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August 29, 2006


Don Marti

1998 was a golden opportunity for Linux as a server OS. Unix was still expensive and Windows NT wasn't stable yet. The proprietary server OS vendors left the same kind of gap open for Linux that the existing search engines left open for Google a few years later.

In 1998 you could save huge money switching to Linux from Unix. The Most Expensive Linux Hardware Vendor's list prices were about the same as the academic discount price that one Unix vendor was offering one famous university, for example. Is there up-front savings in moving from MSFT to a supported Linux for an Adobe Photoshop system today? And is there anyone who would run Photoshop on Linux who isn't already running Photoshop on Windows?

"Commoditize the complement" is good strategy, but if the price difference doesn't make an impact, what's in it for Adobe?

Patrick Lightbody

What about another option: a three pronged approach:

1) Encourage more apps to be developed in Java, thereby eliminating the entire application compatibility issue entirely.
2) Encourage cutting edge games to be developed for linux, attracting the young male geek audience that will be leading computer usage in the future.
3) With #1 making OS choice less important wrt to app choice, and #2 allowing gamers to pick Linux, spend the majority of development time on a solid OS interface. Today, Gnome and KDE are still fairly far behind OS X and Windows.

Joseph Arruda

"And is there anyone who would run Photoshop on Linux who isn't already running Photoshop on Windows?"

I certainly would.* Although I suspect the most interesting times are ahead of us, as GIMP and Inkscape get more visibility and actually improve substantially. I have been an admin (Gallery Director) on Deviantart.com (the Sourceforge of online art communities) and the interest in GIMP has been incremenetally rising for quite some time; the important part being that it is drawing users who otherwise do not want to pay or can't or do not need all the pre-press functionality of Photoshop to GIMP on win32.

If you start providing suitable application substitutions from a functional and economic slant, you can obviate the need for the proprietary OS quite easily. That will probably draw Adobe out into the open.

* The only reason I do not is that I do not want the resource overhead of using something like CrossOver. I want a native application to prevent any real bottlenecks that can occur, particularly with large files using a lot of layer data.

charles snider

The other route for Linux to the desktop is from hardware vendors. If you think about it, Dell preinstalling Ubuntu on consumer machines is a very serious proposition, and one that should lend a fair degree of legitimacy to Linux, much more than Turbotax or Quickbooks for Linux. In relation to the desktop, people _buy_ computers and not necessarily an OS or software. Having hardware vendors offer Linux as an alternative clearly states, "Yes, Linux is good, Linux works, and we support it". That'll be the tipping point...

Keith Herrington

Honestly, open source has great codec support! Has ESR seen mplayer, ffmpeg or specifically libavcodec? It's amazing how much they've been able to reverse engineering. Can't remember the last time I had a problem with something not playing, frankly.

I think more apps is always good, and especially more vendors shipping with usuable OS's like ubuntu. But the biggest thing is an easy way to transition someone from windows. Say, an ubuntuguide.org equiv for 'windows to linux'? or at least, windows to gnome, windows to kde, etc.

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My Current Reading List

  • Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)

    Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)
    I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm still reading Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. When he passed L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth decology I could have cried. Maybe WoT will be made into the worst movie of all time? Still, I've been following the saga of Rand al'Thor for more than a decade now, and I want to see how it ends. Rumor is that the next book, Memory of Light, will in fact conclude the saga. To borrow a phrase, "There should have been only one." (**)

  • Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

    Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)
    My family got me Quicksilver for Christmas. I'm not far into it, but it's clearly a Stephenson book: lots of historical connections, multiple timeline unfolding simultaneously, meticulous historical detail, 100 pages in the plot is still a total mystery, big "thud"factor... Should be a great read.

  • Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0

    Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0
    Anything edited by Chris DiBona is worth spending the time to read.

  • David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet

    David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet
    I'm just getting started with this one, but so far it's a fascinating account of the history of cryptology. It's a massive 1200 pages, so it may be a while before I move on to something else.

Larry . . .

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    My Events

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    • 2010-07-21 to 2010-07-22 OSCON.
      I'll be at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) on Wednesday and Thursday. SugarCRM engineer John Mertic is speaking at OSCON.
    • 2010-07-28 AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford.
      Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies is moderating a panel session at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford including Marten Mickos, Swayne Hill, Treb Ryan, Lars Buytaert, and me. I'm looking forward to a great discussion.
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      Olliance Open Source ThinkTanks are always great events, and I'll thrilled to be at the Paris event again this year.
    • 2010-09-30 to 2010-10-01 Open World Forum.
      I am speaking at the Open World Forum (OWF) in Paris on Oct 1, 2010. I am also a judge in the OWF Open Innovation Demo Cup. Be sure to submit your project before July 31 for consideration.
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    • Doc Searls
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    • r0ml Lefkowitz
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    • Dasient
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      Embedded instant-on operating system for consumer devices. News
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      On-line lead generation and marketing automation. News
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      Open Source Electronic Health Record (EHR). News
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