Uwe Buckesfeld wrote:
> On 07/08/2008 elsewhere wrote:
>> The whole “gaming” thing is overblown, me thinks.
> The only reason I still have a Windows install on my machine is that most
> games I like don’t run on Linux. I don’t think it is overblown.
Edited your quote for emphasis, and that’s my point. People that play games often assume everyone else does, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I boot into Win myself to play the odd game, so I’m not dismissing it as intangible.
There’s something like 1B people using PCs on this little blue planet we live on. A staggering majority of them don’t have broadband internet access, and in fact a significant number are still running 95/98.
Gamers are a slice of the market, much as linux users are. They’re not representative. A gamer assuming that linux will fail if it doesn’t support gaming is understandable, from their perspective, but not necessarily relevant to the actual potential userbase.
The problem, IMHO, is that debates about desktop-linux adoption always occur among people that are already using linux. It’s like asking for an opinion when we already know that everyone has the same basic opinion.
Linux advocates often seem to assume that everyone is desperate to get away from the evil clutches of Windows and Microsoft, but that’s simply not true. Regardless of the many warts and bumps that Windows has, people know it and they’re comfortable with it. And any marketer will tell you that people are inherently resistant to change.
If we want to see linux succeed on the desktop, we need to quit applying our own collective perspectives to what it needs; rather, we need to determine what it is that the average user really values from using a PC, and determine what linux can do differently and to better advantage.
Replacing Windows isn’t an option. Linux needs to be a viable alternative if it wants to truly drive adoption.
Put another way, gamers won’t care. They have already resigned themselves to purchasing games and playing them on Windows, because to them, the value is in the game, not the platform. The “draw” of the game outweighs the draw of the platform. So it doesn’t necessarily make sense for game producers to focus on linux, when they already know their customers will buy their products anyways and play them on Windows.
Linux needs to differentiate itself, and stand on it’s own two feet. Certainly there are issues that need to be addressed from a usability POV compared to proprietary OSes, but matching them isn’t enough. Linux needs to do something differently or better, in a way that offers clear value to the user, if it is going to draw interest. Simply emulating what Windows can do won’t cut it.
We need to quit acting like Microsoft is the only obstacle for desktop linux adoption, and start questioning what it is that potential users really want to see and do.
Just my 2c…