Porting free software to Windows
Posted Dec 16, 2004 17:20 UTC (Thu) by marduk
Parent article: Porting free software to Windows
My friend uses gaim, Firefox & Thunderbird... all on Windows. Admittedly it annoys me. And now he recently installed Cygwin. So now that he's got all these cool apps, he sees no reason to need to learn another operating system like Linux.
I've often thought about this dilemma, and one of the ideas that keeps bouncing back and forth in my head is something like this: Create an open-source application suite for Windows, but crippled in some way that users *might* be inclined to switch to Linux. My idea is for a "GNOME for Windows", which includes stuff like Firefox, Evolution, Gimp, gaim, OpenOffice, and maybe Totem and some games but excludes some as-yet-to-be-named applications that only run on Linux/Unix and are good enough that some Windows users may consider switching over to GNOME for Linux to use.
This has the advantage that our star apps that already run on Windows get marketed as one nice little application suite, so Windows users are likely to get exposure to them all. This will facilitate their eventual (hopefully) transition to Linux. It also puts OSS in the press as having an open source alternative to the standard Windows desktop. If people start using these apps and then they see the same apps running on Linux some may ask why they are settling with paying for Windows and dealing with viruses, worms and spyware when they really don't have to.
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