[ubuntu-marketing] some ideas for strategy about how to solve bug #1

MF MagicFab at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 22:27:15 GMT 2005

A small warning is in order before you read this, I realize some of my
comments may seem confrontational but hope they're taken to further
constructive discussion. Really, I am a good person :)

Otto Kekäläinen a écrit :
> [...]First of all, why do organizations/people choose Linux
> + it's low-cost to get
In some situations Microsoft products (or other proprietary software)
are free (as in beer) or perceived as free. I almost never bring up cost
arguments when advocating Linux. Examples:
 - OEM software (not only in computers but in scanners, cameras, audio
players, CD/DVD players/recorders)
 - Free downoadable software, plugins (Flash, Acrobat Reader)
 - Academic deals (like MSDNAA)
> And why some do NOT choose Linux:
> - it causes cognitive stress: forces people to learn new and abandon old
As much stress as going from Win9x to WinXP or to Win Vista sometime in
the future.
> - hard to find Linux-trained administrators and support services
Is this true in Finland ? I don't mean to contradict this but Google
helps a lot in finding local listings. Are you referring to LPI (or
otherwise) certified admins/support techs. ?
> - sometimes high cost to run if you need to customize it a lot
As much as other systems. Again, in terms of cost it's difficult to
measure long-term benefits of investing in knowledge and enpowerment.
> - searching for and choosing a suitable Linux-counterpart of the 
> Windows-programs in use is difficult, and some Windows-applications are even 
> impossible to replace
That is true although some lists exist. I am mostly interested in the
list of applications that you say are *impossible* to replace :)

Here's 2 interesting resources in french. Anyone knows of any in english ?:

> - migrating files, documents and information into Linux and its applications 
> require a lot of work and is error prone
I see this as an opportunity to talk about open formats. This is not
Linux's fault, quite the contrary.
> - about 80% of general population haven't even heard of Linux yet
That's  an interesting figure, can you give us the source to that ? I'd
say most people haven't grasped yet what open computing is (including
formats, software, etc), but I know very few people that can't say what
that penguin is :) At some time IBM inundated  Canada TV with Linux
publicity, similarly lots of business mags and consumer mags are talking
about Linux.
> - it's difficult to know how well some specific hardware is supported
I agree, sometimes you have to actually buy it and try it. However, I'd
say it's as difficult to know beforehand if any combination of hardware
will work nicely in Windows , as drivers are often in conflict or modify
/access the system resources in creative ways. Initiatives like
Linux-Printing.org are a good start but I think they need a better look
(did I just write that ?) and more exposure. And yes, I am leading a
small project to do just that.
> We should of course keep doing the things why people choose Linux, but the 
> obstacles could be tackled like this:
> ==> spread Firefox and OpenOffice.org
I believe focus should be given to less-known *packages. Like f-spot -
http://www.gnome.org/projects/f-spot/ which really is an application
that appeals to anyone who has ever had to manage more that 10 pictures
on their computer ;) Or like firewall, backup management, video editing,
screen recording (Istanbul!) etc. I used to have a links directory
configured with a "Less visited sites" section, which was extremely
popular. The best stuff is always hidden somewhere.

> ==> still 80% haven't heard of Linux, even less of Ubuntu
Again, figures I can't relate or find references to. Can you say "about
20% positively know about Linux" ?

> We need more attractive marketing material, especially with contents that 
> non-technical people will understand. We should also write some articles 
> about Ubuntu and try to offer them to printed magazines. In my experience, 
> magazines and newspapers accept and publish material that is well written and 
> in a such format that makes it easy for the journalist to shorten so that it 
> fits between the advertisements.
Who has more time ? :) It's slowly building:

Other similar projects:
> [...]
> ==> hardware certification for the Linux-kernel
> All hardware manufacturers should clearly state in their marketing material if 
> a driver for Linux is available, and since what kernel version. They don't 
> need to certify for a whole distribution or LSB. Somehow we should get the 
> manufacturers to understand that having a penguin on their product is going 
> to attract all the Linux-using customers who otherwise worry about finding 
> supported hardware.
Actually, I am sooooo sorry I bought a color laser printer that clearly
advertised it had Linux drivers (Samsun CLP510). At some point Linux
users realize they have to check *before* buying based on other's
reports. An quite frankly I wouldn't dream on asking my parents what
kernel they have... What we need to ask everytime is to have open
specifications and open-source drivers. Sometimes hard because of
patents, etc.
> I guess that at some point when a critical mass is reached, hardware 
> manufacturers will start competing on who sells the most Linux-friendly 
> systems and eventually who sells the best pre-installed Linux systems :)
> ..and thus Microsoft's OEM tax will be abolished.
You mean like what's been going on in Argentina for some time now:

I think it's so different in every other country that we can't
generalize this kind of situations, but we also need awareness and
organization, on a global scale. Rosetta and Launchpad are good for the
technical problems they solve. I am thinking as more LoCo teams organize
and contribute to the Wiki we'll get more tools and information to
complete local efforts and fill some goals faster.


Fabian Rodriguez

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