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How important is important?

Posted by: Administrator on August 28, 2006 03:30 AM
You said "Assuming the Portland project has done its research, it will probably find a market among ISVs for its API and tools. But that will be the full extent of its influence."

whilch makes the same mistake you'd pointed out yourself earlier when you'd said:

" Its symptom is a wild disparity between the tasks the code actually performs and the claims made about its importance."

If this project can hook in the ISV's, then it will be more important than the silver bullet you are proposing.

When Linus started dinking around with his hardware in 1990, the Linux of 16 years later was unimaginable. In the same manner, but under a different timetable, ISV participation itself is an enormous sea change in it's own right.

The momemtum of the marketplace is held up in the inertia among the existing ISV's who are living in the Windows' ecosystem. So while the KDE/Gnome "split" is an interesting parallel, the deeper implications of the Portland project are deeper than you are realizing. As the ISV "species" start to migrate over to the Linux platform at the desktop level, there will be an increasing pressure on the Windows Only ISV's to make the leap.

Whether this project can accomplish the acceleration of ecosystem permeability at the desktop level remains to be seen. But make no mistake, when photoshop, quicken, filemaker pro and other major desktop companies begin selling into the Linux marketplace... then we'll be looking at a whole new ballgame.

Oh, but wait... is the Linux ecosystem willing to pay for software on the desktop? I believe it's as willing as the Windows world, where piracy is rampant. There are always going to be good eggs who are willing to shell out greenbacks for the businesses who provide high quality software. Even if a large number of others won't pay.

Regardless, the ISV's who have held out with Microsoft in the hope that Linux would go away... have to admit that because of server-side success LINUX IS NOT GOING AWAY. Now they need to decide whether and when to begin supporting it as a platform.

David Pool,
Portland, Oregon
(not associated with the Portland Project)

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