Saturday, May 2, 2009

Microsoft v. GNU/Linux

I have been using a Linux-based OS now for nearly a year, and I can say that it has made life a tad easier in most aspects. However, there are the few cases where I need to switch back to Windows via dual-booting, and the reasons will only grow larger as trends change.

Microsoft and its Silverlight software is becoming rather large among online video streaming services (e.g. Netflix) and Adobe has also shifted all technologies with Flash Player to Windows (e.g. ABC's Full Episode Player does not support Linux). As more and more companies find that online video services are more than likely where all the big money can come in via sponsorship from advertisements or the fact the Microsoft will pay them to support their platform, Linux distros will have a hard time finding any mainstream attention because there is no breakthrough for the mainstream. Sure, developers and techies love the Linux kernel, and love its flexibility for a workstation, server, you name it, but that is where the spread stops if there is not support from these online media services.

I would love to see Linux grow, and mainly grow to consumers who want entertainment systems that have the ability to watch streaming high-definition via the web, but as long as Microsoft has the money to lead away potientals from supporting open-source, the open-source movement will not reach its heights.

1 comment:

ndansmith said...

Microsoft is actually working with Novell on Moonlight, a Linux port of Silverlight based on Mono: http://mono-project.com/Moonlight Also, HTML5 includes a video tag which should make flash/silverlight-based players irrelevant. Perhaps not, though.

I am not sure that you are correct about Microsoft controlling the market. As more people switch to Linux, there will be greater demand for compatible players.