I’ve always wondered why there has yet to be a Linux distribution that has ventured into a big time marketing campaign for its Linux product. With Mac OSX stealing a lot of Microsoft’s market share due to a great marketing campaign with the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” television commercials, why have we yet to see any Linux commercials? Why are there no huge campaigns by big companies like Red Hat, Canonical (Ubuntu), or Novell to get users to switch to their product as an alternative to both Windows and Mac OSX? I’ve come up with a few reasons why I think Linux doesn’t market to the masses. If you have anything to add please feel free to leave a comment.
Linux is Free
Lets face it. Linux is a free operating system. With that said, the most obvious question is why would a company like Canonical throw a million dollars at a campaign to get new users to switch from Microsoft Windows or Mac OSX to Ubuntu, when Ubuntu can be obtained for free?
Are Linux Users Too Cheap?
Another question that is worth asking is are Linux users cheap? Linux is free, most of the Linux software available is free, and a good majority of users who use Linux do so for the exact reason that it cost absolutely nothing. This definitely has to have an effect on a large companies motives to market Linux to the masses. Would Linux users actually pay for something? Would investing in a marketing campaign yield profitable results? Today, I can’t see how it would. It’s safe to assume that most large corporations perceive Linux users as too cheap to market to. It’s up to us as Linux users to prove them otherwise. How can we show them we’re a profitable market and boost Linux into a profitable and mainstream shelf product?
Rethinking and Corporate Backing
If Linux ever wants to gain more of a market share in the desktop computer world, we need to rethink how we market to new users. Corporate backing and a strong marketing campaign can bring on a great deal of new users and awareness of an alternative to Windows and Mac OSX. New users and a wider audience can bring a ton of good (and some bad) to the Linux desktop. Linux has done great thus far with word of mouth advertising, but it’s time to push Linux to the mainstream audience with some powerful marketing campaigns.
I’ve asked a lot of questions in this post that I don’t have an answer to. I’d like to hear your input. Please leave a comment.
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