Oh, absolutely. I agree with you. I am also a fan of open source for
exactly those points you made.
With Linux software upgrades are simply just upgrades. Open Office,
for example, has the same relative interface it always has had since
1.0. It has more features, several bug fixes, etc but is basically the
same office sweit I've always used since it became screen reader
friendly for Linux users. Since the Open Office developers aren't in
it for the money, like Microsoft obviously is, they focus on features
and functionality rather than the "wow" effect and fancy user
Not only that but the Linux OS has historically been known for rock
solid stability and reliability. One reason is specific standards and
they aren't there to reinvent the wheel every time a new upgrade comes
out. Again the motivation is stability, features, and a functional
piece of software rather than something that sells copies in the
millions. With Microsoft they can afford to release sloppy software
because they have the millions to pay for it where Linux and Mac
developers don't. They pretty much have to win customers and users
over by stability, features, and reliability.
With Microsoft though over the past three or four years it has been
crazy for software developers because they are constantly deprecating
older libraries, technologies, and then introducing new ones faster
than the software industry can keep up with. I personally saw nothing
wrong with DirectSound, but Microsoft sent it to the scrap heap in
2008 and added XAudio and XAudio2 to the DirectX SDK in its place.
They added Direct3D 9 to the DirectX 9.0 SDK, but after Vista came out
they created Direct3D 10 specifically for Vista and Direct3D 11 for
Windows 7. As a game developer that's absolutely nuts as that is three
different versions of the graphics API, totally incompatible with
previous releases, and if you target Direct3D 11 to take advantage of
the newer high end graphics technology in Windows 7 XP users are
screwed as that game won't work on their system unless the developer
goes back and supports Direct3D 9 for XP. Its totally crazy!
That's just DirectX though. Microsoft has consistantly been doing this
across the entire board. We've got practically yearly upgrades of the
.Net Framework, DirectShow has been just replaced with something else
in Windows 7, Outlook Express has been replaced by Windows Live Mail,
etc. The list goes on and on and most of it is completely unnecessary
If I were a mainstream game developer I'd consider Linux and Mac OS
far better development platforms because the OpenGL graphics library
and OpenAL audio APIs are consistant. They haven't been majorly
upgraded in years. Any upgrades they do have are bug fixes or there to
improve the API and not outright reinvent it from scratch the way
Microsoft appears to be doing with Vista and Windows 7 software and
libraries. Unfortunately, MS still holds the lion's share of the
market so just targeting Mac or Linux specificly isn't going to work
for any commercial software company.
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