Pitching Fedora to Desktop users who already want Linux

Michael DeHaan mdehaan at redhat.com
Thu Sep 11 20:21:28 UTC 2008

Sorry for another desktop thread, but I thought this was an interesting 
data point.  This is an interesting data point because I think it's 
about message and not so much about technical data.

I was talking with a user who did not want to look at Fedora or an EL on 
the desktop where they work for the following reasons, and was looking 
at using Ubuntu.   Naturally knowing that really there is almost no 
difference in these (Gnome is Gnome) and they didn't even need the 
non-free codecs, I figured I would pass on the comments in hopes that 
this would be useful to someone else.

Their Comments:

(A)   Fedora is too much of an upgrade process every six months.     
This is interesting to me because Ubuntu comes out at about the same 
rate.   I did not think they were talking about LTS releases, but are we 
pitching the ease of things like preupgrade enough?     How do we get 
more desktop footprint out there -- not just in home users, but also in 
companies where there is mindshare (and future contributors) to be 
won?   How do we make Fedora seem less fragile even as it tries to be 
the "best of what works now"?  It's clearly a fine desktop.   Not much 
is required in a desktop.  The whole phrase is kind of silly even as I 
mostly just want a web browser and an editor, and most everyone else 
does too :)

(B)   Comments that Red Hat, not Fedora, was disinterested in the 
desktop -- therefore they were less interested in Fedora as they didn't 
see an investment.   Clearly not true.   I don't see this being 
applicable because it's a capable desktop, we invest well in it, and 
Fedora cares very much about this.   Again, how do we pass on that 
message?  Again, nothing technical is IMHO required, it's mostly about 
dispelling those statements.

In the context of fedora-marketing, I'm wondering how we can deal with 
this image that -- as far as I can not tell, is not descriptive of the 

The user in question also seemed a bit burned by Fedora 9's upgrade 
process, which I'll agree -- I got burned too.... something slipped in 
that one and it's not my job to say where, but I think that left a bit 
of an impression.  (Namely, my grub getting removed/mangled, which is a 
now closed bz).

I have no inspiring conclusions but thought I'd pass on the data points.

I want to see Fedora everywhere, corporate desktops and making Microsoft 
go away seems to be a noble goal (it's free) with huge advantages to 
Fedora (huge contributer and mindshare base).  Let's figure out what it 
takes to make that happen.


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