I have read a number of comments around the web stating that Linux is not in need of marketing. And as much as this might surprise you, I am inclined to agree. What it does need however, is unified purpose. Not to say that Linux on the mobile, desktop and server fronts is not providing a purpose pe se, rather it needs to spell out a unified value in a singular message.
Freedom? To existing Linux users, the idea of software freedom is something that is very important. To Joe User, it means absolutely nothing. Software freedom is important to Linux geeks and some software developers. So this is an area where I see a need for unified purpose that the common man can get behind. Luckily, Linux has an edge here as well.
Managed, desktop Linux us a massive cost saver. It is also easier than most people think to get many people to switch over to. Sadly, this remains roadblocked because of a lack of localized support like we see with Windows and OS X. If I have malware, I call the local PC repair guy to remove it. My Mac dies, AppleCare or the Apple store. But what is Joe User seriously supposed to do if they wish to switch to Linux – install it themselves? Come on.
I believe that 99% of the people in the world are not installing ANY OS onto their PC, thus killing a rather tired argument that Windows has an edge here. Tie in Apple’s advantage of bundling the OS into one select set of hardware configurations and we see Linux, unmanaged at a disadvantage.
I have also seen instances where open source consultants offering install and support services, have managed to convert a number of people over to various desktop Linux flavors with great ease. This include POS systems for small businesses to the casual home user tired of forking out money for a company they are no longer interested in supporting. In each case, success has been had and sustained due to support.
Too expensive? Hardly. For home users, remote support can be a few dollars a month and for small businesses, a simple service contract is no different than something seen in the Windows world. The magic formula that I have seen is realizing that adding Linux to the Windows services for a repair business, can actually be quite profitable. It’s just a matter of knowing who is the right fit and who is not. Again, this is not some pie in the sky theory, this is practiced all over the world each and every day. Just something to consider…
What is that unified value again? How about value. Software value, money savings and less time wasted having the same old malware removed over and over. Works for me.