Building bridges by helping small ISVs

Dan Kegel dank at
Sat Dec 24 12:35:07 CST 2005

It's frustrating that large software vendors (Adobe,
Intuit, Macromedia, IBM) aren't paying much attention
to Wine, even though Wine's the quickest way for them
to reach the Linux desktop market.  I've been trying
to figure out why they're holding back.  After talking
with a few large vendors and the folks working on the Munich
migration project, I got the distinct feeling that Wine
simply doesn't have a good reputation yet.
To cut through this negative fog, we need more evidence
that software vendors can succeed in the Linux market using Wine.
So, how do we get that, if the large vendors won't budge?

One way would be to focus on the other end of the spectrum:
one-person software companies. There are so many of these
that Wine already supports some of them reasonably well.
I'd like to see the Wine community cultivate relationships
with these folks, and coax a few of them to support and promote
their apps on Linux using Wine.  This will mean a lot
of hand-holding on our part, helping them test their apps
and file and fix Wine bugs they expose.

What's in it for us?  Lots of things:
a) the micro-ISVs we help will be a great source of bug reports and QA
b) some of them will turn into evangelists
c) their success will attract the larger ISVs that we're having
trouble with (e.g. Intuit, Macromedia, Adobe) who *will*
be able to contribute bugfixes (by hiring contractors)
d) they will increase the pool of apps available for desktop linux

So, what am I doing about this?  Well, I'm walking through the
lists of successful micro-isvs, trying out their apps, filing bugs
and helping resolve them, adding AppDB entries,
exchanging emails with micro-isvs that have expressed
an interest in working with Wine, and updating my
Wine for Windows ISVs page,

Like everything else associated with Wine, there's enough here to
keep dozens of people like me busy.  I hope I can inspire
more folks to follow my example.  If you're interested, please
jump in!  And do consider taking part in my little isv mailing list experiment, ; I'm going to try to use
it as the place where I give ISVs special hand-holding.
- Dan


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