Uninformed shoppers blaming Ubuntu: a brief TODO list for Canonical

My own perception of the debacle about the end-user who decided to cancel her college enrollment because she could not get Microsoft products to install on Ubuntu is three folds:

  • Canonical and Dell evidently need to improve their marketing efforts, because the user didn't realize what she was purchasing. Knowledge of what Ubuntu is and how it can interact with the rest of the world clearly wasn't passed on in the form of a small printed User's Guide that should have come with the newly purchased laptop computer. Additionally Dell most definitely needs to make emphasize the same information in its online shop to help customers make an informed decision (and, no, eschewing the problem by obfuscating or removing non-Microsoft alternatives to the purchasing options isn't the right answer).
  • The newspaper that reported on the story really needs to do its homework to more accurately report what is Ubuntu and, perhaps, participate in the efforts to educate the masses about non-Microsoft alternatives in the Operating System market. Educating the Press to enable this might require hiring a dedicated person at Canonical to work with the non-industry Press.
  • The girl in question really needs to get a hold of herself, the sooner the better. Her hasty withdrawal from her enrollment was clearly unwarranted and her attitude of crying wolf and blaming everyone else for her own failure at making an informed purchase speaks volumes.

Personally, I think that Canonical needs to hire an individual that understands the above three aspects and, most of all, how to remedy them, as its next OEM channel Manager, if they truly want to increase Ubuntu's market penetration.


Jon Dowland said...

I disagree with point 2. I read the story and although it's an unfortunate story and bad publicity for Ubuntu, I cannot see any factual error or bias in the way in which the situation was reported. In fact, the bottom third of the story goes on to explain that she *could* connect to the 'net with Ubuntu and she *could* read and write word documents with OO.o.

Bananas in the Falklands said...

Dells job is to sell computers in volume, not nanny idiots whom probably opted for the cheapest computer that could run a wordprocesser on which is probably what she specifed.

I'm not trying to defend Dell.

Dell do offer help over the call of duty, but you have to pay for it, somehow the lady seems not to have been inclined to do that either, or seek help from anybody anywhere.

Her response to call an tv station means that in reality nobody here comes out looking good and no person could help really.

I know linux works, im not forced to use it, and yes it is useable. But when a cavewoman finds a spaceship ....

What also we dont know is if connecting to the internet and installing a wordprocessor / etc would have been too hard her even in windows.