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Novell's PR Director and Marketing Chief Both Send the Wrong Message

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Summary: Criticisms of Novell's marketing strategy arrive early this week, even from the press

NOVELL'S attempt to save face has only led to public backlash [1, 2]. Novell ought to have silently accepted a defeat in Los Angeles [1, 2]. Instead, since Novell made a mistake, even the press is now criticising its attitude of insulting the customer. Bad, bad move from Novell's PR Director (the heir of Bruce Lowry, who quit Novell last year).



And amidst the hype, there stood Novell spurned and nodding solemnly at the critics. In an unusual move of announcing a customer loss, the open-source firm has given LA a mild tongue-lashing about jumping aboard the cloud bandwagon.


Not only Novell's PR Director gets criticised this week. Novell's chief marketing officer (CMO) is now being criticised by The Source for attempting to change what FOSS means, casting Free software users as “consumers”.

John Dragoon, Novell’s Chief Marketing Officer, walks an interesting path. I first noticed his comments back when he took a swipe at Canonical while praising Microsoft’s kernel “contributions”.

[...]

What this is about is an additional blog posting Mr. Dragoon made, “The Operating System Battle Heats Up“, where he goes just a tiny bit further and states: “While the winner on the vendor side is far from clear, it seems obvious that the consumer will win no matter what the outcome.”

This is foolish. The “consumer” – why not the “user”, I wonder? – will not win “no matter the outcome”, because the “consumer” has been losing continuously under proprietary software offerings. In fact, it is only the recent increase in “wins” from Free and Open Source Software that has in turn forced Closed and Proprietary Software to change that has led to wider consumer wins.

The so-called “new OS War” exists because the “consumer” was tired of losing as Closed and Proprietary Software “won”.


This analysis as a whole is worth a read; Novell perceives SUSE users as consumers who also "consume" licences for software patents from Novell/Microsoft. Who is Dragoon trying to appeal to? Novell does not deserve business for playing this kind of game.

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