[linux-elitists] We need to address the death of Solaris

Bulent Murtezaoglu bm@acm.org
Tue Jul 31 14:26:47 PDT 2001

Here's my semi pessimistic take on this:

>>>>> "AS" == Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com> writes:
    AS> 1. Actively defeat anti-linux reaction (e.g. the Netcraft
    AS> survey shows apache is dropping in market-share... guess this
    AS> means linux is dead).  

Nobody worth listening to will claim that.  Mass media (in the
technical field also) is usually oblivious to such statistics.
If people were comparing Netcraft statistics and, say, Alldas.de 
statistics they'd think twice about going with MS.  Did you see that

    AS> 2. Push people moving away from Solaris
    AS> ONTO Linux.  

This seems to happen by to an extent according to last month's
Netcraft survey.  It will not work for people switching away from
Unix alltogether.  

    AS> 3. Make sure that the pain of such transition is
    AS> well understood (e.g. going from "there's always a tool to do
    AS> it" to "let's see what Microsoft let's us do today")

For every person who says what you say, there probably are 2 or 3 who
say Windows is easy, MS innovated yet again etc.  I have met people
who've bought W2K services from Interland (mentioned in the survey)
they do not live in the same world we do.  Their staff/consultants
don't live in the world we do.  In my experience those sales (be it
for consulting or managed services) can be made by professional
salespeople who were selling, say, meat in their previous jobs (I am not
making this up).  You are competing against a ruthless marketing
machine with a very ignorant (but hard-working) crowd helping it.
Technical sophistication and arguments will not help you make headway
against "good enough" with that kind of inertia/momentum behind it. 

    AS> [...] Can others think of ways that such distinctions can be 
    AS> made to the general public without needing millions of dollars for
    AS> advertizing and without confusing the people we're trying to
    AS> communicate with?

I can't.  I know _I_ can't at any rate.  Not all's lost however.  I
lean towards a scheme whereby small businesses are offered a one-stop
solution covering the internal network and the web presence by
reputable and credible but small organizations.  These people are more
sensitive to pricing and will demand to know why their $2k PC from
yesteryear is now not good enough for the latest MS innovation.  I am
not alone in holding this opinion, apparently.  IBM seems to have put
together a package on Linux geared towards this market.  The present 
economic conditions do help with this also, as does the aging of the 
first wave of young Linux adopters (<- experience and maturity is 
important if you'll interface with customers).  

anyhow, I'd be interested in what others have to say on this also.



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