Will XP Users Shun Windows 8 in Favor of Ubuntu? Page 2: Page 2

While Ubuntu use is growing, a flood of new users is unlikely unless the open source community does a better job of getting the word out.
Posted October 30, 2012

Matt Hartley

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We Need to Go to the People

Finding myself rather disenfranchised with the LoCo approach to community outreach, I think that taking the following approach would be vastly more effective. How do I know? Because I’ve done this with non-Linux products in my youth and will tell you firsthand, this works.

Linux events aren’t enough. We need to start looking at where the "real" people are. Schools, malls, airports, anyplace one can set up a table with access to power and broadband should have a means of demonstrating what Ubuntu can do!

The obvious hurdle would be getting the funds to make such a thing happen. So I propose recruiting tech-savvy big dollar sponsors, such as HP, Intel and Google, among others!

The idea is to frequent someplace where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. And if possible, use a video camera to capture the actual reactions of people using Ubuntu for the first time. I can attest to the fact that most user reactions are priceless and positive!

From there, we could open up a true dialog. We could sell flash drives with Ubuntu pre-loaded, and put the captured video onto YouTube for all to see.

Get a viral campaign going. Put out a call to the community to share why they love using Ubuntu. Perhaps we could even use the idea behind the once-successful Mozilla Firefox Flix campaign! A video like this explaining the dangers of using Windows 8 would go viral very quickly.

The ideas listed above would easily help get the word out about Ubuntu and potentially help steer those legacy-loving Windows XP users into the arms of a better operating system.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it--the reasons why someone would or wouldn’t consider making the leap to Ubuntu from Windows, the challenges that may be faced and my suggestion for a way to get the word out about Ubuntu to Windows users.

My goal with this article is to make sure we are actually being realistic about how we are attracting new Ubuntu users. As things stand now, new users are coming on board through one of the following ways:

  • Schools/Work -- Some schools and workplaces are using Ubuntu as the standard desktop operating system, which introduces new users to the OS.
  • Introduced by a geek -- A friend or family member may have installed and set up Ubuntu.
  • Windows power users -- Oftentimes experienced, geeky Windows users show an interest in Ubuntu and want to learn more about it.

Each of these areas of Ubuntu discovery are fine; however, they are also very limiting. All of these methods of Ubuntu discovery require someone geeky enough to be the force pushing others into trying it. This simply isn’t enough, and as I discussed above, I think we can do better.

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Tags: open source, Linux, operating system, Ubuntu, Windows 8, Windows XP, desktop

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