Proprietary Software and Linux: Good, Bad or Somewhere in Between?

Canonical is looking into selling proprietary software like Adobe’s Photoshop and Apple’s iTunes within its distribution, Ubuntu. This would undoubtedly be helpful for certain end users wanting to switch to Linux, but is it good for free software in the long run?

A Question of World View

All of this does once again raise the issue of proprietary software in the Linux space. Naturally, Canonical is free to do whatever they like to their operating system, but what effects might it have on the rest of us? There’s no doubt that if Linux could seamlessly run those “essential” applications like Photoshop, it would become a much more attractive operating system to a majority of the existing market. But do we care? Well, it depends on your world view. Free software exists because some see it as a better way. We use it because it provides us with specific freedoms, we trust it, we can hack it, we like it. This is what Linux and free software has to offer. If you don’t want to use it, then don’t. If you prefer to use Windows and proprietary applications, then use…

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