To show you just how serious Creative is about open source and the Linux community, just take a (good) look at two of their sites: the main site, and the open source division. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, nor is the open source site run by 3rd graders from 1993 – it’s just that Creative doesn’t think it’s open source division deserves at least a moderately useable interface for their users.
Forget the quality of the drivers – after all, the Windows drivers are utter garbage as well compared to some of the other companies out there. So if you put aside the fact that their Linux drivers hardly work, the X-Fi isn’t even supported (they ask you to upgrade to Windows if you want to listen to hi-def audio…), and that the site looks like it hasn’t been touched since the X-Fi originally came out, you’re still left with a little problem: Linux users like music too!
Arguably, they like music even more. Look at it this way: to use Linux, you have to be a geek. Who listens to music 24/7 (on their PC, that is) and spends 400 bucks on an audio card except for a geek?
If the news on their site is headlined “May 18th 2006,” do you really think they’ll have something worth downloading? If you guessed ‘no,’ you’re probably right.
The entire site is a disgrace, and seeing as it serves no purpose, it should be taken down. After all, in the undying words of Mark Twain, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” If the Open Source Creative website doesn’t remove all doubt of their total neglect to a growing portion of the world’s computer users, then what does?
Maybe it’s their Vista drivers that clean up the plate… After all, they’re just as bad if not worse – because though Creative claims they work great, good luck trying to get some of their cards to work on Windows Vista with the latest “Vista compliant” drivers – you should fallback to the Windows XP ones instead.
So what is it with Creative? Well, it’s not Creative alone that’s the problem – it’s any company that has a complete monopoly over a hardware market, and names its products after ridiculously self-obsessed gamers like “Fatal1ty.” Creative has a monopoly over the sound hardware market, and it’s really not pretty. You want good hardware, you have to go to Creative, because they’ve forced everyone out of the R&D Market. If you’re willing to settle with sub-par audible “bliss,” feel free to checkout Intel or Realtek – except your gaming friends will laugh you out of the next LAN party, because you don’t have a Fatal1ty too.
Creative needs to learn a lesson, and be a lesson for the other monopolies there that don’t take care of their loyal customers. It’s one thing to be a monopoly, and another to abuse your position as one. Because let’s face it, not all monopolies have websites that haven’t been updated since 1999…