[linux-elitists] What's some marketing buzzwords for what we do?

Alan DuBoff aland@SoftOrchestra.com
Tue Dec 31 02:13:27 PST 2002

On Monday 30 December 2002 20:52, Larry M. Augustin wrote:
> From Michael's earlier comments, he was talking about a small business with
> more than one location, inventory, resale, and maybe a mail-order or
> Internet component.  That's bigger than Quickbooks.  Also, he felt that
> there were good shrink-wrapped software products out there for the small
> business.  I took that to mean Quickbooks, and I don't think he disagreed.

Well, QuickBooks is in a different league than Accware. GNUCash is getting 
close to QuickBooks. GNUCash will accept Quicken files, and my bank (BofA) 
allows the download of Quicken files montly, GNUCash pulls them up with no 

> And yes, that business could easily be less than 25 people.  When VA was
> about 6 people and doing about 100 units/month we ran on a mix of scripts on
> Linux and accounting on Quickbooks.  We sure could have used something like
> Accware.  We definitely would have paid for something decent.  The trouble
> was that there was nothing in the middle.  Either it was too little
> (Quickbooks) or overkill (Oracle, SAP, etc.).

Is this when you switched to Peachtree? The thing is that Peachtree was too 
little also, and you certainly couldn't have used Accware at that time, I 

Baan was really overkill for VA also, but it did work...kind of...

I would certainly like to understand what exact shrink wrap Michael is 
talking about, because once you get past QuickBooks, most companies need to 
hire a specialist to set the system up and my guess is that Accware is 
similar in that there are a lot of modules (general ledger, inventory, 
reports, etc...) and a Linux consultant is not going to waltz in and set that 
up easily. I don't see software that a small business can do that on ms-dos 
either, and even people hire accountants to setup their QuickBooks. I used a 
contractor to remodel my kitchen that did just that, he had about 10 people 
working for him and QuickBooks was fine. I don't see people like him spending 
$1500 for ms SBM, he was too cheap and QuickBooks worked for his needs.

> So I definitely think there is a demand for good business automation
> software for the 25 person and under small to medium business market.

Certainly, even on ms-dos. What do people use on ms-dos that is so easy for 
them to setup all of their account receivables, general ledger, inventory, 
reports, etc...????

> Microsoft sees that as well.  That's exactly their target market, and it's
> why they bought Great Plains.

Does this require a specialist to setup? I 'spose we'll see MSSBM accredible 
people before long...

> I would disagree that there's an enormous expenditure on Microsoft
> licensing.

Each system cost $300 for an XP license, upgrades are in the order of $150, 
and the office software is in the $400 range which is also going on 

Why is it that folks like Telstra are looking to convert their entire 
userbase to non-ms products? It adds up to a lot of $$$s for those that do 
pay for the licenses. Many smaller companies were stealing the software 
previously, and this is why ms is going to a subscription based product. 
Regardless, 60% of the ms desktops are still using ms-dos-9x and ms-dos-nt, 
which are loosing support on 06/30/03.

> I believe in selling Linux based on quality, not licensing cost.  Also, it
> needs to cost less to maintain.  The cost to support, maintain and
> administer dwarfs the licensing costs.

This is what ms has been saying, but this is questionable if Linux costs 
anymore than ms-dos does. I believe lincensing is a great way to get Linux's 
foot in the door, selling them services to maintain it at a reasonable cost.

Even two years ago at VA, the people on "the plan" (i.e., didn't have root) 
were able to use Linux as their desktop. You might remember the girl in my 
office (Heather), who Don Marti blasted for using ms-dos to send mail once 
upon a time. She converted over to Linux and used it to do her work, along 
with StarOffice at the time (which was not that good). She wasn't a techie at 
all, yet it worked for her back then and I tip my hat to her for doing it.

> So now they've got after Linux with cold, hard, cost studies. They have
> this new IDC study that shows Linux is more costly to support than Windows.

Those studies are crap, and the IDC study was sponsored by ms. The Linux 
communtiy never spends a dime on studies, and ms will pour billions into 
trying to prove that Linux is inferior. I don't buy that, it works as a 
desktop just fine, and ms knows that.

> The problem that I have with promoting StarOffice (I've only tried
> StarOffice, not OpenOffice, but I'd expect them to be similar) is that it's
> a piece of crap.  It's awful software.  I can't in good conscience advocate
> for it.  Free or not, it has to be good software.  We can't ever lose sight
> of that.

I don't see it that way. I see StarOffice/OpenOffice as a great alternative 
to ms-dos-office. Word Perfect is also available, as is ABIWord, and I think 
Applixware still has software for Linux. StarOffice/OpenOffice seems to be 
the preferred on Linux though, and it works a heck of a lot better than the 
Applixware that VA was trying to market with that Linux Office Suite '99.

The most recent StarOffice/OpenOffice is able to manage most all ms documents 
as well as the PowerPoint slides, and Impress works well to create the slides 
also. It is good enough, and I certainly wouldn't call it crap. I think it's 
good enough for a good majority of users that are currently using ms-dos.

> Linux is better software.  That's why a lot of us use it.  Sure, it's free.
> But free crap is still crap.  We will never convert people with free crap.

What do you use on Linux to do your word processing? spreadsheets? slide 
shows? Do you feel that ms-dos and ms-dos-office is really a better mouse 
trap and worth the price? We certainly differ on this point I think, because 
I believe Linux is definitely good enough for the average user, most of whom 
are idiots.


Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.
GPG: 1024D/B7A9EBEE 5E00 57CD 5336 5E0B 288B 4126 0D49 0D99 B7A9 EBEE

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