Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 03:12 UTC
Editorial I was reading today about how Linux Mint developers altered the Banshee music player source code to redirect affiliate revenue from Amazon music orders to them instead of Banshee. They've reportedly made less than $4, which has caused a kerfluffle among those paying attention to that corner of the world. But it raises a larger point that has been swirling around for a couple of decades: an OS vendor has a lot of power to influence, and even monetize their user base. Where should they draw the line?
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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 13th Dec 2011 06:37 UTC
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Short Answer: They should "own" just the OS.

The long answer:

An unfortunate trend that is happening with software is that a major component of purchased software has become a platform for selling more software or services. This is has happened with MacOS X, with the inclusion of the app store. This is happening with Windows to an even larger degree, as all indications are that a certain OS feature (the ability to run Metro apps) is only accessible through Microsoft's store. This is also happening with games, where even boxed copies of games purchased at a store sometimes require installation of the publisher's own storefront.

This has the side effect of making a piece of software's ability to sell more software nearly as important as the software itself. Which is a bigger success: Windows 8 being a huge step up from Windows 7, selling millions and millions of copies, but the app store gets ignored? Or, Windows 8 is a mediocre upgrade, sells one third the number of copies by comparison, but everybody that buys one relies exclusively on Microsoft's app store?

The way trends are going, the latter scenario is preferable, at least for Microsoft. People that want or depend on better software take a back seat to the requirements of the sales staff.

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