On digital distribution
The enemy of free is indeed 'easy'. This is more of the case when you grow up and, when time is more important than money and getting frustrated about getting something to work or trying to spin in ways it is not meant to spun is just plain not worth it.
Amazon unveiled its Mac applications store. I was expecting them to further expand their digital downloads services with a Windows centric marketplace(higher demand, no competition) but maybe this will be their next step. Amazon is apparently run by very smart people - some of those probably looked at the numbers on their Kindle business (they recently acknowledged Kindle ebooks sales surpassed the physical books) and, of course, the success of the Apple operated app stores as well as game download services (Steam mostly, for it owns 70% of that market space).
You didn't have to be able to see far into the future to accept the rise (and eventual dominance) of the new digital distribution service. Besides, there was a precedent there already; music sales shifted from physical to digital(iTunes Store, music subscription services, ..). Multimedia content(books, magazines) and software (applications, games) will undoubtedly continue be available in physical form for sometime to come, but eventually they will become either hard to come by or expensive to own and maintain(the vinyl analogy).
I have stopped buying physical copies of books, games and software(disks) for some time now, save for video games for my game consoles - although the vendors there are aggressively expanding their online offerings, making it possible to download and buy full games. It is widely expected their forthcoming iterations will be optimized for offering access and delivery to full games directly from the 'Cloud'. Even if I don't get to play a game I just bought (which is subject to automatic updates, is available for re-download whenever I need it), I may decide to do so in a year or two - it will be there waiting for me, no need to track it down or worry about misplacing the disk. Same is true for books and magazines( plus, I can pick up a book right where I stopped reading on another device than the one I was reading it before).
Sometimes resistance is futile and pointless.
- An introduction to AMIGA Programming using C: I have the fondest of memories learning how to build applications using intuition, graphics, dos and ClassAct (back off MUI folks) libraries. "Use the blitter, Luke"
Published at Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:30 pm