This paper analyzes and compares the investment incentives of platform and application developers for Linux and Windows. We find that the level of investment in applications is larger when the operating system is open source rather than proprietary. The comparison of the levels of investment in the operating systems depends, among others, on reputation effects and the number of developers. The paper also develops a short case study comparing Windows and Linux and identifies new directions for open source software research.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Economides, Nicholas and Katsamakas, Evangelos, "Linux vs. Windows: A Comparison of Application and Platform Innovation Incentives for Open Source and Proprietary Software Platforms" (2005). New York University Law and Economics Working Papers. Paper 32.