Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 3, 2012 16:34 UTC (Tue) by leoc
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
I recall around 1996 that I made a similar criticism of Linux as compared to OS/2 (which was my platform of choice at at the time). I claimed that Linux took too much effort because applications were not self-contained as they were on OS/2, where you could just download an exe, run it and have a working application shortly thereafter. And yet here we are almost 20 years later, I made a career developing Linux applications and OS/2 is completely gone. This advantage did not help it *at all* to succeed on the desktop.
For all the arguments I have seen in this discussion, I am still not convinced that Linux should adopt a similar application model. I just don't see why Linux should at this point alienate millions of existing users to cater to trend-chasing developers who are not really interested in building applications for a small market anyway. Linux has a fairly self-sustaining niche desktop presence at this point, and I think its dominance in almost every other aspect of computing will help ensure that it is in no danger of being OS/2-ed in the future.
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