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SlashTCO: Is Linux self marketing?

Sep 13, 2000, 13:39 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russ Foster)

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"In the IT industry, having a good product does not always guarantee your company good sales. As you read this article, somebody, somewhere, could be developing a product which has the potential to take the industry by storm. However, if they haven't got the resources to market their product, it may never see the light of day. But if the product is that good, does it need marketing?"

"In 1991 a university student named Linus Torvalds created the Linux operating system. Torvalds broadcast his creation of a working kernel via a newsgroup on the internet, and this announcement drew the attention of programmers worldwide, who were keen to get involved with the project. The development of Linux continued from there, with Linus Torvalds overseeing the development whilst still working on the kernel along with programmers from around the world, via the internet. Linux got it's first full official release in 1994, by which time it had evolved into a powerful operating system."

"Since that first official release, Linux has slowly and steadily gained market share. Recently though, the popularity and demand for Linux has increased dramatically. Linux now has second place in the OS server market and it's growth rate ranges from good in some countries, to phenomenal in others (Linux's share of the Japanese OS server market grew 666% last year). All of this has been achieved with little marketing. There are different distributions of Linux which are boxed and sold commercially, and those companies obviously market their products. But aside from that, the only marketing Linux gets comes from independent organisations, word of mouth and the press. Linux has certainly come far, and considering the lack of PR and marketing support it has received, this has been achieved on Linux's own merits."

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