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GNU/Linux marketing strategy: the luxury

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

Reading this article on CNN Money rings a few bells with me.

First, it is admitting that GNU/Linux popularity is growing and that at this rate it should really be biting Microsoft's market share. Second, it is rightfully pointing out the reason why this is hard to happen right now, because PC makers aren't bunlding enough GNU/Linux PCs and that because it apparently doesn't pay off for them due to their ties with Windows.

And apparently this is something they themselves don't like too much. They'd like to offer alternatives, but they don't want to go through the risk of loss.. ah yeah business as usual, the bottom line must remain as fat as possible. Understandable I suppose, if you know how things go.

And then the third point:

Quote:

There's clearly an opportunity here for Linux suppliers. Seizing it, however, is going to require a whole new marketing mindset. They should forget touting Linux as a cheaper alternative to Windows. Instead, pitch Linux as a luxury product whose stability, versatility, and virus-resistant technology deserve a premium price.

After all, the high-end strategy has worked beautifully for Apple, whose share of the computer market is growing. And if consumers prove willing to pay more for a Linux PC, then PC makers will be a lot more eager to pre-install the software.

Ah yes, that's what I wanted to hear. The regulars here know I've been talking about employing a similar business model myself, as soon as I am able to launch such a thing. It is roughly about taking the Apple business model and applying it to GNU/Linux. We make computers that work with GNU/Linux flawlessly and then sell them as superior computer appliances. I did intend to compete on price as well, but if you can market the thing as superior in quality and value the price matters less.

Yes, that's what we need, and I am increasingly confident about that. We need some startup to come out and show, prove to the big guys, that GNU/Linux quality sells. And then, by selling it not only do we earn nice amounts of money, but we liberate people, give them control over their computers whenever they need them (business and freedom hand in hand, how nice). Smiling

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dylunio's picture
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Interesting article.

Interesting article. Evedently Linux is losing out to Windows on the cheap PC front, and Microsoft have their hands clasped around the PC makers balls (this article *finally* explained to me how!). Thus a different approach may be needed, as we discussed on NXFD, maybe the Apple approach is good, though I don't think copying it bit for bit would be good either since Apple are a company selling propriatary software and hardware. But despite this promomting the *functionality* of GNU/Linux sounds a good idea: that it is more virus retardant, that it can be very secure (bastile and SELinux etc.), that boxes can be easiry linked together for copiling farms (I think this is coverd by Beowulf), and so forth. Promote many sides, not only one, slightly rickety one (price).

dylunio

memenode's picture
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Joined: 2004-07-12
Yes, and promoting the

Yes, and promoting the functionality of GNU/Linux may end up with greater demand for GNU/Linux PCs as well.

Frankly, I think that if major three PC makers don't start moving to GNU/Linux that we should just abandon them and attempt to establish new PC powers of our own, ones which already sell GNU/Linux PCs with more or less pre-configured systems. One company in US that stands out and actually seems to come very close to the PC making business I described is System 76. Just look at their desktops! They even have a Mac Mini alternative in form of that cool looking Koala Mini.

We need something like System 76 in Europe. And we really need to promote these kinds of companies widely. They are not affected by Microsoft's policy so much. They're not entangled with it. They're free to grow pushing GNU/Linux and only GNU/Linux on GNU/Linux compatible hardware.

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dylunio's picture
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Hmm, System76 look like an

Hmm, System76 look like an interesting company, though I think they are a bit too Ubuntised for my taste ;-)

memenode's picture
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Joined: 2004-07-12
Don't worry, there are lots

Don't worry, there are lots of others who pre-install GNU/Linux on their PCs. Just look at this: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/74282/index.html

It's the new product link on LXer.com. You can find 106 GNU/Linux PC vendors around the world there.

Of course, Croatia isn't yet covered, as many other countries, which means that my dreams of opening such a business in this area aren't yet shattered. Eye This place is still waiting.

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dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
Thanks for the link, I

Thanks for the link, I looked at all the sites in the UK which offered more than Ubuntu or Suse. But looking at the sites I see why the CNN money article states GNU/Linux needs to go luxury - the laptops I saw were crap IMHO, they looked rather shabby, their spec was low etc. - if I'm looking for a laptop I want a decent spec, for it to look okay etc. Oh and all the laptops I saw had Ubuntu on them *grrr*. I know that the Linux Emporium here in the UK does some nice looking Thinkpads with Ubuntu on them, but again it's Ubuntu, but at least the specs are okay. Hmm, that seemed rather like a rant... oh well.

But it is becomming more and more evident that GNU/Linux is being linked with awfully low spec machines, and are going for the bugdet market - for the detrement of the operating system.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Yes, that seems to be it. We

Yes, that seems to be it. We need to build high end machines at a premium cost and premium value and advertise GNU/Linux as something that contributes to this value because of freedom, open standards support and flexibility built right in.

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