A very important factor in the determinant of the success of an OS is its acceptance and adoption by the enterprise world. Ubuntu Linux, over the past several years has made great strides in winning over a lot of home users. The story is different though when it comes to the enterprise world. It seems to me that the strategy being used by Canonical to penetrate the enterprise market is at best not working.
The competitive advantage of “free” that Ubuntu has simply does not sell with the enterprise market. Most corporate users would not migrate to Ubuntu simply because it is free. As long as they are willing to pay lots of money for MS Windows licenses, then it invariably means that to corporate and enterprise customers there is a price lower than free.
Most of the marketing strategy being used by Canonical, I believe , focuses too much on just the “free” aspect of Ubuntu neglecting all the other very important factors that can help Ubuntu compete favorably in the enterprise world not just against Windows but also heavy weight Linux giants like Redhat and Novell. In a previous post, I enumerated these very important elements of Ubuntu that are simply not given the right publicity by Canonical.
Come this October, there is going to be a showdown between the release of Ubuntu Karmic Koala and Windows 7. All reviews that will be made about the new Ubuntu release is going to be in comparison to Windows 7. This is really going to be a very important test of the success of the Ubuntu project to date given the relatively favorable (paid?) reviews that Windows 7 has received. The earlier Canonical starts making known all the other elements of the Ubuntu project to the enterprise market the better.
Canonical must make it known to prospective corporate users who want to migrate to Ubuntu that its not just a hobbyist OS or just a desktop one. The factors of support, server and virtualization among others must be made known to all and sundry. To corporate and enterprise users, there is a price lower than free and it is that price that Canonical must try to beat in order to make a headway in the very profitable enterprise world.
What ways do you think Canonical can use to penetrate the enterprise market? Do you think the current strategy is working? Share your thoughts.