Sell- Verb (used with object)- to persuade or induce (someone) to buy or use something
That’s one of the many definitions of the word sell, it is also the definition which allowed me to use the word in this context. This post is all about how we (as a community of Linux users) could persuade or induce someone or some people to use Linux in many different ways; whether is be in an organisation or for personal use.
At the time of writing this a few big Linux based Operating Systems have just been released or are going to be release (Ubuntu 10.04, Linux Mint 9 and Fedora 13) however there is still a majority of Windows users controlling the OS market. Linux– along with Mac OSX, however, are growing in user base size: slowly but surely. The most used OS is Windows XP with over 50% and then Windows Vista with just over 21% then Windows 7 with just under 15%, Mac then makes an entrance here with about 7% if you include the iPhone OS which has a 0.75% share (not far from main-stream Linux), this is where Linux enters- with just over 1% of the global usage. See the pie chart below for a visual representation (sorry about the quality)
Okay I am going to present 3 possible options, which, in my view would help the growth of Linux in general, whether it be Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS. At the end I will display a poll for everyone to vote in, I would also greatly appreciate other peoples thoughts and ideas on the subject and I will post them together in one post and link back to your blog or website.
1.Firstly, I think that the Linux community should elect members of it to represent the community (i.e. Ubuntu or Fedora) in his/her local area, whose job it would be to visit kindergartens, elementary school, high schools or colleges and try and persuade the person in charge of the I.T. in the school to implement a Linux distro. They would be required to prepare presentations on why Linux betters Windows (or even Mac in some schools) and show the advantages of running Linux; such as the cost reduction and less support needed.
- The person/s who was elected would be paid using donations to the distro fund, which, I am sure is certainly not empty (may I point out that it is not full either and I will leave a link at the end for you to donate) and could spare a little money just to pay the person/s for their time (unless they chose to do it voluntarily). I am sure that most distros would be happy to supply the elected member/s with an unlimited supply of free merchandise or copies of the distro in question.
2. Another idea is that the entire Linux community picks a distro from the most used ones (see DistroWatch) which will be pitched to a large computer manufacturing company like Dell or HP as either the default OS shipped with the product (either laptop or desktop) or built in to the computer in a partition split equally between it and Windows. This would be a great option as the users could easily make a choice on which OS they wanted at the beginning without all the messing around downloading the distro then burning it to a disk or USB stick and then installing it and perhaps even making a partition on their hard drive in the middle. The user would be able to make an educated choice by reading the information which the company producing the computer would be asked to deliver showing the benefits of each operating system compared to other.
This could open up an entire market for the latest laptops and desktop computers which is based around two rival companies both trying to outbid each other to make the latest technology exclusive to their OS. It could even encourage companies like Apple to team up with Linux and try and expel Microsoft from certain sectors of the market.
3. Thirdly and finally in my list of ideas is to set up an online store (if you can call it a store) which if you provide your address and/or email address they will send you a copy of whatever Linux distro you want. It would be funded by ads on the website as well as a one time promotional flyer through the post with your disk (which would be sponsored) and a single sponsored email- both of which would have been warned of from the beginning. It is a viable option financially as all expenses such as; disk costs and postage costs would be covered by the ads both digital and paper form.
This service could be publicised by Linux users themselves just by sending an email to they’re contacts or sending a message on Facebook to all the users friends advising use of the service. Naturally, most people would take anything they could for free. I am prepared to wager with you that the majority of non-technical users would attempt to install it if they understood the instructions and warnings. Of course we mustn’t forget what lots of bells and whistles can do in computer software and hardware.
Okay now is your chance to vote on what you thought was my best idea- here is the poll!
Well there is my ideas, if anyone has ideas please leave a comment here or send me an email. Remember to share this blog with your friends and tell them about it!
Remember if you want to donate the Linux you should visit your favourite distro’s website and donate there!