Why popular app developers ignore GNU/Linux

Many of my friends and relatives ask my opinion before they buy computer. Whenever they ask my advice, I usually ask them about their requirements. Most of them just require internet browsing, document preparation, listen to music, watch movies and so on. I suggest them GNU/Linux as the Operating System. I explain them GNU/Linux is FREE, it has in-built military grade security, it is simple and intuitive and so on. However after a day or two they definitely call me up and ask, “Hey, will Photoshop work in that system, Tally…, what about Autocad?” I tell them “Nope. No Photoshop, but GIMP works. Not Tally, but Kmymoney works”.

A common question and very common answer. But the history of this question dates back for decades since GNU/Linux landed to the computing planet. Now Gnu/Linux has evolved. Evolved to a full grown OS. Right now, it’s a feature rich OS. Smart. Secure. Stable. With uncountable distributions worldwide.

However why does most of the popular app developers ignore it still? Why do they hesitate to port their popular products to Gnu / Linux? Adobe Photoshop / Creative Suite is the most popular and industry standard tool for art directors.

Take the example of Adobe. Adobe Creative Suite contains a bunch of power tools for image manipulation, vector editing, html editing and flash content generation and so on. GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Programme) – the free and open source counterpart – is still in its infancy stage. When asked about porting to GNU/Linux, Adobe’s stand always is dubious. Every time their stand is that there is no profit in Linux porting. They always argue that very few Linux users are willing to pay for commercial software. This argument is without any documentary research back up. Photoshop’s codebase has a long history of over two decades. it is written mostly in C++ which is very portable. To justify their stand to do nothing on Linux porting, they tend to usually blame that Linux still lacks standards for color management, fonts, driver issues and so and so 🙂

Another justification is that most Linux users have already paid for Photoshop on a different OS, so they are not willing to purchase another.  If all the potential users have already purchased Adobe products, is everything over? Is their business over? So why do they release patches and updated versions and encourage repeated purchase? Take the case of Ubuntu? It has a built-in software download centre in the OS. Aprox 25 Million users are available at once with the purchase section of the software center in Ubuntu alone. If we take other distros, numbers will be a lot more.  Is Adobe corporation not considering this? Adobe’s stand always is not digestible in a customer care point of view, though few points are valid in a commercial angle, those valid points are of market risk, which is applicable to all products in a competitive market.

Adobe and Tux

Not only Adobe, a line of other app developers are lined up behind. Corel Corporation, Autodesk are some among the corporate giants in the line. These major corporates also repeating the same blah blah what Adobe is arguing against GNU/Linux – all they say is that there is no marketing potential in Linux porting.

It is obvious that Adobe / Autodesk / Corel can easily port their products to any OS at anytime. Market is not an issue. Generating hype, ad campaigns are not a stumbling block for them. Still they do not do anything on Linux porting. Why? The answer to this question is still in debate. Might they have some undisclosed tie-ups with some corporate giants who fear the dominance of Linux? May be not, but their stand always makes us think so!