Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 16:09 UTC (Sat) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Note that »Google will sort it all out for us« is not an acceptable answer this time around.
You want details? I'm afraid I can not oblige at this point. And not even because I'm bound by NDA, but because the whole strategy is not yet finalized. The observation is simple: Google has two separate app stores and that's one too many. The question is: how to better merge them together. Different approaches are possible: you can invent some way to run Android applications in normal Linux distribution (perhaps even in browser?), or you can try to make sure Chrome Apps will be comparable to native Android apps on phone (right now they are quite limited), etc.
IOW: it's not yet clear yet just how the desired thing will be created, but it's obvious what is needed. The obvious goal is to create the single app store for all supported platforms (not all apps will work everywhere, but some will be available on all platforms: Angry Birds on desktop are not all that different from Angry Birds on mobile so why do they exist in totally unconnected worlds?
Please outline how your app store concept is going to make Linux a viable option for current Windows or OS X users while at the same time making the existing Linux distributions obsolete and not driving off existing users who like things as they are.
You are asking bikeshed color when it not even known if bikeshed will even be involved at all. There are sooo few existing Linux users that it makes no sense to actually care too much about them. Windows and MacOS are significantly more important: both systems include built-in App Store (Windows store is in planning stages), both are not going away any time soon and both use Android-incompatible foundation (MacOS is closer, but Darwin is still quite different from Linux). Some people care about Linux users simply because they themselves are Linux users, but noone ever suggested that they represent more then a footnote in the whole story.
Linux technologies, on the other hand, are quite important because they are used extensively in Android and ChromiumOS already. That means that, of course, solution (if and when it'll materialize) will use a lot of them - and that means that it should be easy to include Linux desktop in the plans. But it's hardly feasible if the infamous “Linux community” does not care and where all suggestions to participate in plans on early stages are indignantly rejected.
Doing it the other way round, by trying to provide the standardised platform first and hoping for people (and distributions) to adopt it, is probably going to be less successful.
Well, time will tell. As you can see from the above the whole idea at this point is to increase the audience which application developer can target with a single package, not to gradually move towards a more standardised platform. Perhaps someone else will create a different kind of app store with build farms and multidistribution support - but it'll be different story altogether. It'll be interesting to see how successful they'll be.
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