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CNET - I don't understand CNET's Linux/Unix position.

by bluemech / July 5, 2010 5:49 AM PDT

I do understand that mainstream users are dominated by Windows software...

What I don't understand...

I think a while back I remember on CNET/ there was a [Linux] software category but now is gone, correct me if I am mistaken.

In the CNET/Forums there is a [Linux] category.

How can we talk about Linux/Unix and share thoughts and ideas; but we can't download Linux/Unix software. -> I do understand that most distros have repositories and such and MS does not.

I think there is something special about a site like as a place to find new / unknown software. Thats what I have use for many years back sneaking around school proxies showing friends new cool software.

Yes - most know Linux software is preinstalled or in easy to install repos.
I'm thinking more of small company, amateur and hobbyist who have created nice works. -> I know, sourceforge. But wouldn't it be great to be able to access software such as the above on a great website like CNET.

It would be nice to have a central place(one as well know and respected a CNET/ for getting software for any OS.

Please understand that I'm not "bashing" CNET/ for the lack of such features. There is most likely (from CNET's p.o.v.) a really good reason for this situation. I don't dislike or hate it, I (like the title) just don't understand.

Can CNET help me understand?

Thanks Dave,

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I can't answer directly
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 5, 2010 7:25 AM PDT
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Thanks For looking in to it.
by bluemech / July 6, 2010 9:23 AM PDT

I didn't look through all of them; I clicked trough a few and it looks like it is just description context search. For the ones I looked at, the 'Quick Specs' for Operating Systems only list MS products. It's tricky, a lot of the software I looked at is written for linux also or can communicate with linux in some way or accessing linux data.

Again, thanks for probing into the question.

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They used to...
by John.Wilkinson / July 6, 2010 10:34 PM PDT

CNET did offer a Linux category at one time, letting developers list Linux as the intended operating system and users specifically select Linux as the OS of preference. However, that was removed a few years ago (in 2007, I believe), presumably due to the little attention it received from both CNET members and developers submitting their software for listing. CNET has, since then, bolstered their Mac OS X and Webware selections and awareness, but I know of no immediate plan to restore the Linux OS category. If enough others join your request, though, CNET may add the alternative OS to the listings once again in light of demand.


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Yea, that sounds reasonable.
by bluemech / July 7, 2010 3:58 AM PDT
In reply to: They used to...

Yea, it just seems weird. Since I've been using linux based OSs and software I realized that the community is a lot larger than 'mainstream' knows. Pushing OS X and Webware is great; I was really surprised to see the web apps category and its great. How is a giant bubbling Unix/Linux community not even hinted upon? What happened? Did Unix/Linux get swept under the carpet for becoming too big and strong, not to mention a great acceleration in support and maturity? Wink not trying to push a conspiracy theory, its just odd with -> Linux has had more public support while it was used by power users and now that the many platforms are in a great state of maturity I am witnessing everywhere the 'entities' are backing away.
Like ADOBE <- brain aneurysm thinking about that circus.

Happy haha

I'm sorry.

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Not as reasonable as it sounds
by ScifiterX / October 14, 2010 3:13 PM PDT

The big issue is they aren't really pushing OS X and such. Most of the simplified urls direct users into the Windows download pages or news and review oriented pages no matter what the OS, browser, and user agent you are using is. > > >

The following redirects better serve most of us searching for software > or > or > or

Editor ratings are often considered sponsored and thus "take with a grain of salt" so users don't like sorting through them to get to an actual download not like the same information couldn't be handled by links reviews page on the product pages and/or to the right of the full recent software index along with the most popular downloads

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One question...
by John.Wilkinson / October 14, 2010 11:10 PM PDT

I fully agree that links such as should take the user to the most relevant category, be it Windows, Mac, or Mobile. However, I'm not sure I follow the last part.

Editors review products based on interest, not sponsorship, and rate them based on their own impressions regardless of the company's advertising investments. Thus, sponsorship of a listing affects its positioning on the front page and search results, but not the review itself or the relevance to the category or your search terms. Is there a reason you consider them sponsored and less genuine than another user's review?

Also, I should note that, while Downloads and Reviews both covered software in the past, Reviews will focus on hardware only in the future; I'm not sure if that's what you were referring to by 'reviews page' or not. One of the benefits, though, is that users will no longer need to read an editor's review on Reviews and then follow a link to Downloads to actually download the software.

Let me know if I've misunderstood your thoughts/suggestions.


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That's good to know.
by ScifiterX / October 15, 2010 3:45 AM PDT
In reply to: One question...

"Editors review products based on interest, not sponsorship, and rate them based on their own impressions regardless of the company's advertising investments. Thus, sponsorship of a listing affects its positioning on the front page and search results, but not the review itself or the relevance to the category or your search terms. Is there a reason you consider them sponsored and less genuine than another user's review"

That's good to know, however given many companies do the opposite, you WILL have people convinced that reviews is sponsored even if they are not. While this is apparently not the case here, the perception of a problem is a real thing based largely on the action of others in your industry.

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A little late responding, but...
by John.Wilkinson / October 21, 2010 8:21 AM PDT
In reply to: That's good to know.

You're right; some sites/reviewers do accept payment in exchange for a product review, often with the expectation that it will be positive regardless of the reviewer's actual opinions. It's usually possible to spot such cases when comparing reviews of a product from several sites--a couple good reviews in a sea of bad is a dead giveaway--and I've stopped vising some sites as a result of such policies. However, I never really considered that some readers may have come to assume the worst as a result; it's a shame that a few can tarnish the reputation of an industry. I typically recommend weighing user reviews heavily given the varied skill levels, experiences with related/competing products, and potential for longer-term use, but at least there are a few good sites to find quality 'expert' reviews. CNET's reviews are often catered to a more generalized audience without getting too deep in the technical aspects, which mitigates their usefulness to some like myself, but their legitimacy is one reason I continue to read them when making a purchase decision.


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