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