As many people probably know, I'm a huge proponent of Linux operating
systems, most specifically Ubuntu, not only because its open source,
and free, but mostly because I honestly believe it's the best operating
system I've ever come across.
For obvious reasons, I spend a bit
of time trying to convince a variety of people that Adobe should take a
serious look at bringing Adobe products to Linux, the most notable
being ColdFusion Builder.
One argument (and there are a few) against this, I hear over and over is this idea that "Linux Users don't pay for software".
Recently, however, the "Humble Indie Bundle",
was put up for sale, in which 5 cross platform games (Win, Mac, Linux)
were sold together as a group. The real time data for sales and the
operating system splits has been shared, providing us with a wonderful
aggregate data about the difference between Win, Mac and Linux users, how
much they are willing to pay for software, and if they are willing to
pay at all.
The fun part of this experiment was that the
customer could choose how much they paid for the bundle, which could be
as little, or as much as people liked. It also could be split any way
between the developers, charity, or charity and the developers.
Some interesting stats to note (Taken from the real time stats as of this moment):
1) Current intake across Win, Mac, and Linux – $1,173,536 (which is just cool in and of itself)
2) Windows has the largest market share (no surprise there), with 86670 purchases.
3) Linux is the smallest number of purchases, with 21873 purchases, but
that is only 8153 purchases, less than the Mac platform – 30026
4) The big news here is that Linux people paid more on average than either Mac, or Windows users.
much so, that the total income from Linux users, outstrips that of Mac,
even though Mac had more purchases (Mac: $307172.75, Linux: $317846.61)
don't think you can ask for a better experiment than this. If Linux
users wouldn't pay for software, then they would be at the bottom of the list in terms of amount paid. Instead that's where Windows users sit.
Details of the Humble Indie Bundle can be seen here:
Their realtime JSON feed can be found here as well:
(And they are some cool games as well)
On another note, Valve have announced that they are releasing their Steam Source Code client to Linux.
This is a huge boon to the Linux community, and while there are no
dates yet, obviously Valve thinks there are people in the Linux
community who will pay for software, otherwise they wouldn't be putting
in the time and effort.
Therefore, you can quite clearly see
that Linux users will, and do pay for software, and in fact put a
higher cost on software than any other OS's user base.
I claim this myth well and truly busted.