[Linux-aus] FOSS marketing mistakes (was: a Reality?)

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Thu Mar 6 13:39:02 UTC 2003

On Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 12:05:26PM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> On Thursday 06 March 2003 10:38 am, Con Zymaris wrote:
> > Interestingly, the FOSS community makes the least number of marketing
> > mistakes of any of the major 'parties' involved in purveying software
> > technologies to the mainstream. I find this curious and heartening.
> So... do you think that's because we're a `hobbyist product' or because we're 
> `a bunch of unco-ordinated hobbyists'? (-:

most blunders are caused by effective co-ordination, but lack of viable
direction. Others are caused by dropping support for technologies or
product in a 'strategic re-alignment' or about-face. Neither of these are
issues with the FOSS community.

> How well do you think FOSS would do if we could just whip out our collective 
> cheque-books and do this?
>     Microsoft will run a $US400 million ([AUD]$670 million) public
>     relations campaign,

frankly, we don't need it. I'm hoping that Microsoft spends billions in
doing exactly this and more... I'm thinking: Remember the Edsel...  
Remember the Edsel...

> And...
>     "Are we going to be aggressive in telling our story and convincing
>     people we have new things? Yes, we are," Mr Ballmer said.
> ...three interesting points arise from that.
>   * Have Microsoft ever been *other* than aggressive?


>   * Do people want `new things' or something that works?

They want something that works, and is cheaper to buy and run. The time 
for new things for business is over.

>   * Is the problem really that people don't know about them, or is the
>     problem that Microsoft's `new things' are of no use to most of them?

The later. How many people _really_ need a Tablet PC? Or a WinCE_Watch? 
For that matter, what new features are in Word that people use beyond 
spelling error highlighting, which came out in 1997 (and was ripped off 
from Hangul and Computer in Korea!)?

> So, what aspects of Linux should we be promoting, if we're to address upper 
> management effectively but not wind up spouting froth and empty promises like 
> Microsoft?

Three things in the mantra for business uptake of Linux: 

 1) It's reliable, and 
 2) it's cheaper to acquire and run, and 
 3) it's secure.


Con Zymaris
Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
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