Marketing ideas

Alo Tsum alotsum at
Fri Apr 21 21:51:25 UTC 2006

I posted this else where but it was suggested I post this to the list serve
so here goes

 Fedora Core 5 is a truly amazing OS and one I think has the potential to
really do great things. Looking forward to what the Fedora Project has the
potential to do, especially with its new focus I decided to give some
suggestions as to what could possibly be done starting with Fedora 6 and
onward. Some of my suggestions are definitely based on the OS itself but
others are also concerning the general focus and outlook of the Fedora
Project itself. I hope my suggestion are not regarded as offensive in anyway
and they are only meant to highlight the greatness of Fedora as well as to
reflect my strong desire to see this project take off and propel the Linux
OS to new heights.

 First suggestions has to do with the software side of things. We users need
a competent software installer which is graphical based. One that functions
much the same way that the windows installer works. This installer should
track dependencies naturally and place icons on the desktop or give the
option to have icons for the software just installed to be placed on the
desktop of the user as well as in the applications menu. Also when watching
the Boston Linux conference the suggestion was made to offer a hard disc
manager much like windows offers for formating and receiving hard drivers
etc after installation.

 My second set of suggestions will deal with the over all focus and
structure of the fedora project. I was listening to a pod cast interview
with the head of the fedora project where in, the topic came up of some how
generating revenue to put back into the project and make it more self
sufficient. So I have a few suggestions which I think the Redhat company
itself should take note of. Firstly Redhat while promoting Linux among
enthusiast is also in the business of making money. On that front I believe
that they should not only attempt to evangelize Linux in the government,
education, and corporate sectors; they should also attempt to get Linux in
each and every home. The reason being is if people are starting to use Linux
in their homes and they are comfortable with it, employers will be more
likely and willing to deploy a operating system which is different in many
ways to windows on the interactive level. Reason being is when people have
to stop to learn new technology this cuts down on productivity and as a
person who works for a IT department in a major university I can also vouch
for the fact a IT team will not be willing to suggest an infrastructure
restructuring when they know, supporting users on something foreign to them
is going to increase their workload 10 fold. So bottom line, more users both
advanced, intermediate and beginners need to be converted to the Linux
faithful but now the question becomes how?

 The Fedora project is the perfect tool for this and here is how. The fedora
team should focus SOLELY on making the operating system run as smoothly and
as fast as possible, interacting with a HUGE number of hardware
configurations. Installation needs to be as smooth as silk and upgrading
needs to be fail proof from version to version. Previously installed drives
with personal user data needs to be able to be retained without fail from
upgrade to upgrade if the user isn't doing a clean install. Now I would like
to move on to "partnerships" Fedora project should look into making
"partners" or some other creative term to define other Linux projects and
organizations. In this partnership Fedora will tightly enforce standards
which will ensure that any software created to run on fedora is following
say the OIN and the GPL standards to the letter to ensure an user friendly
and secure/stable operating system that runs smoothly. Many people in the
Linux community may grumble about this suggestion however life is about
progression and when things do not change and evolve and progress to new
levels then they are doomed to become extinct (think dinosaurs here) or at
the very least remain niche applications. If Fedora project implements such
a model, they do not have to worry about making certain software for the OS
which would take far to much time and man power to create. Prime example
would be the hard disk manager or even the software installer. This sort of
work could be left to groups who's soul purpose is to make such software and
by following strict guidelines they would become Fedora project "partners"
and in turn they would be promised that their software will be included in
the fedora core release. Also by following strict guidelines this software
could be implemented in other Linux distributions which are also following
said guidelines. This would take the pressure off of Fedora and they can
then focus on whats important which is making their OS run like silk. Again
let me stress this approach is keeping in mind that projects such as Fedora
and other Linux distributions desire to penetrate more into the home desktop
market, which then also means more users will or could eventually equate to
greater adoption of the platform in other industries as a result of user
awareness and user comfort with the Linux platform. I should also mention
that those software development groups that do not comply could be offered
as Fedora extras so the community still has choices which is really part of
the appeal of Linux.

 Okay so with all that said how could this generate income? Well lets say
Fedora project comes up with one of the first 100% standard enforced
distributions which is as user friendly or even more so than MS windows. Now
say a "ambassador" from Fedora can start making the rounds to Dell and other
companies and attempt to get them to start offering this FREE Linux
distribution on some of their PC models, which would also allow for lower
prices on the retail side for them (ie Dell, Gateway etc.) as the OS is FREE
and that cuts down on cost which the end user ends up incurring. But we
still have not addressed revenue for the Fedora project, and this can be
done by following the Redhat model of offering technical support. Fedora
project could basically offer technical support certification and training
to Dell staff as an example so they (the PC manufacturer) can then take over
supporting the platform for their end users, which also equates to revenue
for these companies in the long run because they can offer extended tech
support to end users at a premium. Fedora core could charge a VERY minimal
fee for this training, so say charge enough that it would generate revenue
that can then be pumped back into the project and at the same time would
still make it cheaper for Dell and other companies to go with Linux on some
desktop offerings as opposed to having a windows only offering.

 The future of Linux if to be taken seriously should not be relegated to
just the business, government, and education world as far as standards,
reliability, and software / hardware vendor support is concerned. The brand
will grow far more rapidly if consumers are adopting the standard at home
and at work so basically this is a bottom up approach. This of this, more
desktop users in the home also means more software sales for major companies
because you will have more people buying video games and other such things
which will also mean more companies willing to adopt the platform because
software offering become greater.

 There needs to be a consorted effort on the parts of all parties involved
to take Linux to that next phase of existence other wise Linux as a brand,
while it may grow some what will not see its full potential. With the
software being a open and free model we still have to realize with a flurry
of hodge podge coding and no standards insight the end user ends up losing
at least as far as the home front is concerned. Most people are forced to
run duel boot Windows and Linux systems because software makers and hardware
manufactures have not fully bought into the Linux model and we as a
community only have ourselves to blame for that. This approach will also
take some evangelizing to the software makers of such things as yum and KDE
however I believe that those who do not see the need and importants of doing
such things will render themselves obsolete in the long run. Just look at
the Unix model, and we can see what the disasters of not doing this can
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