Fresh from Mac4ever is a rumor that suggests FaceTime is coming soon to both Mac OS X and Windows. This is one of those unusual rumors that both makes sense and is questionable at the same time. The possibility of this mobile video chat client coming soon to Mac OS X is strong. Apple introduced FaceTime with the iPhone 4 and extended it to the iPod touch when the 4th generation portable media device launched last week. Rumors also suggest that the next generation iPad will add a camera and bring this mobile video chat client to yet another device.
With two confirmed and one rumored device rocking Apple’s video chat tool, the last man standing is Apple’s Mac OS X platform. The iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air all include an iSight camera and iChat. It is a no-brainer for Apple to introduce FaceTime to these devices by integrating it with iChat. This video chat client could replace Skype and would enjoy all the benefits of being a native application on both Apple’s mobile and computing platform.
The second half of the rumor suggests that FaceTime is also headed to Windows soon. This is where things get difficult and the rumor enters the “questionable” territory. There is no mention of how Apple would integrate its video chat client into Windows. Would it be part of iTunes or a standalone application? There is also the question of how Apple intends to support the wide variety of Windows hardware. Apple hardware is a known quantity but Windows PCs are highly variable and include camera hardware from a variety of manufacturers.
While Apple may introduce a Windows version at some point, I do not think it will be soon. Apple will optimize FaceTime for it mobile and desktop platforms and focus on getting that ecosystem running smoothly. FaceTime will hit the iPad and Mac OS X first and, at some point in the future, Apple will branch out and offer support for Windows. Does anyone agree or disagree?