Registered: Jan, 2004
Re: Desktop Linux Just Died
Posted: Mar 25, 2004 1:03 PM
> > I mean why should I help
> > Microsoft extend their monopoly?
> Linux is exactly what Microsoft needs to keep it
> dominating the market. It soaks up all the talent and
> user base that might otherwise gravitate towards something
> that might be a market threat (e.g. Apple).
Actually, I'm seeing lots of open source developers gravitate towards Apple. At last year's OSCON pretty close to half of the laptops there (and most everyone had a laptop) were Apples. This at OSCON where most everyone is a developer. This bodes very well for Apple. Developers actually like developing for the platform and so lots of software is appearing.
I've been running Linux since '96 and I just recently bought a Powerbook. I plan to buy more Macs in the future.
> > Their products are mediocre at best
> This is just wishful thinking. Their core products
> NT/XP/Office work just fine for the market they're
> intended for. Geeks mightn't like them but my family do.
> Unless you are prepared to admit to the strengths of the
> e opposition, you can never hope to challenge them.
I'm comparing XP with MacOSX - XP looks pretty mediocre by comparison.
> > they aim for the lowest common denominator
> Well, yes. They're in it for the money. Sales is what it
> is all about.
> > what's exciting about that?
> If, like Microsoft, you're producing a commercial product
> then the measure of success is sales, not the ability to
> say "but our product X is 'better' than their product Y".
In my case, I'm not developing mass-market apps. I'm more in the scientific/engineering application area. So I don't care about the mass market. YMMV.
> > ..developing open source software for MacOSX. All the
> tools are free..
> The abundance of free software means that there is no
> commercial incentive to develop software for OSX, thus
> ensuring that it always remains a niche product.
Actually, I notice lots of small sofware companies springing up which cater to MacOSX, so I'm not sure your assesment is correct. Sure Macs will probably remain a niche product for those who want a higher-quality system, but not everyone using a Mac is a developer (lots of artists, musicians,etc.) and these folks do buy software for the platform.
In fact I'm considering developing some commercial apps for OS X. The market is such that small players (1 or 2 person development shops) can actually enter the market. My perception is that would be much more difficult in the Windows world.
> At the end of the day who benefits from free software? As
> far as I can see, only two groups. The open source
> community, most of whose output is consumed by themselves
> in a closed loop,
> and Microsoft
> 1) because the open source community cuts off the air to
> small and new commercial who don't have the resources to
> out-develop their products,
> 2) the OS community produces little original software that
> people other than they themselves use,
> 3) such innovations as the OS community do provide serve
> to keep Microsoft on their toes.
A very narrow view.
Who has benefited from open source software?
*Everyone: The internet runs on open source software.
*Governments: free sofware allows them to run their IT depts more efficiently which cuts expenses. You do pay taxes don't you?
*Companies: I'm incorporating OSS into products right now. Since we don't have to pay royalties, we can do more with less. We can leverage on work that's already been done without reinventing the wheel every time.
*Developers: The great amount of high-quality open source development tools available to developers now helps us not only to create more OSS, but also commercial software as well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that OSS (in it's various forms including languages, tools, libraries, frameworks) is what is going to keep the American programmer in the game. If we want to keep our jobs we'll have to be 2 to 3X more productive than those Indian software engineers in order to be competitive. I find that using OSS and incorporating various components from the OSS community into my projects gives me that kind of edge.
OSS is here to stay and it's probably a lot more pervasive than you think it is. As someone mentioned earlier in the thread: you can either fight it (like Microsoft) or you can embrace it and incorporate it into your strategy (like Apple, IBM, Novell, Sun, ... well, pretty much everyone else these days except for Microsoft).
It turns out that in the software world sharing and open-ness benefits us all much more than closed-ness and hoarding.