In this forum and on other sites, I am often told that until PhotoShop is on GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux will never amount to much on the desktop. That is a load of tripe. My mother was fond of tripe but it offended me…
From Adobe’s latest annual report we see that Adobe had revenue of just over $3billion from “product”, that is licensing fees for their products which include Photoshop. 350 million PCs shipped in 2010 so this revenue amounts to $9 per PC. Looking at their licensing fees which start at $0 for Air and Flashplayer to $600 for things like CS5. There is a maze of prices in there but PhotoShop shows for $700.
Let’s do some mathematics. The most licences of PhotoShop that they could have sold for $700 in $3billion in revenue is a little over 4 million licences. Even if all Adobe sold were licences for “Elements” for consumers at $70, we are talking about no more than 40 million licences/PCs.
So, cut out the talk of PhotoShop being a determining factor. It might be a determining factor in 10% of purchasing decisions and no more. My brief exposure to PhotoShop was not fun. It did no more for me than I could do with Gimp for $0 and ImageMagick for $0. Debian GNU/Linux has 480 packages containing the “works-with::image” tag and 360 in “Section: graphics“. The value just is not there for most of us for Photoshop and the FLOSS alternatives work.
The same could be said for lots of the other must-have applications. Those who must have them are in a niche. On the other hand almost everyone needs stuff that comes for free in many distributions of GNU/Linux and many of us need no more than that. If you are in such a deep hole that you need multiple must-have applications that prevent you from using FLOSS, perhaps you should quit digging and climb out. In recent years I have met many people who have used nothing beyond the office suite and the browser. FLOSS has several of both.