Linux

Windows platform loses ground with developers


Even though Microsoft's Windows platform is still the dominant platform for application developers, it is losing traction as far as North America is concerned, according to the results of an Evans Data survey released on Tuesday.

In a survey involving more than 400 developers and IT managers in the United States, it was found that the number of developers targeting Windows for their applications declined 12 percent from just a year ago.

Says John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data:

"We attribute [the decline] largely to the increase of developers beginning to target Linux... Both Novell and Red Hat are the two dominant ones right now."

You can read more from this InfoWorld article.

It does appear that the on-the-ground situation is finally mirroring what many Linux advocates have long predicted pertaining to the rise in popularity of Linux. Still, it remains to be seen if Linux will ever be a dominant overall player, though it is obvious that it is definitely maturing nicely on the server end at least.

This is reflected in the growing instances of enterprise vendors releasing Linux-based versions of their software; for example, Intuit releases QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions for Linux.

The article by InfoWorld also mentions that the release of Vista will help hold the decline of Windows as a preferred platform for developers. However, given that Vista does not offer anything substantial over Windows XP where software development is concerned, I am not so sure about that.

Do you have anything to add on this? Join the discussion.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

23 comments
Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If MS is forced out of the computer industry or forced into a much smaller market share, it will be by a better quality product focused on the end user freedom and robust code - The end user wins If MS is forced to compete on the basis of product quality and retains it's market share, it will be by providing a more finished product with greater focus on end user freedom and programming robustness - The end user wins If Apple is what replaces MS, the end user get's a more restrictive lockin with better software quality - even then, the end user wins If MS retains it's market share through the usual By Hook or By Crook tactics it's employed so successfully; well, there's always FOSS and freedom of choice. Even if Linux was somehow squashed in court, OSS development models would replace it with something else. Heck, if hardware and game manufacturers would look beyond there "made for one OS only" mentality then the restrictive OS developers can go sit and spin; there's few things I can't do without them and the list get's shorter every day.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

The "Made for Windows" initiative is less than a year old and already falling flat...why? Because only the in house MS game devs can really take advantage...once again MS is pushing out developers. Hey Steve, what happened to Developers Developers Developers Developers?

Fred123456
Fred123456

From the get go, Microsoft had big plans for Vista and the gaming industry. One of the biggest plans was to link their XBOX gaming enviornment with the Vista gaming experience. Of course the response has been slow. How many people remember when everyone insisted they would never upgrade to XP for gaming, but eventually you did. Most game houses are already hard at work to upgrade to dual core code and other added benefits of the 64 bit OS. HP/Dell might be selling linux PC's but no one is writing game code for them. The Developers are doing the usual. Educating themselves on the new enviornment and they will catch up. What do you think> Software development firms are gonna say screw Microsoft and their 80% share of the desktop market? Beleave that and then you must beleave the internet is free and not for making money! :)

alaniane
alaniane

As a developer I am going to develop on whatever platform I need to make money. If my customer is using a Unix/Linux platform, then I am going to develop on that platform. Of course, I am not game programmer so it maybe different for that industry.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]What do you think> Software development firms are gonna say screw Microsoft and their 80% share of the desktop market?[/i]" I think that as other alternatives to MS Windows become more attractive, they'll add support for these other platforms -- mostly without dropping support for MS Windows (at least at first). I strongly suspect that increasing support for MacOS X in games would devastate MS Windows market share, though. That, in turn, would increase the support game developers offer for open source OSes, too, since the core of MacOS X is based in large part on FreeBSD -- and considering the growing popularity of Linux, it would be difficult to justify supporting FreeBSD without supporting Linux-based OSes.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Developers go where the money is and if MS is losing desktop share (and they are), they are going to write games for both Linux and Windows (and Mac). Hell, Blizzard is quite happy to let Transgaming in on patching and keeping them abreast of the changes in WoW. ID has been writing cross platform games for a while (I think since Quake). To top it all off, there are SDL ports of big sellers like Neverwinter Nights. If you "beleave" that MS is the only way and that the vendors are being influenced by the consumer, than you are sadly mistaken.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [b][i]"...A survey this spring of more than 400 developers and IT managers in North America found that the number of developers targeting Windows for their applications declined 12 percent from a year ago. Just 64.8 percent targeted the platform as opposed to 74 percent in 2006..."[/i][/b] (1) --and-- [b][i]"...Evans Data said the shift away from Windows began about two years ago and is accelerating. Linux is benefiting as are nontraditional client devices..."[/i][/b] (1) --and-- [b][i]"...The targeting of Linux by developers increased by 34 percent to 11.8 percent. It had been 8.8 a year ago, according to the survey. Linux targeting is expected to reach 16 percent over the next year..."[/i][/b] (1) This is no surprise to me at all. Microsoft is looking all paranoid and fearful these days for good reason. This is part of it. And, I have to say, it is really fun to watch Goliath falter like this. :^0 They have had this coming to them for a long time. Microsoft knows the importance of software developers (2). But, they just cannot bring themselves to let ISV developers eat. VMWare does a great job with VM software. Nope! Sorry! Microsoft just HAD to buy Virtual PC and give it away for free. Adobe does a great job with PDF. Nope! Microsoft just HAD to develop XPS and bundle it with Windows. Microsoft eats its own so-called "partners" every time. [b][i]"...A Microsoft representative said Monday no one was available from the company to comment on the Evans Data report..."[/i][/b] (1) Is anyone surprised? :^0 [b]The Bottom Line[/b] Hey Microsoft! You're blowin' it! The more you tighten your grip on so-called "partners" and customers (!), the more they will slip through your fingers. "Do unto others..."? "What goes around, comes around"? March: 9.9%. April: 12.5%. May: 14.3%. This is the "Vista Effect". This is the market share of Apple MacBook notebook computers in the United States (3). I guess the "WOW" really has started after all! :^0 ------------------------------------------- (1) Survey: Windows loses ground with developers http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/07/02/mswindows-share_1.html (2) Microsoft knows the importance of developers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMU0tzLwhbE&mode=related&search= (3) Apple snatches 14 percent of May notebook sales http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/06/22/apple_snatches_14_percent_of_may_notebook_sales.html

dpcole7
dpcole7

North America? That's okay. The masses of pirates in China and India aren't going to mind. Besides, try running Photoshop and other solid Windows apps in Linux. When you give up in abject anger over the sluggishness, beg the companies to port their "OS X" versions - which is technically easy because it's easy to port OS X and Linux apps around... they're not going to do that either.

apotheon
apotheon

You're kidding -- right? When has any software been more sluggish on a free unix-based OS like Linux or FreeBSD than it was on MS Windows? World of Warcraft runs faster, better, and more stably than on MS Windows, for instance. I think you're just making things up.

brian.mills
brian.mills

At the tech school I attended, we loaded Unreal Tournament onto all of the machines in our lab, so we could play before class started. Even our instructor had it on his machine. When we started the Linux class, we wiped Windows and put Linux on all the machines (CentOS, I believe was the distro). We then loaded Unreal Tournament, and gave up on trying to play because it was too sluggish, even at the lowest resolution with all the fancy graphics stuff turned off. Of course it might have been because we didn't know how to do something right that caused it to not work well. I don't really do enough gaming to really care how well games run. I have an XBox for when I get the urge to play a game. I'd like to see Creative Suite available for Linux. It would sure be a lot cheaper to do that than to upgrade my wife's iMac and then buy the new version of CS.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

After more than a year of trying every help file I can find, that's the only conclusion I can come too. ATI's 9600 boards just plain don't play nice with there drivers. The free community ATI 3d driver runs great but of course, it can't support all those hidden features locked away in the closed source code. ATI; I'm four months away from a new video card purchase, can you provide real Linux driver specs and something compatible to the nVidia 8800 board or am I buying non-ATI for the first time in twenty years?

apotheon
apotheon

The 3D acceleration provided by the open source Intel drivers is crap compared to the 3D acceleration provided by the ATI and nVIDIA proprietary drivers. The reason for it is that ATI and nVIDIA are using patented technology for the 3D acceleration, and they can't get the patent-holder (Intel, ironically) to let them open up the parts of the code that relate to that patented technology. At least, that's [b]part[/b] of the reason -- I rather suspect ATI and nVIDIA might balk at releasing the source for their drivers even if it weren't for that, but at least they'd have the legal ability to do so. Even with proprietary drivers all around, the Intel 3D graphics adapters are kinda low-rent compared to the ATI and nVIDIA adapters. Again, this is because Intel isn't using the patented 3D acceleration technology. ATI/AMD (since ATI was purchased by AMD) has apparently been mulling over the idea of using an alternative technology that would not prohibit them from offering open source drivers for 3D acceleration. This alternative technology (I don't recall off the top of my head what it's called, unfortunately) shows great promise as a potentially significant improvement in the performance of 3D acceleration graphics adapters can provide, in addition to being free from the patent encumbrances of Intel's technology. It's just rumor that ATI/AMD has been considering this, though, as far as I know. I guess we can all hope, but don't hold your breath.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Thanks! That's great to know! But, I avoid Intel just like I avoid Microsoft. Both are way too big and too powerful. Both have gotten too much of my money in the past already. Whenever there is good choice that is not Intel (or Microsoft), that is what I buy. The computing world would be a much better place for customers with Intel = AMD = 50% share, and Microsoft = *nix = 50% share. Very often we must choose the lesser of two evils... But...Thanks!

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

So if you want to encourage the NVidia and ATI to open source, purchase Intel graphics cards (blech...I know).

TechExec2
TechExec2

. It's not that the open source drivers included with Linux distros are "2D graphics drivers". It's just that they don't offer the performance that the proprietary closed source drivers from NVIDIA and ATI do. Those drivers are not better because they are closed source. They are closed source to keep help their secrets away from the competition. So, I recommend that everyone running Linux download and run the free proprietary NVIDIA or ATI drivers as appropriate. It makes a big difference.

harryxebec
harryxebec

Replacing the graphics drivers on my ubuntu and fedora systems dramatically increased the graphics performance. By default, I think only 2D graphics drivers are installed on most linux systems.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I'll be your video drivers were Mesa drivers rather than the vendor driver. Also, if the cards were ATI, that could have been an issue as the 3d acceleration in the ATI driver has been borked up forever.

DanLM
DanLM

[i]beg the companies to port their "OS X" versions - which is technically easy because it's easy to port OS X and Linux apps around... they're not going to do that either.[/i] Give a reason, just don't say it. If there is money to be made, they will port it. And dpcole, it would not be that far of a leap for people to move off apple to Linux. I see that happening a hell of a lot quicker because of cost then I see people moving off windows. Your artists move off apple cause Linux becomes a desktop competitor, you will see those applications ported. Dan

puni12ke
puni12ke

I think the overall scenario will benefit the end user. As competition will bring about, reduced price in software and enhance quality products.. but still at the moment Microsoft will cling up there and reap the most out of it!!!

paulmah
paulmah

Do you have anything to add on this?

carlsf
carlsf

When you Shaft your so called partners When you Shaft your customers When you force partners and cleints onto a totally new O/S and Office 2007 what could you expect. Look at Dell, HP etc saying to business customers wait on VISTA and also going back to loading XP and Office 2003 that say's it all. The customers are speaking with their wallets and forgetting MS. ABOUT TIME.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Seems like IBM tried the same tactics almost 2 decades ago...look what happened then.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

MS may well find themselves on the outs sooner than anyone expects. The IT market moves like lightning and one bad move can give your competition the opportunity to eat you alive.