Linux users the most generous? – “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish”

A unique method of selling software reveals some interesting facts.

The Humble Indi Bundle is a revolutionary way of selling software which Wolfire Games are running for a week.  It allows you to download a collection of great games (World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, LagaruHD, Penumbra-Overture) for a price that YOU decide.  The games are available for Linux, Mac or Windows, contain no DRM and you can even choose how your donation is distributed.

That in itself is not the news here (although the unique method of selling software is in itself newsworthy), the purpose of this article is to address another issue.

Linux users who have spent time in forums, chat rooms or on comp.os.linux.advocacy will often have heard the derogatory word “Freetard” aimed at Linux users and advocates which seeks to imply that Linux users are after everything for nothing.  Of course this is not the case and in my experience Linux/FOSS advocates are more than happy to donate to the projects they champion.

This opinion seems to have been proved somewhat, since on the Wolfire site it shows the donation stats so far. [1]

It states:

Windows users on average have donated $7.38
Mac users on average have donated $9.82
Linux users on average have donated $13.99
Which suggests at the time of writing this article that Windows are the cheapskates and Linux users are the more generous, maybe the “freetard” label is better suited to the Windows user?
What is also interesting though is that despite Windows and its alleged massive deployment base, Linux accounts for a quarter of the donations, Windows for a half and Mac approximately a quarter too.  Hardly reflecting the 1% market share some Microsoft Advocates like to tout for Linux is it?
If you are interested in what Wolfire Games are offering, check out the video below and visit their site, whats great is that all these games have native Linux versions, showing that cross platform development is not so much an issue and merely serves to increase your potential customer base.  My only critism of Wolfire Games is that refer to a Windows platform as “PC”.  We’ll let them off though since they have made some great software!
[1] Correct at time of article.
Goblin –
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10 thoughts on “Linux users the most generous? – “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish”

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  1. This was a cool deal.

    One thing to note, where you go to download the games after you pay for them gives you the option to pick which OS you want your purchase to ‘count’ towards. You can also actually pick more than one OS (in my case, I counted for Linux AND Windows), but Windows is checked by default. So I don’t know exactly how much you can infer from the % of Linux vs. Mac vs. Windows. How many people just clicked on the save button w/o changing the OS? How many are dual-booters?

    I definitely don’t disagree that Linux counts for far more than 1% of the Desktop market, but I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get an exact number, since so many users simply download and use the OS for free. Mac can know what they have, since you pretty much have to buy their hardware to get the OS. Windows can always inflate their numbers because there’s no hard way to know how many people strip it off of their PC’s and move on to something else.

    I’ll leave my mumbling at that – and leave you with a thanks for letting people know about this offer.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      I agree with you in terms of stats of Linux usage and Ive said in the past that I would not only challenge MS advocates quoting of stats, but also Linux advocates – theres just no way to be sure.

      The article was rather more aimed towards dispelling the myth that Linux/FOSS users want everything for free and whatever Linux usage actually is, I don’t think it can be argued that it is increasing in popularity. You only have to look at general tech forums to see Linux being mentioned and IF Linux usage was indeed at 1% two years ago (according to some MS faithful at the time) then its certainly more than that now.

      The evidence of this is in a recent article in respect of uTorrent, the noises made about Steam and the call for certain proprietary software to have a native Linux version. This to me all shows that there is a market for Linux software and its certainly popular.


      1. I agree, Linux users aren’t looking for a free ride at all. I have purchased full boxed version of Linux in the past. I have no issue with paying for good product.
        Of course, maybe the Linux users all paid extra for these games because they didn’t have to spend money on their OS. 😉

  2. Linux is typically a good match for Web hosting servers and applications because of its stability, the savings in running multiple servers without licensing costs, and the flexibility to customize code and applications for specific site or infrastructure needs.

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