Post by Alan Baker
And out and out malware...
Alas this could well be something very bad. All apps (or the installer)
presents a list of access points the app will use e.g "Can cost you
money and allow calls" or "access net" or "access contacts" etc etc. I
wonder how many people really read that or, horrors, download the "open
and free" code to inspect it for malware before allowing it to be
installed? Less than a tenth a percent I would suggest.
Having source available makes it easy to create "template software".
How many people have read a wordpress blog lately? You can easily
start with wordpress, and because you have source, you can decide what
you want to personalize and make it look less like a cookie-cutter
I remember how much WinTrolls in this group used to berate Linux
advocates because there were so many different Window managers and so
many different looks and feels. And then Microsoft offer themes, and
suddenly, those same WinTrolls were declaring these as wonderful
I don't have to know the guts of eclipse to create a nice graphical
editor that can create diagrams that populate databases. In fact, I
can take a plug-in for a project manager and use it to populate other
types of work-flow diagrams that populate various flow tracking
If I can write a useful application using 1% of the resources because
99% of the work has been done and the 1% is just making some tweaks to
some source code - or writing a plug-in - it's much cheaper to create
new software, and I can make much more profit on even niche markets.
Making profit on Windows software is very difficult. If you don't
have $billions to invest up front, and you don't have $billions for
marketing, and $billions more for legal teams to enforce your
intellectual property rights, you probably won't make enough money to
recover your initial investment in a "from scratch" built
application. Then there are all the licenses you have to negotiate
with all of the vendors of all those proprietary libraries you'll need
to use, and then there are the legal defenses against the patent
trolls who see you making revenue and want a piece of the action -
even if it's only a fraction of a percent - just because settling is
cheaper than fighting a lawyer who can paper you to death with
discoveries and motions.
And when you finally get that software on the shelves, and you finally
start getting $millions or $billions in revenue, you can almost count
on Microsoft deciding that your market is big enough that they should
buy the third-rate competitor that hired 4 of your disgruntled
employees - and Microsoft will bundle their knock-off in their next
release of Windows or Office - putting you out of business.
Which is why you now see this huge empty skating rink where the
software shelves used to be (CompUSA, Circuit City, ComputerCity,...)
Who is really making any kind of money on consumer desktop software
for Windows these days?
These days, the money is in offering services via web sites - and the
software is on the (Linux or Unix) Servers.
At least with Android and Linux, you can offer the product, make a
dime or two on the software, then make a few dollars a year from
services related to the software.