Nvidia has only engineers, and engineers generally don't give a shit about linux, open source, gpl and all these "socialist" concepts. They do what they are paid for = a good driver for the platform they target.
I'm an engineer, and I do care about Linux, open source, GPL, and all those "socialist" concepts. I'd love to contribute as much of my work as possible to the open source ecosystem. My colleagues are in the same boat.
However, that doesn't always make sense for the business side. Businesses need to sell something so they can pay us. I think you'll find it's typically management that has no interest in Linux; it's just an additional cost for little perceived gain. Where it could be worthwhile, few engineers have the extra cycles to make that business proposal and convince everyone up the chain (at least at the company I work for).
It may be more challenging at an established company like Nvidia. They've found their markets and understand how to compete in them. They probably don't want to jeopardize those existing markets by opening up something that may give them a competitive advantage. They don't see enough value in taking the risk.
All that hate against Nvidia and AMD is just childish. Those two are private businesses and whatever they do is their own responsibility. Nobody forces anyone to buy their hardware. Just go out there and buy what works for you.
If you're a gamer and like very high end games, you're probably having to use Windows anyway, so why bother?
If you're an ocassional gamer, you're going to dual boot.
If you like playing the games available on Linux, you'll be well served with both the binary drivers or simple graphics like Intel's.
If you're a graphics professional (like my customers, BTW), just buy yourself a Quadro and be happy.
If you're not a gamer, Intel graphics are well beyond your most critical requirements (not just the current ones, but those from five years ago too).
Just don't buy AMD or Nvidia unless you have very good reasons to. You'll discover most of the time you don't.
The rest is just complaining as a sport.
EDIT: I just bought a second hand Lenovo Thinkpad T400. Switched off its ATI card in BIOS and Ubuntu is running beautifully with Intel's pretty old graphics in there.
Last edited by Aleve Sicofante; 07-05-2012 at 08:24 PM.
On mobile, your choices are generally Intel, or Intel + nVidia with Optimus. Since Optimus is an unworkable piece of crap on Linux, your only sane choice is to go Intel, even though they fail comparatively on performance.
I'm sure Intel has scored points with Linux users by providing good open source drivers, still, to me it seems that it has at best only accelerated what was going to happen anyway, which is that igpu solutions will eventually make discrete graphics just about obsolete on end user desktops. NVidia has obviously seen this aswell, however as they can't provide an igpu solution for x86 due to not getting a licence, they've turned towards arm.
Meanwhile there will still be markets for high performance GPU's in 3d and hpc, areas in which Linux is huge, and those were already NVidia's targeted markets on Linux to begin with so I don't see NVidia suffering too much from Intel being used increasingly on the Linux end user desktop. It's another matter when we talk about the Windows desktop, people are finding less need for discrete graphics there aswell and that will really hurt NVidia as they (as mentioned due to licencing) can't provide igpu solutions for the x86 on which the vast majority of Windows system runs and that market is of course HUGE.
However this transition will still take time, I'd guess two more generations of igpu architectures before practically all desktop end users find that the performance they get from igpu solutions turns dropping discrete gpu's into a no brainer unless they have particularly high performance needs.
Obviously this is mainly me speculating based upon what trends and technical progresses I've seen, as always time will tell.
Even on the Android side one needs to be careful. I was very surprised with the Nexus 7 being Nvidia based. I saw some XDA content where they said that TI's OMAP platform is the only one that is all open source drivers. (Contrast with Nvidia and Qualcomm.) So guess what platform any Android devices will be that I buy next.
This is completely wrong: TI OMAP use IMG tech GPU and their drivers are not open source.