[Marketing] Competition for the XO

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 06:18:01 EDT 2009

This list from early 2008 is way out of date... for OLPC, they are off
by a million machines or so :D

Nevertheless, it is useful, thanks Tim

I agree that any OEM deal will raise Sugar's profile immensely.
However, seeing OEMs is time and travel intensive, difficult with our
limited resources. I should add that as we are dependent on an
underlying distro, all of which have encountered difficulties inking
OEM deals.

It's my belief that the most promising OEM deals with GNU/Linux
distros and "Sugar on top" will happen over non-x86 processor
architectures such as ARM - in other words, on machines which can't
run Windows. This is how EeePC started the retail netbook craze;
Windows couldn't run on the lowest-end netbooks, and even where they
could, they didn't wish to be price-squeezed at the bottom of the
market. Their response has been to pressure OEMs to beef up netbook
specs and drop GNU/Linux distros, to rename netbooks as "ULCPCs" (a
total failure), and to insure that Windows 7 will be technically able
to run on netbooks. They are claiming this for the launch later this
month, but what's missing is how they intend to ease the upgrade path
from Windows XP (wipe and install necessary) on machines with no
optical drives. Is online update of the whole OS an option? Or
requiring price-conscious netbook owners to buy an external optical
drive just for the upgrade? I myself believe the rumors that there
will be a Windows USB stick SKU, possibly with a tool for saving and
reinstalling WinXP data. None of the major tech journalists following
Microsoft are talking about this problem which leads me to believe
they have been briefed on Microsoft's plans under embargo.

Our approach up to now has been to establish our identity parallel to
but separate from OLPC, in order to minimize the impact of their bad
press, while at the same time supporting OLPC as our primary installed
base. OEM deciders need to know about us - Mike Lee mentioned how at
NECC in Washington DC a few months back, he showed Sugar on a Stick
running on an EeePC to a surprised Asus executive - so we work on
raising our public profile and building a meme that "Sugar runs on
everything". Press launches raise buzz and the news reaches NGOs too.
We are also planning promotional work to NGOs with the FSF.

Concretely, what this means is I try to add the names of OEM execs to
our press mailing list, and we are making efforts to be present at
education tech shows and conferences where OEMs can see us.

How do you think we could better reach OEMs? There is of course
working the phones, which David and Walter do a lot of.

Finally, there is the community aspect. OEMs will take risks choosing
any GNU/Linux distro and for a Sugar-branded machine in particular.
They want to know that our community is vibrant, growing, active in
the distro ecosystem, and well-governed.


On Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 5:06 AM, Tim McNamara
<paperless at timmcnamara.co.nz> wrote:
> Hi all,
> While we're on the subject of competition, here is a list of low powered
> machines produced by the World
> Bank: http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.107.html
> Perhaps the marketing team could think of a strategy to approach some of
> these vendors? Or perhaps even the World Bank, itself. I'm sure there will
> be lots of interest in the minds of the right individuals.
> Tim
> _______________________________________________
> Marketing mailing list
> Marketing at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/marketing

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