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Ubuntu Could Improve Marketing Quite Easily

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supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

I recently noticed from someone's hotmail account that it came with an automatic signature that read:

Discover the new Windows Vista (Learn more!)

The (Learn more!) took me to:

http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=windows+vista&mkt=en-US&form=QBRE

...which obviously was not exactly where Microsoft wanted me to go. I end up by accident at an MSN search engine query on Vista. It was quite funny, actually, that Microsoft's own marketing is misfiring. However, if I click the first link, I end up at:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/default.mspx

Now compare and contrast that with what you get if you click on either of these pages at Ubuntu:

http://www.ubuntu.com/

http://www.ubuntu.com/products/WhatIsUbuntu/desktopedition

You see, what I'm trying to say here is that the message could be more clear for Joe Consumer. One has to ask, what are people fed up with regarding Windows, or would be inspired to switch because of some exciting feature, and does Ubuntu market to that kind of person or merely preach to the choir. I think they preach to the choir at Ubuntu.com and it's high time to change all that.

What are people right now fed up with regarding Windows?

* Having their PC turn into a mailbot zombie.
* Too much mail spam.
* Popups that never go away.
* Forced upgrades that offer very little added value.
* Huge cost.
* Offensive redundant plastic packaging that fills landfills.
* Vendor lock-in.
* Bugs that never get fixed even in the next version of the OS!

Ubuntu and many other Linux distro sites need to wake up and market to that kind of need. I mean, I'm trying to sign off my messages in gmail and point people to Ubuntu, but what happens when they get there? Nothing. They read things like "community developed" and I would reason to bet that scares people away and holds very little value to Joe Consumer.

Last, Ubuntu needs to preach multimedia because there's a huge focus on that right now. People want to be able to bluetooth their cellphone stuff to their PC extremely easily. They want to connect their iPods and other MP3 players flawlessly. They want to watch DVD movies and visit YouTube without having to install things and hope they work. Sure, there's a lot of proprietary media formats out there, and man don't we all know that sucks, but Joe Consumer doesn't care just yet and needs to be slowly brought into that fold.

Meanwhile, a full frontal attack needs to happen behind the scenes to make proprietary media formats obsolete. I mean, don't worry about getting Joe Consumer to stop using proprietary media -- that campaign 'tain't working. That dog won't hunt, unfortunately. Instead, the Linux community needs to just make free, open source media formats blow away all PDFs, WMVs, ASFs, MPGs, MP3s, DOCs, and so on. The formats need to work everywhere on all kinds of devices, be approved by official standards committees, be compact, be clear and crisp, and be fast.

P.S. In saying this, Ubuntu has made some great strides in trying to reach Joe Consumer, and things like their X configurator that keeps me from getting phonecalls to mess with xorg.conf files (which scare Joe Consumer) -- these things are a step in the right direction.

tbuitenh's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-21
I don't think ubuntu

I don't think ubuntu marketing should be more like microsoft marketing. Just look at it... the ubuntu pages you link to are easy on the eyes and explain what ubuntu is all about and what it can do for you. The vista page is ugly (maybe it looks slightly better in internet explorer?), too wide to fit in a sane sized browser window, and a huge collection of links with many tabs leading to even more links overwhelming the reader and making them wonder where to go next.

I agree they could get more users by advertising what horrible things won't happen to you if you don't use an ubuntu system, but I can understand why they don't do this...

Quote:

* Having their PC turn into a mailbot zombie.
* Too much mail spam.
* Popups that never go away.

It may surprise you, but there are many people who don't have these problems. I imagine ubuntu doesn't want to look like an OS for incompetent users. They might say installing ubuntu is the easiest way to avoid these problems, though.

Quote:

* Forced upgrades that offer very little added value.
* Huge cost.
* Vendor lock-in.

These actually are mentioned on the ubuntu front page, although it could be more clear about some of them.

Quote:

* Offensive redundant plastic packaging that fills landfills.

Maybe not something to mention if you don't want to trigger the "smelly long-haired commie hippie" prejudice many people have about things that are free of charge?

Quote:

* Bugs that never get fixed even in the next version of the OS!

Even ubuntu will never be completely bug-free. This is a promise they simply can't make.

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