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Is Ubuntu Elitist?

May 07, 2009, 12:01 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christopher Tozzi)

"This reputation for pretension may be undeserved, but it's something the Ubuntu community needs to deal with more actively.

"The images of proprietary operating systems are carefully molded by corporate PR departments. Apple spends millions of dollars presenting Macs and OS X as the computing platform of fashionable, free-thinking hipsters, while Microsoft has devoted huge sums in the last several years to reconfiguring popular perceptions of Windows as an exciting and customizable operating system. These images may not reflect the reality of Apple and Microsoft's customer bases very much, but they nonetheless play a vital role in the ability of OS X and Windows to attract (or retain) users.

"The free-software community, which lacks a centralized voice and has little money to spend on advertising or market research, does not enjoy the assistance of public-relations professionals to help cultivate a positive image of Linux in the public mind. Perhaps because of this absence of organized self-presentation, more than any actual extant characteristics of Linux users or developers, the world’s most popular free operating system remains plagued by stereotypes that pose a real obstacle to recruitment of new users."

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