I think it is a question of three moments.
1) Availability. Linux driver stack is unfinished, unpolished and lacking lots of functionality - if to be compared with catalyst(yes, big "lol") or nvblob.
2) Lacking manpower. Linux driver stack itself receives 1/100 of attention it "should".
3) Licensing. BSD is steal-friendly. Where GPL would give good protection against raw stealing(ie. concealing), BSD is plainly give-away. I doubt any company would share any IP unless it is well-known by others and hence outdated, cause that would mean simply loosing advantage vs minor gains(bsd moneyflow).
Panix points are valid in many cases.
I use OpenBSD, but believe my comments are applicable to Free/Net/OtherBSD. I use OpenBSD because it seems more logical to me. I have a linux install for skype, occasional games, and Meshlab, and a windows install for one or two games that don't like wine.
2 years ago I was playing openarena and using various other desktop programs just fine on OpenBSD, I'm wouldn't have thought things have got worse. Open source driver only, but compared to a few years ago (prior to opening up) it's pretty good. The open source drivers meet all my needs (which include working with large 3D models), so I probably wouldn't bother with a binary driver even if one came along.
There isn't kernel support for R600+ in OpenBSD because the guy who is going to do it decided he wants to finish his PhD first, which is hardly unfair. Those who use BSD do so knowing the driver situation.
Nvidia have had binary drivers for Solaris for many years: long before any oracle deal was considered (at least publicly).Maybe Oracle is paying for it?
Using it in accordance with the licence (e.g. making a closed source program with it) isn't stealing.3) Licensing. BSD is steal-friendly.
I do agree though that it's very unlikely that companies will find the BSD-style licencing something they want to contribute code under, since it's practically giving away your work to potential competitors, and that's not something companies are keen on doing.
Which I assume is also why GPL has become the de facto standard licence under which different companies cooperate when developing open source code. Well, given it's popularity I guess it's the de facto standard licence for cooperative open source development even outside the corporate realm.
Hey Guy.. I wanna need the answer of same question.. You can't use ATI cards in BSD?
Hope you will share here answer.
You can use ATI cards in BSD - they all come with the open source classic driver.
They don't meet all the requirements for the latest (Gallium3D) drivers, but they're perfectly usable with the classic drivers (obviously depending on what you actually want to do with them).