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Re: How to compete against Ubuntu



Ubuntu is not worried about competing with Fedora. That's why we're worried about competing with them. That is to say, they made it a primary objective to be attractive to a different user than Fedora is. They went after the desktop, and wanted to be on OEM laptop preloads, etc. They also made it a core value to be a warm and inviting community, and their brand reeks of it--from their name, to their color scheme, to their logo. They're also getting a lot of steam from not being Red Hat. Not that Red Hat is bad, but the new kid in class always gets a lot of attention, doesn't he?

I'm more of a "raise the level of the ocean, and all ships rise together" sort of guy, but in a competitive situation, the only way to "beat" Ubuntu, is to get where they are heading, and not worry about where they are right now. For example, Red Hat didn't beat M$ on the desktop, they beat them to UNIX consolidation in the data center. So "competing" with Ubunutu would mean Fedora needs to make a sea change in it's core vision--which is working, so it would be at the expense of where Fedora already has an advantage or stringer brand than Ubuntu. Do we want that? Would going there make us weaken our stronger points, and thusly actually help Ubuntu? Are we willing to install non-free software so that folks who don't understand what's truly at stake like us more? Is Ubuntu actually proving the power of Linux by installing Adobe's Flash player? Or are they compromising the underlying values of F/OSS a little at a time? So what do they stand for, what would they flatly refuse to do, even if it put them at a competitive disadvantage? I don't know, but I know where Fedora stands. When Ubuntu wins, so does proprietary and patent encumbered software.

Where Fedora wins, freedom wins.

We can be a nicer bunch of folks, we can warm up the brand, we can make a conscious effort to be as warm and inviting as Ubuntu, we can be more viral, more word of mouth. But we can't become the fresh faced new kid, and we can't walk away from free as in freedom.

--jeremy



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