Porting free software to Windows
Posted Dec 17, 2004 18:00 UTC (Fri) by mly
In reply to: Porting free software to Windows
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.
You can't win them all, and I think it's a good thing to have the ability to choose. Try to relax a bit. Let him make his choices. Besides, I'm pretty sure you'll be more successful in "selling" Linux to your friend if you stop trying...
Given time and lots of exposure to things like Firefox, Thunderbird, cygwin, python, Gimp and lots of other things that are standard on Linux, the barriers for switching will get lower and lower. Linux is getting more streamlined on the desktoop, and I'm pretty sure free emulation for the odd Windows app some might need to continue to run will improve as well.
You need to be a market leader to be able to make use of a lock-in approach, and deliberately avoiding ports to other platforms is the same plain and old lock-in strategy that Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and others have tried.
Linux isn't such a market leader yet, and I think it's a bad idea in general, regardless of whether you think it's better that people use Open Source operating systems instead of Windows. Relax a little and let people make their own choices. Try to lower the barriers, don't try to raise them.
I guess Bill Gates is as honestly convinced that the world would be a better place if everybody used Windows, as we are that it would be better if everybody used open source alternatives, but I think it's best if we try to make it as easy as possible for people to get their job done regardless of what plaform they work on.
I'm using MS Windows a lot, for various reasons. Cygwin and Python has certainly helped me keep my sanity. Firefox and Thunderbird allows me to use the net with a lot less worries than if I used Microsofts tools.
I'm very happy for this ability, and if someone would try to take this away from me, I'd surely revolt!
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