Windows apps on Linux?
Friday, September 24, 1999 by Dave Winer.
I'd love to see Microsoft make an investment in making Windows apps run smoothly on Linux.
It would take a big headache off my list. It would allow my development team to focus on what we do best, building new servers and workstation interfaces for web publishing.
We're working towards a Linux version of our software, but what a waste of resources. It would make more sense, to me, if Microsoft did this for us.
I see it as the logical next step after SOAP. The networking interface is open now. No undocumented APIs, open sockets between apps. This is why SOAP is so important.
Now, if Microsoft had a true partnership with developers, we could keep working together for the forseeable future. Once we're supporting a Linux version, and Mac and Windows versions, the relationship will be different. Not just with UserLand, because all developers must be feeling the pull to Linux.
I've been having this conversation with MS in various forms for five years. First it was about HTTP and web browsers, then it was Java. I tried to get this point across, MS was blowing off developers when it blew off Sun. I didn't blame MS for hating Sun, I hated them too -- but ignoring the developers who legitimately wanted write once run anywhere (WORA) was an almost-fatal mistake. It was just what Apple did when Mac developers wanted to make Windows apps. No respect.
It wasn't fatal because Java was a smoke-blow. But Linux is for real. Now is Microsoft going to make the same mistake? The smart thing to do, IMHO, is to fully embrace Linux. Let's work together to make Windows apps run beautifully on Linux. It'll be good for Microsoft. The only other choice is to be at odds with developers because the pull to Linux is economic and inexorable.