Karelia Software's Dan Wood, developer of popular Web-services application Watson says Apple's stance on Sherlock 3 should act as a cautionary tale for OS X developers.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Sherlock 3 during his Macworld Expo New York keynote last month. Sherlock 3 offers access to a host of US-centric Web services.

However, that Sherlock 3 shares much that is in Watson is expressed in an open letter on Karelia's Web site.

Watson was conceived as a companion product to Sherlock by developer Wood. Focused on Web services, it offers image search, news, stocks, movies, phone listings, eBay auctions, flight tracking, reference and translation tools. Sherlock 3 offers a similar level of functionality.

Apple awarded Watson the Worldwide Developer's Award for 2002's Most Innovative Mac OS X product.

Because of Sherlock's Web-services move, Watson is “effectively shut out as a viable product on the Mac, once Mac OS X 10.2 gains widespread use”, Karelia claims.

Wood is disappointed, but philosophical: “I'm trying not to dwell too much on the negatives about Apple muscling-in on Watson, because I want to look to the future and build the next killer app. However, I think it's important that the story be told, if nothing else as a warning to other developers who might "be next", and to users who think Apple can do no wrong.”

Wood is "saddened" at Apple offered him no compensation for the effective demise of his award-winning product.

Apple sources have so far failed to comment on the matter.