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Who will market our OS?


SoulSe
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The problems that you bring up are all serious issues. But, marketing is not about solving those problems. It's about getting a product into the hands of the users. Fact is, none of those problems need to be solved if more people don't get their heads out of the sand and get into a better computer system. :wink:

 

I disagree, marketing is ineffective if a product percieved to be 'unfinished'. Marketing is the whole product. Even the opinions about other people who use Linux are important.

 

Explanation of unfinished:

I got a Linux account at university. One day about a week ago I booted into RH8. As the Gnome desktop popped up another mature student who has been in the IT consulting industry for many years (he returned to education to gain formal qualifications while the industry is in a downturn) asked "What's that?" When I explained he didn't believe me! He insisted I must be mistaken! I got the feeling that even when we parted he was still disbelieving. Obviously we're really still on command lines and only Windows has a GUI............ Would you consult him about your infrastructure needs? More to the point, how can you sell him Linux?

 

I suggest what you are really talking about is advertising putting the product in front of the people. BUT the people still need to try the product and it's a lot harder or more accurately more bother, to try Linux.

 

Windows comes pre-installed, which is why I made the Coke analogy. Switch on and away you go. Open can drink...

 

Do it without thought, doesn't make it worthwhile, sure enough makes it easy.

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Guest JaseP

I've got a great ad campaign cooked up in my head...

 

"Power of the Penguin..."

[see penguins flying across the screen]

"Power of the Penguin..."

[see Opus from Bloom County dancing with Tux]

"Power of the Penguin..."

"Big Blue Loves Linux..."

[see IBM's Logo with Penguins dancing on top with KDE and GNOME desktops in the background,... running games, running multi-media,... running office apps and surfing the web...]

 

IBM could use this idea royalty free (or if they wanted to pay me a royalty, they could go right ahead).

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It is a common misconception about marketing that the product must be some sort of perfection in a Platonic Ideal. It is why Mandrake is not good at marketing. Marketing is why windystuff succeeded. The product evolves and becomes perfected over time. But the marketing must occur in order to deliver the goods to the consumer, which is who will fuel R&R.

 

In the US every year, some yahoo sells some gimick product that is worthless, like a cork-puller that takes no effort, or a mirror with a better reflection. The products rise and fall like a meteor, but the money is made strictly by marketing. Now, take a product that is worth something, and it stands the test of time. But, without marketing, no product goes anywhere. Developers should never market because their focus is on the problems, as it should be. Marketing people focus on the sellability of the product, and not the problems. What we need is marketing. Linux has people working on problems. Linux needs marketers.

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It is a sad fact that Mandrakesoft cannot even carry itself at tradeshows, where they take a corner of AMD's booth. Denis Havlik is the one tagged to do the pitches for Mandrake products, illustrated well in a collection of pictures Wolfgang Bornath posted the URL for in the newgroup. Today I saw the same two copies of Mandrake 9.0 PowerPack on the bottm shelf in the OS section at Staples, for C$79.95. There is no Linux user group in my city and a weak clone group that doesn't bother updating their website.

 

I have often wondered what a difference it would make if there was a package of countertop cards I could leave at computer stores, were the owners open to it, a tear-off prepaid postcard for more information. This requires money that Mandrakesoft does not have. So we are left in our present situation. Marketing to the retail sector and the distributers is their first priority.

 

Counterspy

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Counterspy

 

You are correct. A package needs to be sold through distribution that displays the product. I worked retail for 17 years, grocery, jewlery, electronics, appliances, even fast food. Bottom shelf items are where products go that have no field support whatsoever. Notice that, although microspasm has the top market shares, they are still displayed prominently in special shippers in the stores. Microplop stays on top by marketing!!! It is not the perfectly best product; it is marketed. Retailers will do anything that increases sales. It is not a cause for them. We, users of the best os, need to focus on business principles and market the product.

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It is a common misconception about marketing that the product must be some sort of perfection in a Platonic Ideal. It is why Mandrake is not good at marketing. Marketing is why windystuff succeeded. The product evolves and becomes perfected over time. But the marketing must occur in order to deliver the goods to the consumer, which is who will fuel R&R. 

 

Hmm, I think I see what your saying, my point is that Windows is percieved as both finished and universal. That makes marketing Linux an uphill struggle. (in business it damn nearly is universal)

 

I've no idea what you mean by Platonic ideal. Plato I've heard of but never in connection with marketing!

 

I've never heard MS describe any product as anything but finished. Thats why we're still using 3.1.....

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A brief lesson on Plato et al!

 

Plato conceived the reality of the world we live in as images of an ideal world where the truth is scene over a wall as shadows on the wall behind. These he referred to as idealized images and would always be slightly beyond the grasp of man. The writings of St. Augustine incorporated the Platonic philosophy into Christianity. Aristotle on the other hand had a another way in saying 'being is, not being is not". His thinking was incorporated into Christianity through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

 

Despite being a non-Catholic educated at a Catholic university, I emerged as a zen existentialist. Some may remember the wonderful lectures of Alan Watts on PBS many years ago.

 

Existentialist philosphy was incorporated into Christian belief with a different interpretation than Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus based largely on the philosophy of Soren Kierkkegard. These thoughts were elaborated in the work of Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who reformulated the fundamentals of evolution into a divine existential principle in his writings, mainly in "The Phenomenon of Man".

 

Linux is essentially zen and existentialist in nature. It is seen to exist and comprehended as Zen. Successful marketing of Mandrake Linux must take both into consideration.

 

After forty years, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is still on bookstore shelves, eloquently giving testimony to this way of thinking.

 

Were Mandrakesoft to market with that frame of reference, how different things would be.

 

Now how's that for thread highjacking.

 

Counterspy

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So right, so what your saying is this Plato bloke was a C programmer who worked for Kodak. He was mate of Linus and thought that all life was an illusion. Therfore one operating system was the same as another, like not catching trout.

 

Simple!

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Counterspy

 

Nice to see someone else who has studied philosophy.

 

Hmm, I think I see what your saying, my point is that Windows is percieved as both finished and universal. That makes marketing Linux an uphill struggle. (in business it d**n nearly is universal)

 

The perception of completion is marketing!!!!! Any computer programmer, geek, or aficionado knows that the box is never finished, nor is the software. That is reality. The perception is what sells. That is marketing.

 

Windows has problems all of the time. I spend more time fixing my wife's computer than I do breaking my computer. (breaking is fun!) And that is just at home. On an all windows network of 50 workstations, I averaged 3 calls per day!!!!!! 2 of the three were real problems, and the third was user ignorance, all of which shows that winders is neither perfect nor "intuitive". Marketing is what makes us think that way.

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After forty years, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is still on bookstore shelves, eloquently giving testimony to this way of thinking.

My favourite book of all time! Well, one of the top 3, anyway (all rated equally).

 

You make a very important point though, Linux is Zen (now there's a cool marketing slogan).

 

Although, things have changed slightly since Richard M. Parsig wrote his masterpiece. In todays' World, Technology has been 'taken in' as a vital and everyday part of our lives. It is not feared anymore, because more and more people understand it and are forced to, in order to function in society.

 

Given the current approach and feelings toward technology, existential 'products' are now marketed just like extremely base products, such as cars and kitchen stoves. Technology has lost a lot of it's magic - Linux DOES exist - not understanding HOW it works, does not make it intangible.

 

I don't think there is any doubt as to whether or not Linux -can- be marketed, the questions are 1) How and 2) Who?

 

I think the answers are: 1) Convincing users that Linux can be "Friendly" and 2) You!

 

I love it when these threads delve into philosophy.

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Guest GorGor

Hi

 

Umm, me thinks that painting a vista that getting Linux makes you Zen like is not quite my first option to market Linux.

 

Its money.

 

The reason (the only one IMHO) that business and govts look at linux is the licensing costs of MS.

 

Their reluctance to migrate include:

 

Time cost of converting to Linux.

 

Buy out of existing maintenance contracts with companies that probably have no LInux IT experience.

 

Can they open a MS document?

 

Will their staff mutiny? (I am not kidding)

 

Followed by Can my kids play MS games on Linux ?

 

Altho there is no such thing as Windows universal operating system there is certainly too many choices in Linux.

 

Altho we like the flexibilty this empowers us, it is hard for a Govt Officer to say you mean you have to show me 40 odd distributions?

Aaah, lets only show them Mdk, Rh & SuSe. Then the dark sides of the MS communtity can spread rumours about Debian and Slackware etc cos we have not told them all the truth.

 

Lets try and keep it simple. Give them money reasons only and repeat it just like your coke adds with young teens playing on the beach cos they didn't have to spend heaps buying MS

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OK, marketing is philosophical, and now it is like playing chess. :wink:

 

The opposition will always come up with some angle to lay against the success of a marketing campaign. Our best move is not to offer so many choices, as you have suggested, but rather to offer the single best choice, and then to anticipate our next move when the opposition says whatever. A good chess game leaves room for the opponent to make a move; if it is a move that you want them to make, you are controlling the game. We need to anticipate responses that keep the publicity on Linux.

 

No fear!! :twisted:

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Maketing as a philosphy: I don't know but I beleive you!

 

I did a marketing unit last year, and it was weird the sort of stuff that came up.

 

eg

 

About one in 4 people will suffer from some sort of mental health problem.

BUT 3/4's of Psycologists work in advertising.

 

I actually quite enjoyed it but it was odd how you started to notice things. Ever notice how in movies product logos that are never half even a little obscured?

..........................

I haven't seen the following myself but it was mentioned in a textbook.

 

I think it's in Star Chamber that Miachel Douglas is seen using an Apple laptop.

 

Now normally when you sit with ibook before you open it the log appears facing you. So when you open it, seen from the back, the logo would be upside down. In the film it's the right way up.

 

And other fascinating stuff like that.

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Big Bucks pays for advanced marketing, although Apple buys more movie time than micromillometer.

Mac are lucky, because they sell branded hardware. If a movie start sat down in front of a windoze/Linux machine with its phlegm-coloured case, it would be anyone's guess as to what OS he/she was running!

 

What we need is a deal in the next Mission Impossible movie:

"Ok, but I'll need a new laptop from Alienware... loaded with Mandrake Linux - this is Mission IMPOSSIBLE after all..."

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