NewsForge: How Not to Sell Linux Products

[ Thanks to Jason
for this link. ]

“We often get review units of products, then don’t review them
because we can’t get them to work. NewsForge staffers and
freelancers vary in technical ability, but I believe the level of
IT talent shared by our editorial personnel is at least as high as
you’d find in most small or medium-sized businesses, and well above
the average home user level. If we can’t get a piece of hardware or
software to work, chances are that most of its intended customers
won’t be able to, either. Why do companies persist in shipping
products this flawed?

“One of our freelancers just gave up on installing a
collaborative calendar and shared-file program on his server. Our
hope was to test this product — which is not free, but acceptably
priced for business use — as a group, and write a group review of
it. Since this was a groupware product, that seemed

“But our freelancer, a skilled sysadmin and coder who runs a
small Web hosting service, had so many problems trying to get the
software installed that after a day’s work he stopped trying. Maybe
he could have gotten it going with help from the company’s tech
support people, but I told him not to bother. He’d already spent
more time on this install than I believe any ‘normal’ customer
would–and more than either of us have spent installing most free
software for Linux…!”

Complete Story

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