Ubuntu Software Center now selling BEEP!
BEEP went live on the Ubuntu Software Center this morning! Did I mention how the Software Center rocks?
Having gone through the process of distributing our game on the SC, I must say that Canonical has created a fantastic digital distribution toolset. BEEP was pushed through their web-based deployment toolset with no fuss at all. Deploying paid software in Ubuntu is now a no-brainer.
It’s quite exciting actually. This service has the potential to enable an entire ecosystem of quality proprietary software for Linux. On the client side, we have plenty of users eager to make Ubuntu their primary OS. On the other side, we have a world of software vendors itching to bring their ideas to the market. I think the Ubuntu SC can catalyse a reaction between these two worlds.
In retrospect, it’s shocking that it hasn’t happened sooner, especially in more established environments. I’m perhaps in the minority of Linux users who actually uses Windows (I’ve been dual-booting for a very long time). Windows has really grown into a nice operating system (not counting Vista). But it is truly astonishing that in this day and age Microsoft has done nothing to consolidate software delivery.
In Microsoft land, we’re still using a myriad of installers that are scoured from all four corners of the internet. Customers are forced into the wild to find, download and install their apps (while carefully avoiding the phishing scams and illegally repackaged ripoffs). This puts the onus on the software developer to be a distributor as well. Both sides lose. This is a completely stupid mess that has wasted vast quantities of time, effort and money.
Software is really difficult to make. The last thing a small ISV needs is to complicate their business with distribution/publishing issues. The Software Center provides very real solutions for our industry:
- Your software licenses now live in a single place. No need to deal directly with forty different companies. When’s the last time you went to the Colgate factory to buy toothpaste?
- Shopping is made safer and easier. No more scouring the internet, and potentially downloading malicious software.
- Migration/installation is simpler. No need to remember twenty vendor-specific passwords to re-download all your software.
- The ISV can worry about actually making software. Not selling it. These savings in time/money can be put to use making better software (which we desperately need). This point deserves it’s own article, but I digress…
Anyway, I’m rambling. The takeaway is this: I really want to see the SC reach a critical-mass where larger (previously windows-only) vendors are forced to follow their customers into Linux. In order for that to happen, Linux users will have to consolidate as well. This is perhaps the biggest hurdle for reaching a critical-mass; made especially difficult by the fact that the SC is only available in Ubuntu (other distros, unfortunately, are left out in the cold).
I don’t have an answer for that conundrum, except to say that getting Linux users to decide on a single distro will be like herding cats into a dog kennel. But if we could get everyone to play nice together, the benefits for all would be huge.
- Kiaran Ritchie
|This entry was posted by kiaran on July 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.|