Linux and the desktop
Posted Oct 31, 2002 10:11 UTC (Thu) by beejaybee
Parent article: Linux and the desktop
"Linux administration is getting easier, but remains difficult." OK, but administering a Windows system _properly_ isn't easy, either.
"Linux applications still lack features that many users want." Actually I hear the reverse about many Windows applications - they're overloaded with features, which slow them down & make them hard to learn & use.
"A visit to any computer store will show that there is a whole range of applications that are still absent on Linux: where are the children's games, menu planners, language courses, tax return preparers, home remodel designers, and makeover assistants for Linux?"
There are two parts to this:
(1) commercial applications (which is what I think we're talking about) will
definitely not arrive until there is a critical mass. (Kiddies games for e.g. Macintosh aren't exactly thick on the ground either.) There is a cost involved in porting to another architecture; in the current financial environment, commercial companies aren't going to make that investment until the market size is sufficient for them to expect to make a profit on sales.
(2) retail outlets tend to belong to large chains, which have inbuilt inertia; also there may well be pressure from M$/Sony/Nintendo at the corporate level - "don't stock linux products or we'll stop supplying you" - similar to the threats issued against Australia's position on Xbox mod chips.
"But that day will remain distant until Linux becomes a more friendly platform for proprietary applications. "
Um, well, I'd say that linux is actually more friendly to proprietary application developers than Windows. At least you're not going to get APIs you depend on redefined without notice.
The basic point here is that there is nothing in linux, or the licences, which prevents people writing software and selling it through retail outlets. There may be a _perception_ of anti-commercialism associated with the bearded, sandaled geek/hippy stereotype of the linux user; however, that does seem to be breaking down quite quickly with increasing penetration of the market.
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