I would like to express my interest in a Linux version as well and am trying to pick up some important arguments that were already expressed here as well as to add my own perspective to them.
Companies are going to leave Windows – if they can
I think many companies that develop enterprise software underestimate the relevance of Linux Desktops for enterprise customers just yet. A lot of companies are at the moment very unhappy with their Windows environments for many reasons.
A lot of them start to realize that this development will probably not get any better; many of them who have the flexibility (company size, not too much Active Directory shenanigans) are willing to migrate their end user’s desktops to Linux. Others will follow when issues are becoming to be considered unbearable.
Virtualization or emulation is not an option for paying customers
Some people here proposed/ asked to ‘simply’ use eM Client in a VM or emulate it with Wine. While that is not too much to ask from Linux enthusiasts, the average desktop user of a company would need a more seamless experience. Otherwise the administrator’s telephone will ring all day.
Open Source Mail Clients won’t to the job
The most common E-Mail clients on Linux (Thunderbird, Evolution, et cetera) do not really fit the enterprise customer’s needs. A proper enterprise-ready and user friendly mail client is often a blocking issue regarding a migration to Linux.
Linux users will pay money for good software
Many proprietary software developers equate Linux users with the Free Software Community that is not willing to run closed-source software and paying for licenses. That is not entirely true (anymore). Businesses who are running Desktop Linux want systems that ‘just work’ (what Linux does much better than Windows). That does not mean that companies/ administrators are not willing to pay for proprietary software if it just works.
Related to that is the argument that companies need software that their average employee can easily work with; and if so: they will certainly pay money for it.
Administrators often use Linux
Even the IT administrators of companies that run Windows environments often like to use Linux on other/ their private machines. If they get a great experience even as a “Free”-user on their private machines, they will more likely recommend a product to their company if the issue comes up. So the presence in Linux can boost up Windows sales as well.
Maintaining proprietary Linux software is not that hard anymore
The mess with targeting a lot of different distributions at the same time has become a lot less problematic since distribution-independent packaging like ‘snapd’ has evolved. Furthermore snapd’s automatic are very useful to keep all a company’s workstations up to date effortlessly.
Just looking at the Snap Store you will find proprietary mail clients that are successful there:
- BlueMail / Blix,
- HEY Mail.
[To the obvious questions why I am not considering those: I think that eM Client suits the needs of European customers much better.]
Cross-platform software is a more valuable asset
The favorite platforms of certain industries may change from time to time. Being able to migrate to those quick and easy makes your software more valuable.
Some cynics amongst us may say that a certain part of Microsoft Windows’ business model is that it is sometimes hard to migrate software that was specifically written for it; so they simply keep paying/ it running to avoid painful migrations.
Being able to switch operating systems, operating system’s versions/ distributions, instruction set architectures, packaging and deployment methods more flexibly can make software more valuable in case of required changes.
If programming with .NET one should thus gauge whether functions outside of .NET Core are actually needed or development goals can be accomplished otherwise to become less reliant on a certain platform.
As you may have noticed I was trying to emphasise that some of your arguments show that an investment into a Linux version could be a smart business decision; which is the most important question regarding if and how fast we are going to get our wistfully expected Linux version.
If there will be an Alpha-/ Beta-/ Something-version I do as well offer to test it, give my thoughts and provide debugging information if necessary.