but I think the effort is misplaced. The web is the only platform that matters for web-based applications. Google Maps is able to reach an even larger audience while requiring no software installation.