PortableApps.com, the world's most popular portable software platform, is proud to announce the debut of freeware packaged in PortableApps.com Format. The freeware releases began with the releases of 2X Client Portable, FreeCommander Portable, Google Chrome Portable, SpyDLLRemover Portable and Skype Portable in the last day. The release will continue with IcoFX, XMPlay and many other popular software titles.
The decision to add freeware to our lineup is the result of months of work and is part of our overall strategy to ensure that a single, open source, open development, open format portable environment remains the industry standard.
Freeware Publishers Welcome, Commercial Publishers Contact Us
PortableApps.com Format, the standard for portable software, is now available for third party freeware and open source software publishers to package in. The full details on the format and the installer are available in the PortableApps.com Development Section. Because of our unique dual-licensing, publishers can package their freeware applications in our open source installer without needing to change their applications or licensing. Freeware publishers can begin packaging their apps in PortableApps.com Format today and contact us for listing in the PortableApps.com Directory. Commercial publishers will be able to do the same soon, just contact us for details.
PortableApps.com Itself Remains 100% Open Source
The most frequent question people ask is whether this means PortableApps.com is switching to a closed source model for our utilities, platform, installer and other tools. The answer is absolutely not. We believe open source is the best model to provide our software and to ensure the continued reliability, security, feature enhancements and flexibility of our platform. That means that the PortableApps.com Platform (including the menu, backup utility and upcoming updater), the PortableApps.com Installer, the upcoming universal launcher and all our other tools remain 100% open source, all under the GPL, and will remain so. Even the full PortableApps.com Suite remains 100% open source software.
Why Closed Source Software Is Important to Open Source Platforms
The next question some people ask is, "If you're so committed to open source, then why add freeware to the PortableApps.com lineup?" There are a few reasons. First off, there are several applications that do not have a full-featured open source equivalent, especially on Windows. So, it makes sense to ensure that people have access to the software they need to get through their day.
The second reason is that excluding freeware and commercial software from an open platform is a bad idea. As portable software becomes more popular, more and more software publishers of both open and closed source software have expressed interest in releasing portable packages. If PortableApps.com was closed to freeware and commercial software, the publishers would simply look for another venue that would accept their offerings. As we've seen, that venue will usually be a closed-source, possibly hardware-locked, encumbered one that is hostile to open source software. As more software moves to it, more publishers on both sides become interested in it until you're left with fewer choices. It can even happen where open source projects only release their software in the closed format because that's where they believe the most users are. We've seen this happen in the past and we want to ensure that it won't happen again.
The final reason is because it's the right thing to do. Keeping an open platform and allowing all software to compete on a level playing field just makes sense. Many users have some 'favorite' software of theirs and they won't consider moving to a platform that doesn't have it, no matter how logical your argument that X software is nearly equivalent. This is one of the reasons so many users who don't know much (or don't care much) about open source refuse to move to Linux. "It doesn't have PhotoShop. I can't play my favorite games." What if Linux *did* have PhotoShop and their favorite games? That's one of the reasons software companies should be encouraged to write software for Linux (and PortableApps.com), regardless of license or pricing.
Users Who Want to Can Still Have 100% Open Source
For users who wish to use only open source software, we will soon be debuting a new PortableApps.com Directory that will let you filter the application listings to only show open source software. Currently, freeware is clearly marked as such. The upcoming PortableApps.com Updater (also open source) that will allow you to update all your software will have a setting allowing you to select whether to show all software or only open source software. It's similar to picking your 'universe' in Ubuntu's software utility.
You'll find our new freeware offerings in the PortableApps.com Applications Directory available today. Additional apps will be posted as they are announced. Download some new software today!