In a political sense, Microsoft can be seen or perceived as the “Evil Conservative Entity”. They pollute, steal, are convicted monopolists and yet thrive under a capitalist system that protects them from true harm or conviction.
I make it a habit not to discuss politics with my friends. It has occurred to me that talking politics is a good way to make your friends your ex-friends…so I wisely abstain. Now, lets take this a step further and talk about the “politics” of operating systems…and sorry Mac users, you are relegated to refereeing this match. Don’t blame me for this, your marketing sucks. At least Linux hasn’t really begun to market. When we fail, then you can wag your fingers at us and say “See, just ain’t as easy as it seems, is it?”
All analogies fail eventually so I will take this one as far as I can or until it falls off the table. In a political sense, Microsoft can be seen or perceived as the “Evil Conservative Entity”. They pollute, steal, are convicted monopolists and yet thrive under a capitalist system that protects them from true harm or conviction. They have taken our money in exchange for an inadequate product, then have the nerve to ask us to pay for the “fix”.
They have stones, thats for sure…anyone else with their record would have been shamed and pushed aside by a judgmental and punishing society, yet they prosper. My God, will the evils of Capitalism ever be defeated? “We need a Hero.” The cry has echoed across the land and sea, to the far reaches of Asia and Africa. From the crowd our hero strides, confident and bold…sling and stone in hand, ready to defeat the beast that threatens to consume us all. What…? That’s a friggin’ Penguin… and he looks, well he looks like a cartoon character…Oh man, are we screwed!
Well folks, history is full of examples where the under-estimation of an enemy was the downfall of the great. Goliath scoffed at David as he stepped out to do battle. He got a rock along side of his head for his efforts. The scorn he displayed for his enemy got him dead. Man, what was with the post-rock-in-the-head-decapitation? Must be a regional thing. Each and every one of us who use Linux has a sling and rock in hand, however our target is not so easily struck. Microsoft has pulled off a stunning marketing strategy that not only boasts of a global product use, the owner of Microsoft has become the richest man in the world from his efforts and with that wealth comes massive influence. Huge office structures and production facilities dot the planet and their power is seen on over ninety percent of the computers operational today. Yet this tiny effort, this thing called Linux has begun to distract the behemoth. OK…so now we have their attention, what now?
If we are to learn anything from history, both recent and ancient, it should be that the best plan of any war is to win the hearts and minds of those caught up in the conflict. Having the best product does not defeat a better marketing plan. Can you say Macintosh? Just to refresh something I have mentioned, oh…just about ten thousand times before…the fragmentation of Linux is as much of a hindrance to us as it is an advantage. The New User not only has to decide to use Linux, but which Linux to use, and she has almost 400 distributions to choose from. Now, how is she going to decide? She is going to ask a friend, but wait…how many of her friends use Linux vs Windows? See…it gets a bit messy from here on in. It would seem to me that unless someone was just dead-set in switching to Linux, only then would they start to make the distinction between distributions and begin research and experimentation. The logical conclusion would be to just advertise Linux as a product, then explain the options available to the New User in the advertisement. The term “Distro Wars” did not come about in an off-hand way…there really is a war raging between many of the Linux Distributions and the haunting sound you hear wafting on the wind is laughter…and it’s coming from Redmond Washington.
OK wise guy…who’s gonna pay for this “advertising?” Good question. You are…and I am, and everyone that belongs to a Linux sub-community. You Like PCLinuxOS? Get with your Community and see if you can’t arrange for a portion of the monthly donations to be set aside for a local radio ad campaign. Your looking at about two thousand bucks for a weeks worth of 30 second spots over a period of a week. Of course that is based on what I know and what I know is the Austin Texas market. How would I know that? Because I am paying for the exact plan stated above…maybe as early as July or as late as…well as late as the 1.0 release hits the repositories. Not everyone can do that, I understand, but you can contribute a little to a fund that can. This is where the mouth gets separated from the feet. Are you going to talk about it or are you gonna take the steps necessary to get ‘er done?
Now you thought that the title of this blog “I’m ready To Pick a Fight” was pointed toward Redmond didn’t you. Well, it was, but we will see judging from the comments and reaction to this blog who the fight will really be with. Bring lots of rocks.