I was more thinking it's the reason why Microsoft has the 91% (and falling) concentration of the major market. Where Windows was sold on nearly every consumer PC for 10 years (exception being the Mac, which did poorly for a while). Probably should have mentioned that.
Apple started being viable again the past few years, and we popped out onto the major market courtesy of Dell just recently.
But yeah, I remember Win2k/XP came out and broke a lot of DOS-based and DOS4GW games, although in the end of that transition more games used the Win9x interface. (Starcraft, GTA2, and Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit are the three I can think of off the top of my head without getting into Microsoft's own titles).
We actually have some play like that, where Win9x had DOS, we have cross-platform technology (OpenGL, OpenAL).
You're right. For lack of a better phrase, we're in that boat right now.
But the difference is, people eventually had to comply to windows 95 and its new UI, since there was no alternative, and ms had a monopoly then, like it does now too, something which linux doesnt have, right now. Yea, I remember, when windows 95 was starting to be installed in pcs, i said, dammit, none of my DOS/win3.11 are gonna work with this, screw it, im not switching to windows 95. Everyone eventually did, because ms has the complete monopoly.
I just hope that right now, our situation will improve, not get worse.
But again, what else can we do? We buy a Windows game to run in Wine or something, and it's supposedly "a Windows game sale" with absolutely no positive effect on Linux gaming. We don't buy a Windows game, it's less of an incentive for companies to support the PC at all. It's not like we can "partially" buy it to support the PC and not Windows, without it already supporting the target platform of choice.Keep buying Windows titles, keep that whole monster, with it's concomitant network effect, going for some time to go- or go a different route.
The current situation is that gamers are often forced to choose between using Linux OR playing AAA/new games.. but there is no need to be mutually exclusive like that. Windows has plenty of tools that are also available on Linux (OpenGL, Cg, OpenAL, FFmpeg, etc; many of which are even free!), so there's little reason you can't code-once-compile-everywhere and not lose any Windows users. And as Svartalf said, support is not that expensive. The only reason there is such an arbitrary exclusivity like that is because of a certain Redmond company that can throw around thousands of dollars like pennies, to make such cross-platformness more difficult than it needs to be (even for most games that are designed to be cross-platform, they can't even just use GL everywhere; they gotta use D3D on Windows and GL elsewhere (then guess which version would get more development attention)).
So short of paying what Microsoft could, how do you think we should fix this problem? How do we get companies to (better) support the cross-platform, Windows-compatible APIs and tools that already exist?
You know, I think if LGP convinced itself to build its own AAA title and not port, the rate of conversion might be quicker. Or... maybe not. hehe.
It takes a huge amount of money to build that... perhaps even more than porting.
You can get lucky and come up with an AAA title on a shoestring- but it more often than not takes easily half a million to two to make a good AAA title, especially with all the eye candy that many people insist upon having in it.