Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (328 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Boxed editions slipping on release dates (3 weeks in some cases)
  • From: "Eric Springer" <erikina@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2008 20:30:29 +1000
  • Message-id: <ce9c609e0812240230l636b09c0he996f3c40418a26@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, Dec 24, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Bryen <suserocks@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
1) As the x.x.x version is specifically marketed as a perfected version,
we're selling an expectation to potential customers. The expectation
being that this version really does work and is better than the original
version x.x. That means we would have to go through a testing process
to ensure the validity of our claim. Because this is specifically
designed for situations where money changes hands, we have to back up
the marketing claim of the media.

How do we do this in a way that doesn't conflict or become a drag on our
regular x.x testing process?

Well, it will be happening 1+ month(s) after the x.x release. And the
only changes would be stuff that have been pushed to x.x (which
presumably means it has been tested).

We're just updating a few packages and rebuilding the image. In fact,
I don't see why we can't do this every month -- for downloaded copies
too. Why make someone download/get the old version, to only have to
update it immediately -- when he have a capable and automated build
service.

And I must admit, I'm not a big fan of the whole x.x.x naming idea --
it seems too long and unintuitive for users to understand. Why not
recycle a bit of terminology from the Windows world, "Service Pack".
When it gets to a critical level, we whip up a new image AKA a new
"openSUSE x.x service pack x". It'll help people understand that
x.x.x is a not a new release compared to x.x, and use the same term
Windows users are familiar with.


2) The obvious goal here is to increase purchases of packaged openSUSE
(in whatever format is decided upon.) If we do this, how do we market
it? It is already determined that stocking shelves has become
cost-prohibitive.

Through existing openSUSE fans/users. As I said earlier, I'd
personally buy a couple dozen copies (if it's got a nice little paper
sleeve, and a nice looking DVD) and hand them out. (Perhaps even ask
for the money I paid, if I was feeling particularly cheap).


There's also the problem that the media may not consider it a big enough
story to write about like they do for standard releases. So there's no
guarantee that we'll get the publicity we need to boost sales.

True, but there are no such guarantees now -- and it's important to
not compromise too many good practices in search of short term
publicity.



I do think we should adopt a model that many software companies are
adopting in which they leave most sales in the hands of resellers.
Community members can be considered as resellers. They can purchase
packaged media in bulk at a discount rate and then resell them at
whatever venue or face-to-face they choose, and at a price they choose.

It has two benefits: 1) Potential resellers are more motivated to push
openSUSE to the masses and 2) Potential resellers understand their local
markets better than any mass global marketing effort could. (okay, not
always)

It's not a bad idea, but it's targeting the wrong people in my
opinion. Very few people care about their operating system, or would
be willing to change it. And those people will tend to find it on
their own. Our advantage is price, and end users have already paid it.
They are the wrong market.

We should be targeting OEMs, schools, universities and work places. I
know of a (not so large) businesses that has budgeted over $100,000
_per year_ towards software licensing (+ the cost of a couple fulltime
windows sysadmins). They do nothing that requires any of this crap.
I'm sure they'd be happy to pay $100,000 up front for a smooth
migration to Linux. That's a 100% return in a year! And something a
few Novell staff could manage in a week. The main resistance will come
from FUD from existing sysadmins because they don't know how to use
Linux and don't want to learn it.

I'm sure the case for Universities is no different. And for the life
of me, I can't see why OEMs aren't falling over themselves to slash
$80+ (depending on the edition of windows) off the prices of their
machines. If doing saw causes Windows to start charging them more on
the Windows they do sell, I believe it would be a textbook antitrust
case. But leave that to the OEMs, we should target them heavily. Let's
find out what they want, and lets do it.

But I'll stop now, as I've somehow ended up talking Novell business
strategy rather than openSUSE.
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