Windows 7 compatibility with our Apps + opinion

As everybody knows Windows 7 has arrived, this brings some problems for certain applications. But luckily most of our apps aren’t experiencing issues.

Here’s a list :

  • 36-image converter 4.7a : Not fully compatible – issues with filters. Conversion + other features work. Issues will be fixed in the Beta version of v4.7.
  • 36-image express 1.0 : Compatible
  • ROC 1.0 : Compatible
  • Duelpro 2009 : Compatible
  • SpeedShut 4.x : Compatible
  • FileTorment 4.x : Compatible (further testing required)
  • CachePhix 1.x : incompatible (Possible update coming next year)
  • LoadDown 2.0 : Compatible
  • LockPhix 1.x : incompatible (further testing required) (No intention to update – end of support coming in 2010)
  • FileTorment Suite 2006/2007 : incompatible – end of support (since 2009)
  • infoBlaster IN4 : incompatible – end of support (since 2008)
  • Mphix 1.0 : incompatible – end of support (since 2007)
  • PhBrowser 1.0 : incompatible – end of support (since 2006)

 

So most apps are compatible, the few apps which were incompatible with vista are still incompatible with windows 7 and 36-image converter will be fixed in an update.

And of course I have to add my opinion about Windows 7. I have only one sentence for Windows 7 : “Microsoft is back!”. Enthusiasts of other operating systems have been claiming that people just use windows because it’s on their PC, with Windows 7 they are proven wrong. People are actually looking for Windows 7. Users of other operating systems are cheering for Windows 7, about 90% of all Mac Fans (including me) thinks Windows 7 is great and will run it as a second OS without whining. The same with half the Linux population. So is Windows 7 a success? It’s probably the most wanted operating system of the decade.

Microsoft has finally delivered a product which is fun to use and can compare to Mac OSX. Microsoft increased the productivity with a set of new features which can compare to Mac OSX exposé (although I still prefer exposé, because I’m used to it) and they brought small changes which are enjoyable. They put a great deal of care and effort in this operating system contacting all developers for a compatibility check of their apps, gathering all drivers and testing your configuration for compatibility. They actually did something with the Windows Vista complaints.

So I don’t think alternative operating system’s usage will grow now. It grew thanks to Windows Vista, but with Windows 7 everyone is happy again and the need for an alternative is gone. So I expect a drop in the Linux marketshare and a growth stop of Mac OSX and in long term a minor decrease in marketshare.

I also expect Chrome OS to be born dead, people don’t need another OS. If google released it a few months after the Vista release they would’ve scored a big hit, but the normal people have a working Windows install, Mac people have Mac OSX and the mac people that are interested in Windows 7 will not be interested in Chrome OS, the ones which aren’t interested in Win7 aren’t interested in anything other than Mac OSX so there goes another fail for Google. And the last one the opensource advocates and the common linux users don’t want a semi-opensource OS which sends data to an evil corporation, so they will stick with the normal Linux distros. So I think the fear which microsoft had to endure for a few years about other treding operating systems is gone now.

Anyway, brilliant move, brilliant OS.

36-image converter 4.6 : One week roundup

It’s been a week since we released 36-image converter 4.6 which brings 36IC again one step closer to becoming one of the top image editors, by adding a new interface, a more stable conversion engine and basic support for layers.

In one week time we have already received good feedback concerning the update and are climbing towards the top positions on CNET’s Download.com with +-340 downloads a day, topping 480 downloads on Wednesday. We directly had 1.827 downloads in the week of it’s release and we will probably have a +2.100 downloads a week result for the last week of May. This means 36-image converter defeating XnView in popularity and climbing to the 17th position out of 1.600 image editors with a bit luck even the 15th position. So maybe you can find us on the second page of Download.com’s “Image Editing Software”-section. These results make 36IC 4.6 our most popular application ever by far and with the largest marketshare in its category of all our applications (0,1%), obviously we must have been doing something good.

We are also busy developing the next version of 36-image converter. We are thinking about losing the entire internal conversion engine of 36-image converter and we are currently researching support for all filetypes supported by that engine. So we will have to add TIF, TIFF, TGA, PBM, PGM and PPM support to the 36CONVERT module instead. We will completely drop output support for RAW and perhaps replace it by PostScript, SVG or DXF support. This will make 36IC much more stable, lichter and ensures that the concerning filetypes are converted successfully. This is the same engine that is also included in 36-image express so 36Ix will also start supporting TIF, TIFF, TGA, PBM, PGM, PPM and PostScript or a vector image format. We will also add a notification to the PII system which enables large images to be converted to be encrypted and decrypted successfully, since that is a problem in the 36-image express Beta. We have already successfully implemented TIF and TIFF, now we have to port TGA from our experimental testbase to 36CONVERT, the next filetype we will be researching will be one of the vector filetypes and we will try to find a solution for the Portable Bitmaps, but so far so good.

So most updates for 36-image converter 4.6.2 will be beneath the surface on the 36CONVERT-module but we will also fix some small issues with the object insertion function and tweak some stuff. If the performance and stability improvements are big enough and we succeed into adding enough new functionality to the conversion engine, the next version might as well be 4.7 so we will keep it with the codename “Tiger Chameleon”.

Tiger Chameleon will be much faster and more stable.

"Tiger Chameleon" will be much faster and more stable.

Phoenxsoftware on different platforms, how far are we?

About a year ago we started opening up for more platforms than just windows. How far are we now?

The most successful platform still remains windows, because 95% of all our apps are Windows only.  But we expanded our development so that in the future 30% of our software will be multiplatform or specifically developed for other platforms. 

Why would we develop for different platforms?
Each new platform brings a new opportunity, at least for te worthwhile ones. Mac OSX for example has already gained 10% of the computer market and Mac OSX users are not as cheap as Windows users and also don’t complain that often about details.  So this brings a new group of users which are with a lot less, but who bring us the same amount of revenue we get from Windows.

Future Mac OSX applications will possibly be : 36-image express for mac, a scientific/economic calculator program for mac, an invoice wizard, … Other apps will be ported to java to support multiple OS’s.

That brings us to our second most successful platform at this time, the iPhone OS. With about 4.000 downloads, iDuelpro Mobile is our most successful cross-platform application. It still takes only 4% of the total amount of (i)Duelpro downloads, where the windows version Duelpro takes 95% and iDuelpro for mac takes 1%. This is great for a platform with less than 1% of marketshare, but the development for iPhone is also very expensive, so sooner or later iDuelpro Mobile will loose its 0$ price-tag or will disappear. 

Linux development is something we attempted a year ago at the start of our ambition and maybe we will try this platform, but it seems useless and I don’t see any use in developing native for an operating system which is so diverse and only covers 0.8% of all users. As a surplus to get accepted in the linux community you have to make your software opensource, a philosophy we do not support as the software-industry is a profit industry and not a charity organization. Until Linux poses a real threat to the desktop marketshare of Win and Mac other than some Ubuntu official saying “This will be our year!” each year over and over again, we will not develop for a big mouthed midget operating system which gets enough chances but does not appeal to the public even with a 0$ price-tag.

So the conclusion is Windows dev still is a great success, Mac dev is a small success but will be more successful once we create more applications, iPhone dev is a relatively big success but is expensive and Linux dev will have to wait until Linux grows up (maybe some day? ).

36-image express coming this weekend!

We just fixed some things in the Build 94 of our 36-image express and it looks promising.  Build 93 had some issues with the memory that wasn’t freed, which caused 36-image express to act like 36-image converter (buggy and heavy), but we fixed it by freeing the memory before loading a new image. Also tooltips were added, the interface was calibrated and some effects were finetuned. In build 94 we will add all tooltips and some resources to make layers for eg. the conversion dialog and the in-program help. 

For the first time we compared 36-image express to 36-image converter and the results were remarkable. For a test we started 36-image express 0.1.1.94 and 36-image converter 4.5.3. 36-image express took about 2 seconds to open and 36-image converter, 7 seconds. As a second test we used the open-function to load a big image (2000×2000, BMP). 36-image express’s memory usage was about 50.520Kb and 36-image converter’s was 172.680Kb. As an extra test we opened the image in mspaint and it took 41.270Kb of memory, so the low end paint still scores best. This shows remarkable differences between 36Ix and 36IC, we developed a product which is what 36-image converter was supposed to be.

If everything goes well, 36-image express 1.0b will be released as it reaches Build 100. So you might expect 36Ix at the end of this week.

“36” line of image editing apps to support +300 forms of raw

Because it is requested the 36-image converter engine’s AlphaConvert and BetaConvert will be expanded with GammaConvert, a DCRAW based module which will be able to handle over 300 types of RAW Picture formats. It could be possible that the discontinued BATCHER-module’s filetypes, which is included in the 36-image converter executable, will also be added to GammaConvert. So GammaConvert will not only support the RAW filetypes, but will also home TIF, TIFF, TGA, PBM, PPM and PGM. This will expand the capabilities of 36-image converter and 36-image express with the ability not only save but also read RAW files of many digital cameras.