This post is in reply to the Novell, Heal Thy Self post on Lobby4Linux.com.
First off I would like to say that the note he made to openSUSE is very well respected and I stand behind that same thought. Adversity has made them stronger and for that I am proud to be in the same Linux community!
However, where I have to disagree now is with the comments to Novell concerning them having a hurt bottom line by the Linux community due to the ever-so-famous Novell/Microsoft deal. Lobby4Linux provides an the following answer to “You want to fix that quickly?”
Stop acting like a second string player and be the starter we all know you are. Get some media exposure. I don’t mean another server ad in the Wall Street Journal. I mean television and radio ads. I mean talk to America…not Geek America, the Real America. The ones that watch commercials between Extreme Home Makeover and Desperate Housewives. Do you have a clue how many people Don’t Have A Clue? I mean as to having a choice in how they operate a computer.
Novell and openSUSE are two different entities with two different goals. Novell provides the curb appeal to the the Enterprise while openSUSE provides solutions for the desktop. He states that Novell should talk to “America”, not the “Geek America”, but the “Real America”. Novell doesn’t target real America, and the people whom you claim are watching the commercials between Extreme Home Makeover and Desperate Housewives have a name that Hillary Clinton dubbed in the 90’s, Soccer Moms. Why would Novell send a commercial to Soccer Moms, or rather “Real America” when its main goals are to push the Enterprise Desktop and the Enterprise Server. Can you tell me where that fits in with the average household?
Look, I now work in a hyper-busy tech support business. 70 percent of the calls about computer malfunction are due to spyware and virus antispyware issues. Are you hearing this? They are complaining that the software they bought in order for the software they’ve already purchased isn’t working or is fouling up thier computers.
what kind of crap is that? They are purchasing software so that the software they’ve already bought will work. You have the answer to that problem right in the palm of your hand. Why haven’t you mortgaged the farm to advertise the obvious answer to their problem.
Once again, I don’t think this should target Novell, but more along the lines of the Linux community. We all know that to the average desktop user that spyware and viruses are a big problem. But Novell putting out commercials to “Real America” isn’t going to fix this. The products that Novell creates is not for “Real America” it is for “Enterprise America.” Enterprise America already knows what is available and don’t need the commercials to push it during primetime anymore. That is why you don’t see the IBM and Linux commercials anymore, who was watching them was “Real America” and “Real America” did a huge “WTF?”
It would be great to see more publicity for Linux as a solid desktop replacement, but what Novell is doing with their money is spending it on development purposes in order to create a better product. Red Hat is/has been doing the same, as well as IBM. What Linux needs is some solid grassroots loving, and if you are in the right area, guerrilla marketing stands a chance. Maybe it is time we quit thinking that money should be used for putting Linux on TV, and start thinking about how we can raise money to support those projects in which are pushing for freedom and to make a better product. Oh, and lets not forget the TiVo market which has been gaining popularity, a good percentage of “Real America” can now fast forward through the commercials.
Edit 1: Oh, and let’s not forget that there is a whole other world out there besides America.
Edit 2: Please refer to this Novell Financial chart from Yahoo. Please notice the spike and the increase since November of 2006, the time frame of the Novell/Microsoft deal. The writer at lobby4linux says that this deal hurt their bottom line, yet Novell’s profits and increased margins prove otherwise. Seems like a very uneducated or not well-thought-out post now.