I couldn’t agree more with these thoughts from Jeff Atwood:

90% of Windows software is absolute unfettered crap which should never be installed on any computer running any operating system. Ever. But I’d also say Sturgeon’s Revelation applies to all media, not just Windows software. But our 90% is larger than your 90%. Despite what all the Elise-drivin’, iPod wearin’, Mac-lovin’ pundits would have you believe, it’s not all craplets and malware in the Windows world.

As Windows users, we should do our part to fix this. Let’s band together and support those small software vendors writing Windows apps that not only don’t suck, they ROCK. Let’s support the little guy who still gives a damn about creating small, beautiful, useful apps on an operating system that gets no respect.

That is why I declare today, Friday, December 1st, 2006, Support Your Favorite Small Software Vendor Day.

Check your hard drive, and I’m sure you, too, will find some bit of software written by a small software development shop, maybe even a single developer. Something you find incredibly useful. Something you rely on every day. Something you recommend without reservation to friends and peers. Something that makes using the computer that much more enjoyable. Or at least less painful.

The two most useful applications on my computer – both of which I use daily, and really enjoy using – are EditPad, an excellent text editor and Opera, an excellent web browser. I write all my blog posts in EditPad, and most other things as well. I feel handicapped without these two applications, and missed both on my work computer (even though UltraEdit and Textpad are both good text editors, too). I am upgrading to EditPad Pro right now!

I used to resist paying for software. If I could get it for free, or borrow someone else’s license, I did. Getting into software development has really changed my viewpoint on this. Even when I was only doing it for myself, for fun, it gave me a whole new perspective: an appreciation of the effort involved, an understanding of what it feels like to have someone steal your code, and conversely, what it feels like to know that you have written something that others use, enjoy and find useful. I am a lot more inclined to pay for software now.

Of course, the fact that it is now a lot easier to find and buy good-quality software, also helps. Everything is reviewed and recommended (or not) somewhere on the web, and there are trial versions of everything.