Porting free software to Windows is wasted time
Posted Dec 20, 2004 13:55 UTC (Mon) by mwilck
Parent article: Porting free software to Windows
Free software developers should focus on developing for free OS's, for their own sake, and for the sake of free software.
Why? Because users of free OS's do care whether the software they use is free or not. Everyone else doesn't.
If your free project X competes with proprietary product Y, some Windows users may consider switching to from Y to X. If, half a year later, Y version 10.0 comes out and some smart sales guy tells your user how much better and more colorful it is, X will happily switch back to Y.
A free OS user, OTOH, will appreciate the fact that X is free, and think twice before migrating back.
In the Windows world, free software doesn't only compete with commercial packages, but also with "Shareware" "Beerware" and all the other cheap pseudo-free stuff out there (and of course with the black copies of commercial SW that Windows users are collecting). For 99.9% of Windows users this all the same as long as they can get it without paying.
I don't mind if some projects are ported to Windows. I guess it's actually a commercial opportunity for some companies. But it turns me away if I see a project where developers seem to be putting more effort into the Windows port as in improving their software on the native (i.e. free) platforms. Even if this gains a project more users in the short term - those users will be gone quickly.
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