[FW: Some questions for an editorial piece on Neowin.net]

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Wed Nov 12 04:09:15 UTC 2008

Paul W. Frields wrote:
> Hello Marketing team,
> We received the following inquiry, and I thought this was a good
> opportunity to practice some of the "open marketing" concepts.  Are
> there any folks on the list who would like to formulate answers to the
> questions here?
> To frame the answers I would suggest some of the following key points:
> * We don't "compete" with other Linux distributions; we advance free
>   software in cooperation with upstream in a way that benefits
>   everyone

I am not sure that's the whole story. It is clear that we want to remain 
competitive among Linux distributions. We need to grow, get more 
contributors and users and sometimes there is healthy competition 
between Linux distributions (which benefits users). It might not be our 
key focus however.

One could still make the argument that Fedora benefits other Linux 
distributions as well by being a major contributor to upstream projects 
and our general policy of contributing our improvements upstream and our 
competitive value lies in our objectives of moving Free software forward.

> * Windows 7 is (presumably) aimed at an extremely large audience, much
>   of which falls outside our target audience of free software
>   enthusiasts, developers, and remixers.  Nevertheless, the stability
>   and features in Fedora are loved by millions.

One of the points is that we have been making it easy for users to 
migrate from Windows. Fedora liveusb-creator was first available for 
Windows users, Anaconda now supports partition resizing and there is a 
Seneca college effort to port Wubi (as suggested by me).

> * Features are found on the wiki Feature List.
> * We have lots of desktop features for ease of use that do not get in
>   users' way and help people get things done quickly, securely, and
>   with respect for users' freedom.
> OK, with that I open the floor! :-)
> Paul


Some quick answers below:


> Can you tell me what new features users could see in the next release,
> Fedora 11?

It's a bit early for that.

Fedora is developed within the community and anyone interested can 
propose a new feature and participate in the process. Since we are only 
beginning to wrap up Fedora 10, we will being reviewing Fedora 11 
feature proposals starting in the next Fedora Engineering Steering 
Committee meeting


> Microsoft is currently aiming for a 2009 Holiday release for Windows 7 and
> it has been said their main rival now is Linux. Are there any concerns about
> how Fedora can compete with Windows 7 in the future and can you give any
> hints as to what features you hope to include to rival Windows?

Windows 7 appears to a incremental release to fix the many widely know 
flaws in Vista and the customer push back realized via more return rates 
for the OEM copies.

Fedora has a time based release schedule with a new release every six 
months. With the pace of innovation driven in part by Fedora in free and 
open source software and rapid iterations from our release model, we 
hope to bring foss to a large audience. Our value is in the freedom and 
nature of development itself, rather than any particular feature.

> One of the reasons behind the popularity of Ubuntu, Fedora and openSuse is
> their improved ease-of-use, howeverLinux as a whole is still criticized for
> being too "techie/geeky". What else is being done to further improve the
> usability and ease-of-use of Fedora in the future?

The Fedora desktop team has published a whiteboard with a large amount 
of ideas that they want to look at beyond the release of Fedora 10. A 
key focus area is improving usability and ease of use.



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