This is a wonderful development!
Nothing comes for free. There is significant effort to develop applications, distribute and provide support. I use Linux Mint installed on my throwaway Mac, and I was surprised it was able to eke out performance even from a six year old junk. The hardware works perfectly, barring a webcam (which isn’t critical for my needs). I use Windows 11 currently on my main driver, but I am OS agnostic.
I have long advocated for open source, and finally, the major organisations have moved towards a convergence on app store, distribution and financial systems to pay out the developers. This will be a true democratisation of open source systems, as it will encourage more start-ups to consider better quality of application systems and platforms than Mac or Windows.
Imagine paying for something like “ShotWell” or having a better UI for Libre-Office (which is a terrible knock off from Microsoft).
oss-virtual-incubator/flathub-linux-app-store.md at main · PlaintextGroup/oss-virtual-incubator · GitHub
A key barrier to the growth and adoption of open source software on the desktop is the requirement for certain applications to be available so that they are able to be fully productive using the open source desktop. The current nature of open source operating systems, especially for end users where applications are distributed at zero cost alongside the OS itself precludes establishing any incentives for application developers and prevents the distribution of paid-for applications. Intentionally or not, many stakeholders such as traditional Linux OS vendors act as gatekeepers, slowing the ability of potential application developers to publish to their users, as well as disincentivizing any application developer who is unable to learn, produce and support their application without any remuneration.
I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for services or software if this meets or exceeds my expectation. Linux is better supported for hardware, most vendors have now released their firmware for Linux systems. There is a broad generalisation of the hardware, and hopefully, the manufacturers will see the writing on the wall. It is time to break the Microsoft monopoly.
I think I could coin the term “Post-Stallman” world. I have nothing against his political beliefs, but an open source without payments is unsustainable. While Ubuntu makes questionable choices around packaging (e.g. Snap), Flathub is better (in terms of performance).