Fork me on GitHub

App whore?!

written on October 04, 2010

App Whore? Ahhh, sorry I meant App Store, just in case you didn't notice they are very very trendy these days.

You almost cannot call yourself a respectable company down the valley if you haven't got your very own App Store.

Look around ... Apple, Intel, Microsoft ... and now Canonical got one, right into their "Ubuntu Software Center"; this wasn't a totally unexpected move from them, considering that they built the whole Software Center in the first place.

Linux, sadly still faces the chicken<->egg problem when it comes to the Desktop.

The server side of things is doing great, just look at Red Hat and you can tell right away; of course now with the CLOUD, the DESKTOP could be just replaced by your web browser as web apps start to resemble and replace desktop apps.

I don't have anything special against Canonical and their will to bring in an App Store for Commercial Applications, but they should at least reconsider this move; why? for a shitload of reasons.

Linux and free software are about the freedom of choice, and Linux itself really needs an App Store on its own where you could get and install free and commercial software for your favorite Linux distribution and not locked in to one distribution.

This doesn't mean that they have to drop their own repositories or package formats, or have some unified interface.

My point is to have one atomic App Store where developers can submit their software (free or commercial) and they would get packaged for all major distributions out there; the most dauting task for all those devs who are porting their games to Linux is to provide packages, but everybody could just benefit from this in general, even those who know-how-to package their software.

This would be governed by a board of people just like every other major free software project, e.g: Gnome, combined with a transparent and streamlined submission process (no discrimination, but preventing shitty apps to get in) .

The end-user would just bring down the App Store application from their favorite distribution's repository and have access to well packaged high quality software.

Commercial software and especially games would benefit from a platform like this the most, considering that Steam is not going to have a Linux version anytime soon, which could solve and unify partially the commercial game distribution .

Many times (most notably during the Humble Indie Bundle!) it has been shown that Linux users are more willing to pay for quality games than the other platforms. (namely MacOSX and Windows)

The conclusion is that an App Store is needed in the Linux ecosystem, but not one tied (and maintained by) to a specific distribution, not even a major one like Ubuntu.

I truly believe, that (indie) games can make Linux mature and increase its adoption on the DESKTOP; but more on this later ...

Without games, Windows would be a boring platform used by accountants who need M$ Excel, just because they never heard of Open Office or don't care enough to consider an alternative or don't care about their freedom nor privacy ;)

End of Line