I keep saying this: Macromedia and Adobe are pretty smug - thinking they should wait and join the Linux "revolution" only when there is much money to be made. Maybe when Linux users reach 10% of the desktop world?
I will bet every single dime that when they go about porting their application it will be an utter absolute catastrophe.
Linux is so extremely different from other OS'es and it requires a *lot* of previous experience, many years knowing all the nuances,
the tricks , the hacks - to get a brilliant app going. If they think they just can come up with something Microsoft RAD style - they will be for a nasty surprise.
This is not to discourage them from ever considering porting an application - but to encourage that they should be prototyping as soon as possible - Time is running out.
Take a look at Adobe's Linux version of Acrobat Reader
It look like something from the 70s in grey motif style and now compare it now with Gnome or KDE much slicker versions.
RealPlayer 9 was the same - but then they thought about starting the Helix Open Source Project
; RealPlayer 10
borrowed from that and became a much more amenable plugin. So the guys at RealNetwork had some wisdom at least.
But other apps that was quickly bundled together so that it would "also-run-in-Linux" was Mathematica
At least recent version felt so very primitive / clunky and old-looking who would fork £1500 / $3000 + for any of them when their Windows version is so much smoother.
What could happen is that another bad-immediate solution would be to have a wine-configured version of the software.
Corel botched-up a Corel Draw 9
/ Corel Photo-Paint
a while back using wine.
So it was nothing more than a wine-app fine-tuned but not really as it happen to be buggy and crashed a lot.
Recently this year, they tried to roll out a Corel Wordperfect 12
for Linux again (as a proof-of-concept) .. I think they were charging in the region of $40-$50 - but we are talking about an app that still belonged to the Corel Linux days - with many feature missing and pretty ancient (I read in forums) ... Just shows: even a company such as Corel with previous Linux GUI experience finds it very hard.
IBM ships out middleware application and DeveloperWorks that uses "Installshied" for Linux. Is that a joke? When I receive a demo for their application - I was disheatened to find out it failed installation miserably. And that was Java! (Something much easier to do : companies such as Limewire
got it right)
And there are other companies that got it right: Softmaker
from Germany produces fast and light Wordprocessors and Spreadsheet software - coded from scratch. Although less powerful than OpenOffice - TextMaker and PlanMaker are so incredibly slick and clean in design; they have the extra advantage of firing up way faster, eating less resources and being the favourite wordprocessor for some.
(I wish I could mention AC3D
- but I haven't installed it yet
The fact is that programming for WIndows is pretty easy. Anyone can do it - some commercial software have written entire applications using Visual Basic and the customers wouldn't know the difference! Anyone can blundle ActiveX components together - even writing games in Windows is way much easier with DirectX and games IDE.
No wonder some game companies freaked out porting their stuff - without experience like the Doom/Quake
folks - it *is* a challenge. But the wasted effort is not in vain. Linux customers are loyal customers. Linux users rarely get pirated or warez of a commercial Linux application. And while the Financial Dept of companies argue that they share such a measily desktop percentage - what they fail is that there are hardly any competition. A game title such as Unreal would be purchased by almost every single Linux gamer without Halo 2 / Half-Life / Tribes / (add another 50 competing titles per month) to worry about.
Microsoft have provided an easy development platform but for end-users exhorbitant prices and disgraceful security records.
Government agencies and charities will be the first migrating, then other companies will follow suit.
With much saved cash they won't find purchasing a couple of essential applications a putt-off
they probably even want that - so they can have a 1-800-Support Line number ready.
So unless big companies move in quickly .. it will be forever late.
By that time the usual open source software will become better and better (imagine Gimp 4.0)
plus a new set excelling products (both commercial and free) - impossible to compete under Linux.
"Big Companies" - You were warned