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NewsForge: Why commercial Linux software ventures fail

Oct 02, 2001, 11:54 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)
"...Last week I wrote about how commercial apps for Linux need to be enough better than their free competition to justify their cost. The two examples above simply weren't worth paying for. If they had been given away free, clearly labeled as hobby items, no one would have been upset. But they weren't. They were sold as finished applications, with sales copy that led user-level customers to believe they were buying something that would install and work, right out of the box.

No one says it's easy to write "click and go" install scripts that will work with all popular Linux distributions and, at least, Gnome and KDE desktops. But any commercial Linux application that is going to generate enough sales to be worth writing must have this capability, and it must be tested thoroughly before the first "look at our new product" press release is sent out.

And, of course, once the product is installed, it must work as advertised. This is professionalism. And the lack of it in so many commercial Linux applications is a big reason why Microsoft employees and apologists get nods from mainstream trade show and conference audiences when they say Linux is still a "hacker toy" with a high TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) that is not ready for widespread adoption."

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