Sunday, September 5, 2010

Purchase Apps from Ubuntu Software Center?

Official Ubuntu circle with wordmark. Replace ...Image via Wikipedia
I have been pretty open in the past about my love of open source softwares. The best thing about open source is that development doesnt get stagnated if the developer gets bored of the project. Also, since most open source softwares are free (as in free for downloding) their popularity is guaranteed.

What is not guaranteed though is the popularity of the OS 'for' open source. Most Linux based distributions these days suffer from the acute problem of sheer obscurity! Even Ubuntu which is (quite wrongly) said to be almost synonymous with Linux suffers from this problem. After all more that 90% of the world's PCs run on Windows. This sheer lack of popularity is one of the reasons why big developers and companies have stayed away from Linux. Most think that since Linux is all about free and open source, there's no money to be made here. Thats partly true. But shattering that myth Canonical has now introduced an option to purchase apps right from the Ubuntu Software Center.

I know many will be up in arms about this and a few might stop using Ubuntu altogether crying foul. But the fact is (and rude as it might sound), we need to grow up, desperately. Most Linux based distros suffer from acute shortage of funds and to sustain development of a distribution, funds are a necessity. There's another theory. Linux is a hotbed of open source apps, and there are many. However sad as it might sound, there are very few professional grade apps with support system out there. GIMP is a great application, but only a fool would compare it with Adobe Photoshop (I used to be one such fool). Similarly I think there is a severe shortage of games on the Linux platform. If developers and companies are encouraged to come up with more decent quality applications and those are featured on the Ubuntu Software Center, I think it can only be good. After all, even the Canonical online store has options to buy closed softwares from them.

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