Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1134 mails)

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Re: Post-12.2 Market Research / Planning (was Re: [opensuse-factory] Calling for a new openSUSE development model)
  • From: Nelson Marques <nmo.marques@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 21:39:13 +0100
  • Message-id: <>
3. Here's where my knowledge is hazy, but I'm going to take a stab at
it. I think the most commonly used *community* distros in server
deployment are CentOS, a respin from source RPMs of RHEL, and Debian.
There are a lot of servers running Ubuntu but I'm calling that a
commercial distro, not a community one. My impression is that there
are few servers running openSUSE; most Linux servers are either
running a supported commercial distro, CentOS or Debian. If someone
can point me to recent and accurate survey data on Linux server usage,
I'd be eternally grateful. ;-)

I would dare to say that my employer alone (the Group) has more RHEL
machines than there are CentOS and Ubuntu's together on the country!
None of our machines are visible on the internet, none of them are
accounted for.

4. Linux on desktops / laptops is essentially irrelevant. Again, I
haven't seen recent figures, but my impression is that at *most* Linux
represents three percent of the market, with the rest split somewhere
in the 85:15 ratio between Windows and MacOS X. Linux netbooks were
not commercially viable.

Why are they irrelevant? Using national numbers, Linux Desktop usage
is around 1.13%; now in my country thats like 113.000 ? (if my math is
good); Numbers from a conference last year sponsored by Novell and
Microsoft ;)

The general principles of strategic marketing are fairly well known
and I don't want to go into a lecture here. Briefly, you want to
invest in *growing* markets and capture market share of *paying
customers*, not *users*. The markets that I see growing are cloud /
IaaS / PaaS, "big data / data science / business intelligence / text
analytics", and "social / local / mobile". That's where Red Hat /
Fedora are investing, and that's where Canonical / Ubuntu is
investing. And that's where I think SUSE/openSUSE needs to invest.

Before someone decides about strategies (we all remember the last
fiasco), how about available CAPEX? Before CAPEX numbers are known,
there's no strategy, just FUD.

I don't believe the community has public number on available funds or
even how they are used... ;) And we will never will... most likely...

I'll leave my original questions that I left in OSC2010:

* Where are we ?
* Where do we want to go?
* How do we get there?
* How do we ensure a good 'arrival'?
* How do we measure stuff up ?

There's no strategy before you have a clear answer to those
questions... and that's where it all begins... Good luck handling the
trolls and marketing wannabes (there a lot of them around)

1. I think we need an openSUSE PaaS. Red Hat/Fedora has OpenShift, and
Ubuntu is the core of VMware's Cloud Foundry. Both Fedora and Ubuntu
ship with OpenStack Essex. I think 12.2 should ship with OpenStack
Essex, not Diablo, but that's not going to happen. I can live with the
B1 Systems repositories for now.

A pair of extra monkeys under Coolo's charge would probably help
more... It's clear to us that Coolo's days have now 36 hours... The
guy is gonna burn out if no one helps him out...

2. I think we need to package the major "big data" infrastructure
tools. Hadoop for sure, but probably damn near everything the Apache
Foundation maintains - Mahout, Cassandra, the UIMA natural language
processing infrastructure, etc. There's a fair amount of yak shaving
there; in particular making all the Apache magic run with OpenJDK is a
bit of effort, but somebody needs to do it. OBS is the logical place
to do that.

We need manpower...

3. Ubuntu is absolutely crushing the rest of the distros in social /
local / mobile. They've got docking with Androids, an app store, music

No you are wrong... Android is crushing everyone... +900.000
activations per day... Ubuntu is far from that... When Ubuntu entered
the war, it was won already a long time by Google... Wait 5 years and
then let me know ;)

services, ... Fedora doesn't seem to care about this at all, and
perhaps Red Hat made a conscious business decision based on hard data.

Red Hat has a far different model from openSUSE; The only thing Red
Hat and SUSE share is that they both have people who can code and fix
things if needed (unlike Canonical). We can't compare openSUSE with
Fedora... We maintain packages and very few code... Fedora mantains
real code. Though we publish faster ;)

We are good at distribution of software... but the real problem is
that our user base is shy... This doesn't change without a full bald
approach and a real 'crush the enemy' strategy... People don't want to
wage war... no pain... no gain... quite simple.

We need to get some hard data and make the conscious business
decisions - can SUSE/openSUSE *win business* in social / local /

Wrong... what openSUSE needs is a direct investment on a niche and
specilization on that niche (may it be Desktop ? ;) ). We can be
everywhere, we have no manpower... and by being everywhere without
manpower to cover it, we are loosing credibility...

Forget mobile, that's iOS and Android... Even Nokia got bulldozed
there... ;) What do you think can do? (Even if openSUSE or SUSE isn't
run by an idiot with allegiance to Microsoft)

mobile, and how do we do it? Partner with Intel / Samsung / Tizen? In
case you missed it, Nokia dropped Meego, HP flushed WebOS and RIM is
on the ropes. I think there's an opportunity here.

For partnerships you need something to offer... what can you offer to
Samsung? :)

Honestly, openSUSE isn't going to change in the future, unless you get
a real psycho in charge who is crazy enough to change radically it's
direction and moves openSUSE into a specialized area... be it Desktop,
software distribution, Server, etc... openSUSE suffers from an
identity crisis...

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