Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Mar 2007 18:05 UTC, submitted by Luis
Linux Complaining about Windows Vista is a national past time on Internet forums these days. Windows Vista 'costs too much', 'has onerous product activation', 'requires too much hardware', etc. These complaints are often followed up by a very simple boast: 'I'm just going to switch to Linux'. But in today's landscape, how viable is that statment? Is the threat to switch to Linux an empty one, or is it entirely possible?"
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RE[4]: Of course it is
by Almafeta on Wed 7th Mar 2007 21:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Of course it is"
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

I don't understand YOUR point.

There are some games that are only playable with Windows.


If I read him/her right, the point is that the reverse is not also true. There is no significant piece of open-source software that does not exist in Windows. Firefox, Open Office, Apache, GIMP, Blender, Second Life... but all are available for Windows.

As it stands right now, Linux support and functionality is a subset of Windows support and functionality. And as long as the Linux community continues to use an open-source development model and as long as there exists even one Windows user with a C++ compiler, that is the way it will stay.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

That's actually one of the things Aaron Seigo pointed out in 2004, http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2004/12/how-to-kill-open-source-on-deskt... :


"
Making the situation even worse, by keeping people on Windows we decrease the odds of them getting involved and contributing back to the community. This is because the tools necessary to do so are relatively rare on Windows. How many Windows users have debuggers or compilers or even receive awareness marketing on the part of their primary software vendor (Microsoft) to "Get Involved and Give Back"? Moreover, resources that could be spent making the Open Source desktop environments more compelling are instead being spent on making Windows more compelling in the form of superior applications.

Microsoft owes us a big "thank you" when you think about it: we are giving them the opportunity to react on the playing field they most effective on while we are limiting our own resources.

...

This "strategy" ensures Free Software desktops remain a 5% fringe in the market. This translates to ISV interest in desktop Linux/BSD being kept to a barely noticeable minimum. In turn this means fewer software packages, which in turn means even fewer reasons for people to use Free Software operating systems. Can you hear the dominoes falling as they approach?
"

Of course now KDE4 will be releasing many of its apps as cross-platform. Some of the commenters on the blog brought up how the file format may be more important than having a killer ap on the web eg., how Firefox on Windows is opening the web up to Linux users again, OOo or KOffice with ODF., etc.

Edited 2007-03-07 23:17

Reply Parent Score: 5

chanmix51 Member since:
2007-02-23

I do not agree with the thought «porting gpl softwares to windows make users stick to windows».

From my point of view, that allow them to use and get used to free software. Would firefox be 20% of browsers "marketshare" if not available on Windows ?
If we do keep free software only for Linux/bsd users, most of the people would not know about it and would be relunctant to use it.

The big advantage of linux on windows is not only being free software ! If people begin to use KDE on Windows or Mac, they will be more keen on trying it on Linux because that would not change dramatically their habits and they might even find Linux better using the same graphical environment.

«Share the software !»

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Of course it is
by butters on Thu 8th Mar 2007 07:08 in reply to "RE[4]: Of course it is"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

There is no significant piece of open-source software that does not exist in Windows. Firefox, Open Office, Apache, GIMP, Blender, Second Life... but all are available for Windows. As it stands right now, Linux support and functionality is a subset of Windows support and functionality.

In general, you're right. Consumers choose a platform predominantly based on the apps which are available for it. However, the trend towards consumers choosing OSS applications on Windows means that the Windows-only applications are gradually becoming less significant. Moreover, the features of the platform itself are becoming more significant as the apps are increasingly available on both platforms.

Windows will always have some software that Linux does not, whereas most Linux software will gradually become available on Windows. However, this subset will get small, and Windows will be forced to compete with Linux as a platform. Linux has its weakness as a platform, to be fair, but given a little more market share and a little more investment, many of the glaring weaknesses will go away. If Linux received even 10% of the capital investment that Windows receives, it would make Windows look silly by comparison (if it doesn't already for some users).

The synopsis of this article (if you read the whole thing) is that outside of the few features that don't quite work as intended, (Ubuntu) Linux is an outstanding desktop system. In a way, Linux is a lot like Vista. It has plenty of features that provide a sense of "wow" and a few gotchas here and there that are pretty frustrating. But I contend that the gotchas are getting more and more frustrating on Windows, while they are becoming much less so on Linux.

The bottom line on the article is that the author compared a completely free (gratis) platform and its completely free (gratis) applications against a relatively expensive platform and its often outrageously expensive applications--and found that the former is pretty damn close to being a complete replacement for the latter while offering some really compelling advantages.

Games? There's really no way to commoditize and replace a game, so it really depends on the game developers perceiving an advantage to developing for Linux. I think that a huge market awaits a project that develops a high-level OpenGL abstraction library for Linux game development. Make game development for Linux easy and powerful, and make it "build" away to standard OpenGL code, and game developers would gladly ditch DirectX. In truth, X hasn't really been ready for high-end gaming until recently, and it's not completely there yet. When game developers can easily hook into Composite to overlay their interface elements on top of the rendered environment, things will get sweet for Linux gaming in a hurry.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Of course it is
by twenex on Thu 8th Mar 2007 12:12 in reply to "RE[4]: Of course it is"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

And as long as the Linux community continues to use an open-source development model and as long as there exists even one Windows user with a C++ compiler, that is the way it will stay.

I fail to see what the use of open source software has to do with the range of Linux software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Of course it is
by stestagg on Thu 8th Mar 2007 14:06 in reply to "RE[5]: Of course it is"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

By 'Open Source' they really mean cross-platform. And, of course, most open source software really is cross platform.

Reply Parent Score: 2