For some, the answer was “nothing” – they’d never consider Linux ever because Windows suited them perfectly. Ironically, this was in the pre-Windows 7 days and these same people were pining for its advent to free them from Windows Vista.
Nevertheless, some very interesting results came out and it was abundantly clear “gaming” was a major roadblock.
Linux has justly received a solid reputation as a serious server operating system platform but has never made the same inroads into the desktop market. The oft-prophesied “year of the Linux desktop” has not materialised. I could tell you “next year will be the year of the Linux desktop” and you could return and read this article any day of any year and it would still make sense.
It’s not for the lack of a PhotoShop or a Microsoft Word, but instead, I proposed, the lack of big gaming titles.
What I would like to see, I said, is a greater push for Linux ports of modern, desirable games.
In the years since I made this almost-paradoxical request for Linux retail software – a platform best known for being free open source – a wonderful development has occurred.
The Humble Indie Bundle project began, bringing a collection of DRM-free computer games all available equally on Windows, MacOS and Linux. The Humble Bundle stands out for several important reasons.
As stated, each game is available for Linux just as it is available for Windows and MacOS. This is vitally important. Other game bundles have emerged but without this same core tenet.
Secondly, each game is from an independent publisher. The likes of Electronic Arts or Blizzard are not included, but iconic independent titles like World of Goo and Osmos and Machinarium have found their way to the Humble Bundles.
Thirdly, and remarkably, the price of the collection is set by the buyer. The Humble Bundle invites its purchasers to name their own price. While people can legitimately and legally purchase each collection for a single cent it is also possible to pay a higher amount, maybe $15, maybe $50, maybe $100 or more.
The Humble Bundle teaches many very interesting lessons.