Open Source

Microsoft tips for pitching to Linux geeks

Sometimes something appears that makes you scratch your head so much that you fear that you may inflict a self-imposed scalping

Sometimes something appears that makes you scratch your head so much that you fear that you may inflict a self-imposed scalping, such was the dandruff clearing delusion caused by this site: www.linuxpersonas.com.

In my opinion I think the way to beat a competing operating system is to make a technically superior one that is easier to use and more secure. As the market share leader I would assume that this would be par for the course.

Alas, this isn't so. Therefore what we have left are five personas for stereotyping Linux users such that you can pitch to them and convert them to your OS of choice, in this case Windows.

First cab off the rank in personas is the Linux Experimenter. This one is an easy sell since he is simply experimenting with Linux, the curious little bugger. A savvy pitch shall save him.

Next is the Market Follower, they are waiting for the wider market to adopt Linux then they will move (read sheep). We can ignore this person because if everything goes to plan then the market will never switch.

We then come to the Application Driven person who will choose functionality over any platform ideology. This person is far too sensible and pragmatic or simply doesn't buy into the platform propaganda war. Hopefully this type of person does not spread as there will be no one left for zealots to conduct flame wars with.

For some reason the sales pitch for this persona starts with "Empathise the value of the platform" — but I thought that they didn't care about the platform? This is why I never got into sales obviously.

UNIX transitioner is next and I think the less we say about UNIX the better. I wouldn't want to convert from System V to Windows or Linux — next!

Finally, my favourite, the Linux aficionado. The rotating quote beside him can say "I would put it on every desktop ... I would ban Microsoft®" (Boldness and register mark added by Microsoft). This is going to be a hard sell, how can we get beyond such prejudice?

Step One: "Avoid the Microsoft vs Open Source conservation and focus on specific workloads and business and IT pain points instead".
Good plan I reckon, what's next?

Step Two: "Rely on Get The Facts evidence and content to make the case for Windows®".
Something tells me that this isn't going to end happily.

Of course this strategy was always doomed to failure, we didn't have to go through all that puff to get here and I'll tell you why — it's all in the persona pictures. All those user pictures are too clean shaven to ever be a Linux user, how can you convert a Linux user if you've never seen one of their beards?



I rest my case.

About Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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