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Linux.com: Reversing the Feedback Loop

Apr 18, 2000, 00:16 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Dominico)

"Upstart operating systems such as Linux and BeOS have difficulty competing against entrenched companies such as Microsoft. One large reason for this is the "feedback loop" between consumers and developers. Consumers are hesitant to migrate to the OS because of a perceived lack of mainstream applications, and some developers are hesitant to create Linux apps because they are waiting for a larger consumer user base. The result is a deadlock that has, in part, prevented Linux from widespread consumer adoption."

"The tide seems to be turning, though. Developers, sensing that Linux is not just a passing fad, are starting to jump on the bandwagon. Recently, we've seen a flurry of announcements and software releases from major mainstream software developers. Here's a small list:"

  • "WordPerfect 2000 (Corel)
  • Quake 3 Arena (id Software)
  • Canvas 7 (Deneba)
  • Numerous games ported to Linux by Loki, such as Myth II"

"These releases are important because they are the sort of applications that mainstream consumers expect to be able to run on their computers: word processors, games, graphics tools, and more. While there are open source projects that fulfill some of these needs, or that intend to do so eventually (the GIMP, AbiWord, etc.), users switching from other operating systems will appreciate being able to use the same tools they are already familiar with. This is crucial to the mainstream acceptance of Linux as a desktop operating system. Additionally, more developers will follow suit, now that others have taken the plunge."

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