Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Causation

Author:Brett Glass
Posted:8/27/2000; 8:45:23 PM
Topic:Next survey: Are you an open source developer?
Msg #:20377 (In response to 20371)
Prev/Next:20376 / 20378

GCC has decimated the market for UNIX C compilers. While vendors such as IBM must maintain their own compilers for their platforms (they can't afford to be dependent upon anyone else for tools), very few people ever buy them. The vendors maintain them at a loss because they must.

GCC is likewise destroying choice in the embedded C/C++ compiler market. Only a few vendors are left standing, down from a couple of dozen a decade ago, and it's not clear how much longer they will last.

The only reason the GPL has not (yet!) destroyed the market for Windows compilers is that Microsoft controls other parts of the toolchain and has made them (as well as the APIs and file formats) moving targets. Some are also covered by patents. Microsoft thus has a lock on the market for Windows development tools. Even if you buy a Windows compiler from a third party, you are paying Microsoft, indirectly, via royalties.

--Brett Glass

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