Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 2, 2012 9:09 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
For example, people who bought new PCs in 1994 would have within 3-4 years would have no longer been able to run most off-the-shelf PC software, especially games, without at least buying a new Windows version (and maybe not even then, because of increasing hardware requirements).
Right. This often happens with a new technology. People who bought HTC Dream three years ago also can not run contemporary Android games. Unfortunately (for Linux desktop revolutionaries) desktop have reached “mature technology” stage and expectation have changed.
Incidentally, it's not always true that Windows and MacOS have better backwards compatibility. For example, Windows for x86_64 doesn't support 16-bit executables, but you can run them with Wine on an x86_64 kernel. And some early 680x0 Mac programs require black&white or 16-color video modes, which weren't supported even on hardware as old as the beige G3.
Yeah, that's the irony, isn't it? Underlying core technology in Linux is significantly more robust than in MacOS/Windows and it should be possible to provide much better compatibility then in Windows, but all these efforts are laid to waste by the distributions on the desktop which assume that “recompile the world” is valid answer to compatibility problems.
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