Linux.com: Reversing the Feedback Loop

“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

The tide seems to be turning, though. Developers, sensing
that Linux is not just a passing fad, are starting to jump on the
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.”