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Microsoft Linux Business

Microsoft Segments Linux "Personas" 558

RJ2770 writes "Microsoft has started a project for their partners to help identify the personas of different Linux users in an attempt to sway them toward Microsoft products. In addition to the web site there is a podcast on the market research behind the project, again directed at Microsoft's selling partners."
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Microsoft Segments Linux "Personas"

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  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:04PM (#18409859) Journal
    I guess MS can control /. and already knows that I won't be swayed, since I got a "nothing to see here message"
  • Selling Partners (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lithgon ( 896737 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:06PM (#18409877)
    I bet that the "Selling Partners" just happens to be a company named Dell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tverbeek ( 457094 ) *

      I bet that the "Selling Partners" just happens to be a company named Dell.

      Not in this case. Sure, Dell (and other PC OEMs) sell a lot of Windows XP/Vista for Microsoft, but Redmond also has a huge army of reseller/consultants who push Windows Server, IIS, ASP, SQL Server, etc. on business IT departments. What little of this training tool I was able to take in before my eyes glazed over was clearly written in their jargon, and aimed at helping Microsoft's sales drones keep penguins from taking over the Ent

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:10PM (#18409903)
    I want to vote on which one I am!
  • by theGreater ( 596196 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:11PM (#18409921) Homepage
    Under the "Application Driven" Persona Profile:

      - place application needs ahead of platform decisions
      - will support whatever platform best fits the application
      - application needs driven by business needs
      - very satisfied with current Linux installations

    So, remind me again how these bullet points help win AGAINST Linux?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
      It's part of a philosophy called "know thine enemy." Generally good practice, whether in business or at war.
      • by PinkPanther ( 42194 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:30PM (#18410113)

        Not sure if "enemy" is the right word to describe a (hopefully) potential customer.

        This site is a sales tool to help sales folks penetrate into different environments where Linux has some level of establishment. Based on a set of simplistic characteristics (how ingrained is Linux? how risk adverse is the customer? are they frothing-at-the-mouth OSS-kool-aid punch drunks?), the tool gives generalizations as to the type, size and length of each opportunity across 5 broad categories.

        This type of tool is great for sales folks trying to get their heads around something they don't really understand. Right off certain approaches with broad strokes, and push the blue kool-aid instead.

        Where a lot of this falls down is the reliance of already-proven sketchy evidence (Get The Facts, TCO studies, etc...), and some overly simplistic anecdotal evidence ("Customers are already switching from Apache/Linux to IIS6/Windows" ; "Customers are finding that development with ASP.NET is quicker and easier" ; ...). The reason that the sales cycle is longer for some of the types is that either they are rabid OSS drones (medium-length cycle; note to sales folks - do a political end-run around the geek) or they actually have successful experience with the alternative platforms (longest cycle; note to sales folks - it is going to be a hard fight and a lot of the "sales tools" relied on for other profiles likely will fail here).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "Not sure if "enemy" is the right word to describe a (hopefully) potential customer."

          That's the whole problem; Microsoft knows they need more potential customers, but they see _everybody_ as an enemy, even their loyal customers. Whether it's beneficail or not is irrelevant; it's the only way Microsoft is able to think.
        • Re:Targeted survey (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Technician ( 215283 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:16AM (#18410851)
          Where a lot of this falls down is the reliance of already-proven sketchy evidence (Get The Facts, TCO studies, etc...), and some overly simplistic anecdotal evidence ("Customers are already switching from Apache/Linux to IIS6/Windows" ; "Customers are finding that development with ASP.NET is quicker and easier" ; ...).

          I looked at all the personas and found every one of them fell in the range of 25-28 servers with the exception of the Unix one at 31 servers. Looks like a limited market segment survey to me. The segmemt missing is the SOHO or Home Office where computing is dependant on applications such as Quicken and an Office product and web browser. TCO is a big deciding factor. Instead of upgrading from MS office 97 and such, we built a white box computer and put Ubuntu on it. As a bonus, for our graphics arts we use the Gimp instead of Photoshop. We don't need another copy of AV software. The software savings has paid for the hardware. To share files, we picked up a NAS using Linux. It uses an encrypted Reiser filesystem and we have put all our printers on stand alone prinservers. The NAS and Printservers are all Linux. Other than some drastic price changes, there is little MS can do to get us to be an all MS office. We can't justify the cost. One copy of MS office is expensive. 4 copies (main office, kids PC, & 2 laptops is a show stopper. Linux does the job with either ABI Word or Open Office and doesn't break the budget. It also works with newer MS office files sent to us. Office 97 doesn't display them properly if at all.

          When the adoption rate reaches critical mass where I can pick up a copy of Turbo Tax for Linux and Quicken will be the day MS stock has a bad day. There isn't many markets with more price concious buyers than the SOHO market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by caitsith01 ( 606117 )
      Try actually reading the website - it's supposed to be helping MS people to identify and understand Linux people. That list is merely a list of characteristics of that type of Linux user, not a list of 'problems with Linux' or 'reasons to use MS.'

      In fact I think the open source movement should be waaaay more worried about this type of thing than the usual rantings from Redmond - this has the hallmarks of a well researched strategy, with good identification of the reasons people might be using Linux. That
      • by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:40AM (#18410625)
        The more they attack linux and open source the more make it legitimate in the eyes of the business users. They will never win that war.

        I suppose they tried ignoring it and it didn't go away so now there are no other options but still.
      • "Try actually reading the website "

        I did, it crashed my browser.
        • It crashed on that flash monstrosity that showsup in a POPUP.

          I can only guess this site was never meant to be read by actuall linux users but rather by just by windows sellers who offcourse run windows and LOVE flash and popups.

          Anyway it crashed opera wich is something that hasn't happened in a LONG time. Good job MS. Even on Linux/Opera you can still give me a IE experience.

      • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @06:09AM (#18411971) Homepage
        o The tree-hugger : Loves Linux because it's open source. Like to have freedom to access everything he paid for. He finds the concept of "you don't own the software, you own a license that enables you to use it" ackward.
        - MS may mention the Microsoft Shared source project, and the pacts with some government and military to share the source of select OS parts. ...but I think it'll be just as effective as the TCO / Get the facts

        o University shops : Ok, the campus discount prices are a good thing, but some work need highly customisable code to hack until it fits the solution. Also, lot of clusters running in the physics, biomed and math department. Plus, CompSci needs a OS freely hackable to teach OS programming.
        - MS may mention the MS-Shared source project (not interesting for CompSci they need OS source)
        or Pact with governments (out of University budget) or Windows CE custom kits (out of University budget due to number of seats) or MS Windows Cluster edition (not hackable).

        o The I WANT TO BE IN CHARGE Linux user : he bought, he wants to be in charge. He hates DRM and his worst dream is TCP.
        - MS May mention that DRM is needed for the market place, or go for the Jobs defense (I isn't my fault, the MAFIAA made me do it). They may try to show that MS can lead a game of cat and mouse chase in terms of format compatibility.

        o The "I want a standart format" OOo user : he want a well documented format, that he'll be able to open on other OpenDoc compliant softs and could store for long term without being affraid of un-supported / out dated / license-expired software.
        - MS should mention that their OOXML format is soon ISO standart too and has many features that lacks in... (Shut up ! 6000 pages is a joke)

        o The complete free ride : he wants to pay absolute 0$ for things that can be downloaded free. Preferably in a legal manner.
        - MS should mention that the beige box hardware came at a price.
        - MS should mention the cheap Starter Edition... ok we all know this one is a joke. Then MS should secretly point out that pirate edition of its software is widely available, and Genuine Advantage can be circumvented.

        o Google : They mostly use Linux to avoid astronomical license cost and to have customizeability.
        - MS should send Balmer to fucking kill them throwing chairs

        o The I don't play games guy : The single actual good argument for Windows is gone.
        - MS... is doomed.

        Seriously, to respond to this Linux community should focus on the main points Microsoft will never be able to compete with :

        - Free/Libre Opensource software : No matter what, what you got is yours and you're free to do whatever pleases you with it. You can even share those results as long as you comply with the license. With microsoft, unless you're a government or military, or if you buy (wads of cash) $ for a customisable kit (WinCE or Win XPe) you'll never be able to hack legally the OS nor distribute the modifications.

        - Every improvement of the OS technology done as a Master Thesis can be implemented for Linux (instead for some toy proof-of-concept OS) and if it proves useful, pass tests and is accepted by A. M., it can immediately be made available for all users around the world. You can't do the same stuff for microsoft products, or then you must work in the MS campus and your improvement will be sold as the next pay-for version of Windows (if it has the chance not to be scraped together with WinFS and all those cool features that were always promised and always postponed to the next version).

        - No DRM : You are the one in charge of you computer.

        - No per-seat price : You have on copy of Linux, you can install it on every one of the thousand computer in your shop, and let your users install it at their home, on their laptop, on their kids' computers, their neighbours', etc. With Microsoft even if you're a University with discount, you still have to pay a fee depending on the number of students, and only staff has the right to take home
    • by guisar ( 69737 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:20AM (#18410481) Homepage
      It's interesting, having watched the podcast and having recently attended an OLPC presentation, to compare and contrast. At the OLPC demo I was VERY impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the OLPC reps. Each and everyone was sincere and very focused on what might improve the PC. They were open to any and all ideas and very seemingly adept at both implementing good ideas quickly and removing cruft whenever it was discovered.

      The MS presentation was also very focused- in this case not on what might help the person do their job better or save them money but - how soon you could sell and what their potential revenue stream was. Yeah- the "zunecast" was a sales pitch but couldn't they at least have thrown in a bone about helping the customer?

      I experience it all the time. MS Fanboys are SELL, SELL, SELL. Every pitch is dedicated to SELL, SELL, SELL. So I get it- sales are important to a business but really, it's annoying. Right up there with telemarketers at this stage.

  • The gloves are off (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:12PM (#18409923) Homepage
    I expect that for the next few weeks the majority of the "Linux community" will be on the floor foaming and making lame jokes about Bob and flying chairs.

    Microsoft is taking you seriously now - you better start doing the same thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
      "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant."
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:22PM (#18410039) Journal
      Microsoft has been taking Linux seriously for some time. That's why they underwrote SCO's bullshit action against IBM. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be the guy reporting to Ballmer "They reason they like Linux is because they think you're a lying, thieving fuck with anger issues."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pembo13 ( 770295 )
      Who is this you? unline Microsoft, Linux is not a single , profit driven entity. And that is the beauty of it. It was always designed to be a problem solving and technology driven entity. The GNU people helped a great deal with adding problem solving tools. I don't use Linux heavily because it I think it is generally easier (which I do), not because access to it is free (which I appreciate, and helps takes the complexity out of things)... but I use it because I think it suits me, and the majority of my need
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 )
      "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
    • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:57AM (#18410759) Journal
      Okay.... I'll resist the temptation to talk about chairs, and start taking Microsoft seriously. I'm a Linux user in some MS category, and a marketing team from MS has flown down to my office from Seattle. What next?

      "I expect that for the next few weeks the majority of the "Linux community" will be on the floor foaming and making lame jokes about Bob and flying chairs.

      Microsoft is taking you seriously now - you better start doing the same thing."

      MS Team: We are very serious!
      Me: Shall I call an ambulance?
      MS Team: No no no.... we are very serious about you, a Linux user.
      Me: I see... take your chairs..... ooops take your seats and let's talk seriously.
      MS Team: We are serious about you. Which category Linux user are you?
      Me: I'm just a Linux user.
      MS Team: Are you an experimenter, follower, aficionado, transitioner or...
      Me: I'm just a normal Linux user.
      MS Team: Before we talk among ourselves in the presentation we must classify you. Why do you like Linux?
      Me: Because it works all the time, gets my work done, doesn't bother me with Genuine Updates.
      MS Team: But we are serious about security. Is Linux secure? Are you secure?
      Me: I'm very serious about my job security. I've been running this Linux server app for over 5 years, no problems till date... just user management and the odd feature upgrade.
      MS Team: We are serious about security. Did you know that the London stock exchange uses Windows Servers because of security?
      Me: How much did they pay for the servers?
      MS Team: We are serious about security. Hmm... let's see... just a few million quid...
      Me: My job will be gone if I bought your servers for 'security' reasons... what is this security you talk of?
      MS: We are serious about security... our server is so secure no one can break in... we'll be monitoring it ourselves to see nothing touches your server... only licensed signed applications will run... unlike your Linux box which runs everything.
      Me: Will it run my application?
      MS Team: We are serious about security. Have you got it certified by Verizon?
      Me: Nope... why should I certify MY program which I wrote with some XYZ comapny?
      MS Team: We are serious about security. How else can we know your app is not a virus?
      Me: But why would I write a virus on my own server?
      MS Team: We're serious about security. How do we know who wrote it? We've got to certify everything that runs on your server.... we're serious about security.
      Me: What if I perform some feature upgrades? Should those be certified as well?
      MS Team: We are serious about security. Every program has to be certified.
      Me: I'd be damned if I'm gonna send every bit of code to you guys for labelling.
      MS Team: We are serious about security. How else will you be secure?
      Me: Maybe because I believe in myself and my programming skills?
      MS Team: We are serious about security. Are you a certified programmer?
      Me: Nope.... but I'm sure each one of you is Certified.... idiots, that is. Now get the hell outta here and get yourselves certified again. Seriously!
      MS Team: We are serious about you, a Linux user. We are serious about security.

    • by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:57AM (#18410761) Homepage

      Microsoft is taking you seriously now - you better start doing the same thing.

      Eh, fuck 'em. You can't stop people from working on software in their free time and giving it away.

      Not everyone cares about "beating" Microsoft.

    • by alienmole ( 15522 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @02:30AM (#18411215)

      Microsoft is taking you seriously now - you better start doing the same thing.
      Oh, please. Microsoft is in a desperate battle to hang onto its monopoly. Its revenues are at risk because its cash cow product lines have all long since hit maturity. And we should "take it seriously" why? Just ignore it, it'll go away.
    • by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @05:28AM (#18411827)

      Microsoft is taking you seriously now - you better start doing the same thing.
      Why? The 800-lb gorilla doesn't know which of the million gnats gnawing at its flesh to swat to make the rest of them go away. And all the swatting and thrashing it does only makes the swarm more aggressive.

      They tried to pass laws against open source which failed because too many enterprises use it. They tried (and continue to try) a FUD campaign which fails because too many people in the IT industry see the benefits vs the costs (both in downtime and in software price). They tried attacking through a separate company (SCO) but that failed and actually created a media storm for Linux and open source. Now with Novell, they are trying bundling with Linux.

      Microsoft doesn't know who, where or what to attack. For every foe they take out, another more innovative implementor arises. Could Microsoft have seen Ubuntu taking off? By the time they notice the threat, come up with a plan and act, it's already too late. The lb of flesh has been removed from their corpse. They act out of arrogance and in shows in everything they do as well as this latest campaign.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:13PM (#18409931) Homepage Journal

    It showed a picture of RMS and said "Give up".

  • Like M$ has 90% of the desktop I would think 90% of linux users are "advanced" computer users.
  • Damn, this entire campaign sounds like one fucking sad attempt at trolling.
    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:30PM (#18410105)
      Damn, this entire campaign sounds like one fucking sad attempt at trolling.

      Really? Because for years, I've been seeing posts and articles on slashdot that talk in terms of winning people over from MS to Linux. Unless that continually played tune is also trolling, then I don't think that MS trying to understand the different stripes of people that are (or might consider) using Linux is anything other than basic market research. Not all of the Ubuntu crowd may consider themselves to be "winning" someone away from Mandriva, but I'm sure that language gets used sometimes. Just like people in the Firefox camp often talk about winning a larger share of browser users away from MS.
  • Can Microsoft really have Linux in the domain name?
    • by gbobeck ( 926553 )

      Can Microsoft really have Linux in the domain name?

      Sure they can. Hell, they can have their own Linux distro if they really wanted to do that too.
      • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:22PM (#18410035)
        Hell, they can have their own Linux distro if they really wanted to do that too.

        "Your product must be validated before you can proceed. Click here to learn more about the advantages of owning Genuine Linux."
      • GP's point, I'm sure, is that Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. I'm no law-talking guy, so beyond that I'm not sure. has been around for a while, but I vaguely recall some other sites being sued or threatened.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pembo13 ( 770295 )
          Exactly, I mean...doesn't MS at least try to sue anyone with a domain name that resembles or includes theirs? I know they are free to have their own Linux distro. But to use the name for their own promotional material, I find that a bit strange.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gbobeck ( 926553 )
          Well, Linux is a registered trademark of LT (see [] )

          However, according to the FAQ at [],

          I am the registered owner of an internet domain which includes the term "Linux." Do I need a sublicense?

          The Linux Sublicense Agreement applies only to trademarks, but we recognize that internet domains are sometimes used as trademarks. If you are using your domain name as a trademark, then you will need a sublicense from LMI. For help determining whether your domain is a trademark, see

    • by Valar ( 167606 )
      I guess Linus could try to sue them, since he is the owner of the trademark. Of course, the Linux trademark has not been defended very aggresively previously and more importantly, Linus doesn't seem like the kind of chap to get the lawyers involved.
  • by NixieBunny ( 859050 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:14PM (#18409953) Homepage
    I work at a university using Linux for a distibuted telescope control system. There was nothing in the persona list about either universities or machine control. I guess we're safe from the Microsoft marketing megamachine for now.
  • by Mr_Tulip ( 639140 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:15PM (#18409963) Homepage
    #6: People who hate Microsoft, and would prefer to use an abacus to MS software (37% of slashdot users)
  • <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">flashEmbedString("uscsi_web .swf", "7","1000","650","#000000");</script>

    I see that Microsoft is taking good, strong steps to prevent those evil Linux users from viewing this secret data!

  • Domain WHOIS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheUni ( 1007895 )
    Do a WHOIS on the domain... not sure how comfortable I am pasting it here.

    Let's just say... it just oozes professionalism. And seems to have nothing to do with Microsoft
  • by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:18PM (#18409999) Homepage
    Linux users are, among other things:

    * People who like knowing what their computer is up to (kind of like motorheads for the information age);
    * People who don't like M$ deciding how their computers will work;
    * People who don't want to spend money when a more reliable solution exists for Free;
    * People who believe that competition is a Good Thing (tm);
    * People who resent being called pirates (at least without being able to make others walk the plank!)
    • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:30AM (#18410937)
      People who resent being called pirates

      They are broad with the term. If I retire my Dell PC and scrap it and put the XP OS on a white box replacement, I have Pirated XP.

      If I buy a Copy of MS Office for my personal use and put in on my laptop and desktop, I am a Pirate.

      A personal use site license is lacking in their EULA. I don't have either of those problems with any of my Linux installations.

      I can pick up a CD, Play it in my CD player, Rip it and play it on my PC, and put it on my MP3 player for personal use. MS made sure their products won't do that. Office won't run live on the CD. It fails WGA if installed on your PC and laptop. It's broken. Linux is not broken out of the box. The applications work if installed on your desktop and a laptop.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think you missed a real biggie:

      * People who believe that collaboration is a Good Thing (tm)

      Even though the great majority of Linux users are by now non-developers (a fact that has Monkeyboy & Co worried about Linux having reached the "good enough for most people" level), the idea of open and public cooperation (+ open standards), or rather awareness of their value, remains strong in the Linux user community. Somehow I doubt that MS would be keen to shine light on this aspect of Linux usership.


  • by homer_s ( 799572 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:20PM (#18410005)
    The word 'Microsoft' has the ® symbol following it while 'Linux' does not. Isn't the word 'Linux' copyrighted too?
    • by rehabdoll ( 221029 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:26PM (#18410077) Homepage
      Words are not copyrighted. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
      The word 'Microsoft' has the ® symbol following it while 'Linux' does not. Isn't the word 'Linux' copyrighted too?

      How many mistakes in that sentence?

      1) © is the Copyright symbol (clue: it begins with "C"), ® means "Registered" trademark.
      2)Trademark is not copyright.
      3)You can't "copyright" a single word.

      But yes, "Linux" is a trademark, owned by Linus Torvalds []. While you can use a trademark in an editorial way, as in "Linuxsucks", when you're a competitor using it in a commercial cam

  • Missing persona (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:20PM (#18410009)
    What is a Microsoft sales troll supposed to do about the missing entries:

    FSF True believer: If it ain't Free it isn't an option.

    Disgusted Ex Microsoft customer: Experienced Microsoft products since they were in ROM chips and hasn't found one yet that wasn't a roach motel. Doesn't plan on wasting money on more of the crap until they manage to get several in a row right... i.e. never.

    Political MS hater: Hates evil corporations in general, believes Microsoft more evil than Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, IBM or the MPAA. Believes Microsoft is an unrepentant monopolist hellbent on enslaving the world.

    Then there is me, a little bit of all three. :) Come on, come try and sell me some Windows Server 2003 licenses.
  • I think I can help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:20PM (#18410015)

    Here's my demographic.

    I'm a computer user who likes my machines to be as crash-free as possible. Failing that, I'd like access to the source code so I can fix whatever problems I perceive, rather than waiting for someone else to do it.

    Ok - that's my "Linux Persona". Now let's see you cater to me.

  • Personas? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FutureDomain ( 1073116 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:22PM (#18410043)
    It seems to be aiming at enterprise. They focus more on business executives and application developers, except for the "Linux Aficionado", whom most Slashdot Linux users would fit in.

    The problem for Microsoft is that many Microsoft users loath it's software, Linux users also loath Microsoft software, so it'll be hard for Microsoft partners to try and "convince" them to switch. I think Microsoft's greatest fear is that businesses which have traditionally went with them will try Linux for their servers because of all the security bugs and malware. Linux is too complex for the "average luser", so Microsoft isn't as worried about them, but business and server users are more knowledgeable about computers and would switch easier, so this is their new strategy to keep them with MS.
  • by straponego ( 521991 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:26PM (#18410075)
    I came up with a solution for them when Ballmer made his latest dismissive comment about Google, something along the lines of "They do search okay, and everything else they do is just kind of cute." It's true, Google is forever coming out with cute stuff, stuff that makes people say: "Oh shit, I'm gonna use that every day... thanks!" While MS comes out with stuff that makes people say "Oh thanks... I'm gonna use that every day? Shit!"

    Seriously, when was the last time MS came out with something that really got you excited, something elegant and useful?

  • April Fools? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Psx29 ( 538840 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:29PM (#18410095)
    Is this a joke or is microsoft really that desperate???
  • Missing segment (Score:5, Informative)

    by elronxenu ( 117773 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:36PM (#18410145) Homepage
    I think their percentages are wrong.

    They forgot to list the segment of the population who hate Microsoft passionately - due to their business practices, their monopoly, their DRM, their lack of ethics, their EULA which forces you to give up your freedom of speech, their proprietary file formats, their Microsoft Word specifically, and perhaps more reasons.

    And then there are the people who believe that Linux has superior design, that the user is more in control of what the computer does, that linux is more virus-resistant, easier to work with and so on.

    I think Microsoft should divide all the "win over" percentages on their website by 10.

  • by cursorx ( 954743 ) on Monday March 19, 2007 @11:55PM (#18410295)
    "Linux Experimenter" = Bi-curious. A bit dangerous, but let's not worry too much and just scare them straight.

    "Market Follower" = MS bitches. We own these fuckers!

    "Application Driven" = Dangerously misguided. Brainwashing might be needed, just to set them in order.

    "Linux Aficionado" = Stupid, hopeless nerds. Recommended solution: hire hitman.

    "Unix transitioner" = Head case. Keep distance.
  • Penguins (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tama00 ( 967104 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:05AM (#18410357)
    I like penguins, how can they cater to me?
  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:36AM (#18410591)

    For those who don't want to read all the comments, here's the summary:

    *obscene gesture* Classify THIS!
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:45AM (#18410661) Homepage

    That's standard sales training. That's what everybody learns in basic marketing management.

    A big problem with the open-source world is that it doesn't develop marketing use cases. How little need a user know to successfully run Linux on the desktop? That's not something one hears in KDE vs. Gnome discussions. Yet it's the question that matters.

  • Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ankur Dave ( 929048 ) <> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @12:50AM (#18410701) Homepage

    For those too lazy to watch the presentation, here are the personas:

    Linux Experimenter
    Characteristics: "Tester" of Linux, willing to try Microsoft, Windows is the default choice for servers.
    Sales pitch: don't experiment, use Windows, it's tried and true.
    Market Follower
    Characteristics: Prefer Microsoft, risk-averse, don't really like Linux.
    Sales pitch: Windows is the best in the enterprise. Look beyond initial cost to maintenance and reliability.
    Application Driven
    Characteristics: Like Linux because it works and it's reliable.
    Sales pitch: more productivity and lower TCO with Windows.
    Linux Aficionado
    Characteristics: Believe Linux is just better.
    Sales pitch: lower TCO, more reliable, remember to avoid Microsoft vs Open Source.
    UNIX Transitioner
    Characteristics: Wants to take UNIX apps to Linux, not familiar with Windows.
    Sales pitch: IIS is more secure, better TCO.
  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:05AM (#18410797) Homepage Journal
    I thought MS already knew the personas of Linux users:

    1. Communists
    2. People who want high TCO
    3. People who are jealous of St Bill of Redmond's goodness
    4. Unwashed hippies
    5. IBM (see 4)
    6. Un-American people.
    7. Foreigners (see 6)
    8. Terrorists (see 7)
    9. Cancers
    10. People who think they own "their" computers and other anti-capitalists
  • haha (Score:4, Funny)

    by illuminatedwax ( 537131 ) <(ude.ogacihcu.inmula) (ta) (egnardts)> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @01:29AM (#18410933) Journal
    This is hysterical. Not because it's stupid (it's not), but because of the sheer futility in trying to win over the "Linux Afcionado".

    Question: "Are you aware of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing --"
    Answer: "You mean Treacherous Computing, don't you? I spit on your pathetic proprietary software!"

    And "Try to avoid the Microsoft versus Open Source software conversation and focus on specific workloads and IT pain points instead," by which of course they mean "give it up, you'll never convince these people; just beg to have them buy 'just one little server.' Make a frowny face when you ask."

    "Rely on Get the Facts evidence --"
    "Oh man, I read that bullshit on Slashdot. That TCO metric is a pile of crap --"
    (salesman turns and runs out the door)
  • by FranklinDelanoBluth ( 1041504 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @02:09AM (#18411109)

    I do not quite understand Microsoft's strategy here, for many reasons, which I'll try to enumerate logically. I am not trying to troll. I am trying to be objective, and when I do criticize Microsoft I do so purely academically, so please do not turn this into a flame war.

    1. Desktop market share: Microsoft has >90% of the desktop market, a number that I would guess might be higher in the business community (i.e. their strangle-hold on commodity computing). I really cannot imagine this slipping much more than 5% due to various factors: the high cost and lack of hardware options with Apple, the ease of use problems with Linux and Unix variants, the legacy DOS/Win9*/XP application base, employee familiarity with Windows, etc. As much as many may complain about Vista's shortcomings, there are really no suitable alternatives. Though many servers may be switching to Linux, I do not think that this will affect the desktop market, especially since there are many solutions for making Linux servers work with Windows desktops. Microsoft's bread and butter is not threatened, why the hard sell for a much smaller market?
    2. Weak server solutions: I aim for objectivity here, so please do not misinterpret me as a troll. Microsoft offers weak server products. Some of this may be attributed to its rebuffing of existing standards implementing all their server solutions with their closed, proprietary protocols (e.g. URIs vs. CIFS URIs, TCP/IP vs. NetBEUI, DNS vs WINS, Back slash vs. Forward slash, etc.). Not only does this ensure that their solutions will not work with those provided by any other vendor (which is a legitimate problem when one wants a service that Microsoft does not offer) but leads to new buggy code/half-baked standards/security holes as they reinvent the wheel.
      Further, the main buyers and users in this segment are not average users who need to use computers for nothing more than word processing, email, and web. They are power users who are well aware of the strengths and limitations provided by the different systems. They know first hand the problems of using Microsoft server solutions.
      If they really want to capture this smaller market (again, I am not sure why they would except for the pursuit of total monopoly), it seems that they need more than a new sell technique. Instead, they should develop their new programs and services to inter-operate with existing standards and systems. As they develop server solutions for power users, they'll win over the server crowd with their commitment to excellent products, not some new half-hearted add campaign, which many (such as the /. crowd) will see through.
    3. Virulently pro-OSS/anti-MSFT market: This is a different aspect of the previous point. Whereas Microsoft has objectively weak server solutions, there is a rather subjective opposition to Microsoft as a "Big, Evil Corporation" (TM). I am not commenting on whether this feeling may be right/wrong, but it is something they will to overcome (and I would argue with more than a selling campaign). Some moves of good faith (e.g. less restrictive computing, less aggressive anti-OSS talk from the CEO, etc.), to which Microsoft seems firmly opposed, could help "win the hearts and minds" of the server crowd much better than strongly stereotyped sell tactics for the Linux crowd.

    I know I do not have all the answers, but I think that Microsoft is getting everything wrong here. It seems that capturing the server market has a very small return when compared to the desktop market. Additionally, the cost of "doing it right" with inter-operability-centered design of new products while maintaining backwards compatibility would greatly reduce margin (e.g. look what happened with all the grand ideas of Vista). Nevertheless, if Microsoft is determined to win this market, they need to do so with more steps of good faith and less aggressive talk about intellectual property (happy, willing customers are

  • Not about us (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kahrytan ( 913147 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @02:38AM (#18411251)

      The presentation is not about the users of Linux but about businesses and servers who use Linux.

    And I noticed there is few bald faced lies in the presentations too. It is expected that Microsoft would mislead and lie to people.

    But the point is clear. Microsoft considers Linux a threat and are actively trying to fight us.

    We need a an equivalent to Mozilla's Firefox Flicks program for Linux.
  • by steveoc ( 2661 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:28AM (#18411419)
    In other news, cigarette companies are profiling non-smokers to look for areas to expand their market share. They defined 5 distinctly different profiles of non-smokers who are targets for conversion. These coorespond exactly to the Microsoft categories.

    1) The Naughty Child (aka. Linux Experimenter)

    This prospect comes from a good god-fearing household where Mum, Dad, and his brothers and sisters all smoke regularly. As does uncle Jed who lives in the spare room. The naughty child would like to be more like some of the cool jock types at school, instead of the fat wheezing slob that he is, and has dared to do sports and things when mum isnt looking. He has futile dreams of owning (and riding) a bike for his birthday.

    Sales Pitch: Fat Chance kiddo ! Know thy place and respect thy parents !! Stop thinking and do as thou art told !! Inform the parents and resort to corporal punishment if required.


    2) The Lemming (aka. Market Follower)

    This prospect is always scared of offending people. Incapable of thinking for himself, the only reason he doesnt smoke at the moment is because its become trendy to be a non-smoker, and he wants to blend in with the crowd. Well hey buddy - its trendy to be gay as well !

    Sales Pitch: Blackmail works best on this one. These weirdos always have some skeletons in the closet, so dig around and find some dirt (or make some up), and threaten to expose him for the paedofile that he surely is ... if he doesnt start smoking. Remember - being Gay is trendy too !!


    3) Addictive Personality (aka. Application Driven)

    This person doesnt smoke, eats a whole lettuce every day for lunch, and goes to gym 3 times a week. What a wanker !! What this person doesnt realise is that its not the fitness thing that they are really into - its just a displacement activity to fill in their day, give them some sort of meaning to their life, and stop them from going nuts. Smoking offers a better and cheaper way out of this rut .. and something to fidget with during the day too.

    Sales Pitch: Point out the psychology of their 'health regime', and show them how cigarettes can fill the gap in the life just as well as a gym membership - only cheaper !! Deflect and embrace.


    4) The Know it all (aka. Linux Aficionado)

    This one is a pain in the butt. They are fit and healthy, and love to show off about it in front of other people. A lot of them are ex-smokers who have totally embraced this whole healthy-living crud as some sort of revenge trip against fast food and cigarettes that may have dominated their previous life. Pointless getting into an argument with this type ... they are incapable of rational debate .. just 'Being healthy is better, so there!!' is the best they can come up with.

    Sales Pitch: Avoid direct comparisons between cigarettes and other methods of lifestyle enhancement - just stick with facts, eg FACT: Cigarettes calm you down, which is good for your stress levels FACT: Smoking kills your appetite, so you eat less, loose weight, look healthier FACT: Smoking gives you bad breath and impotence, so your chances of contracting an STD are much less, etc.


    5) On the way to crack addiction. (aka. UNIX Transitioner)

    This prospect is already a regular user of speed and party pills, and is rapidly on their way to becoming a full time crack addict. Perception that plain old cigarettes just arent wicked enough for them, so they dont even give smoking a second thought.

    Sales Pitch: Restate the benefits - legal, easily available, and quite affordable in comparison. Sure, moving to crack would be a whole new lifestyle enhancement, but consider cigarettes as an excellent way to re-invent yourself as well. Point out movies where cool characters can be seen smoking. Offer them a free packet of smokes (secretly laced with cocaine and ground neurofen), and you just might have yourself a new friend !!
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @11:38AM (#18415205) Homepage Journal
    Look at the figures about whether the next server is going to be Linux or Windows.

    We'll discard the Linux advocates and Unix transitioners. Of course those groups are going to choose Linux over Windows. Just look at the remaining groups.

    In these three groups, the only group that shows a marked preference for Windows are the most risk averse. The pragmatic adopters are overwhelmingly satisfied with Linux and are planning to use Linux for their next server by nearly a 2:1 margin. The experimenters, who are Microsoft Windows shops that simply have dipped their toe in the Linux pool, still prefer Windows for their next server. But they do so by a razor thin margin: 46:42.

    While there are a lot of risk averse people out there, if the pragmatists adopt Linux as planned and continue to be satisfied with it, it leaves the door open to considerable growth for Linux and companies with Linux offerings. If this is allowed to reach the point where Linux starts looking like the wave of the future, people in the market follower category are going to consider defecting.

    In some ways Microsoft's long term position is most stable with the experimenters. These are apt to be people whose technical skills with the Windows platform are the greatest. They aren't scared off by Linux, but in the end have found that they can still do more with their current tools. I'd suspect that these shops will continue to be predominantly Windows for a long time, but they'll also make room for Linux where they think they can save a buck.

    In any case, we're dealing with an MS dominated future for a long time. But the openness of pragmatic adopters to Linux is a chink in the MS armor that could allow Linux and F/OSS acceptance to reach the critical mass where they start driving the price MS can charge downward. Once the direct financial effect of competition begins to drive pricing decisions, the MS monopoly is over, although possibly not MS dominance.

  • by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @11:54AM (#18415563)
    As a Linux user, I've found that what I want from an OS is different than what MS wants to deliver. I won't say MS will never get my business again, but they'll have to seriously overhaul their software and their business practices to get it.

    I want a usable yet secure OS. I don't want to pay $50 a year for a security suite that's going to hog my system's resources and require I give express permission to every program that wants to run or connect to the internet.

    I also don't want my OS to restrict what I can do with my own computer. I want to be able to use my media and my hardware without being told what is appropriate. I don't want my computer's security to lock me out.

    I also don't want to rely on a particular company for access to my files. If MS files are only compatible with MS Office, and Microsoft decided to charge 10x as much for the next version of office, I'm either stuck with old, unsupported software, or paying out the wazoo to access my files. Everything I use comes with an open standard. If OpenOffice were to cease existing, someone else could easily replace them and my files would still be useful. If I could use open formats with MS office to ensure MS couldn't lock me to their products - this would mean I used their product because it was the best, rather than because I have to in order to access my files.

    In short, if Microsoft wants to gain my business, they'll have to do it by creating the best product and convincing me I won't be tied to them no matter what for as long as I'm doing business. Right now, they seem more interested in satisfying media distributors and hardware vendors than the people who buy their product, and they'd rather create a market that requires you to use their product, rather than creating a product that's really superior.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.