20 March 2007

In the (Marketing) Belly of the Beast

It's always a good idea to try to understand how Microsoft regards the world of free software, and there's no better way of doing that than reading its own materials aimed at beating open source. Here's a good example, called Linux Personas, which presents various kinds of GNU/Linux users and how to win them back to Windows.

Perhaps the most interesting category is the Linux Aficionado - hard-core open source geek, in other words. The two key approaches are the usual tired TCO studies - a pretty forlorn hope given the extent to which they have been debunked - and an argument based on the strength of Windows' integrated platform.

The latter has always truck me as one of the better points, since it is (currently) a key differentiator for Microsoft. I still don't see geeks going for it (their senior managers might, though). What's more important in this context, perhaps, is the rise of the open source stack, which effectively is building a counter-argument to this. (Via Slashdot.)

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