You may or may not have heard about Lindows already.
Lindows (the company)
is a new Linux start-up, launched earlier this year by former MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson. The promise of Lindows (the Operating System) is to be an affordable alternative (Operating System) to Microsoft Windows. And, as an extra boon, this alternative to Windows (which promises to run all your Windows applications), will run Linux applications as well.
Lindows has the gift of a great name! And it looks like Microsoft agrees, with their attempts to
sue the new Lindows company because of the Lindows name.
With a name like Lindows, marketers can have a field-day. Lindows will stick in the minds of everyday consumers, when they hear it, because it sounds like Windows. It will stick in their minds when they see it, because it is looks like (the word) Windows. The link and association between Lindows and Windows can be made very easily, in the consumers’ minds. This is Lindows’ biggest strength, and best chance for success.
It is my opinion that Lindows does not go far enough to make this association. Take a look at the Lindows logo (which can be seen on the Lindows website). They
should get some professional artist to redesign this, so that they have something that gives you the same feeling as the Windows logo.
Look at the Lindows motto: “Bring choice to you computer.” They should get rid of that as quick as they can. This sounds like a motto designed by someone deeply engulfed in the Open Source Software or Free Software world. What Lindows needs is a motto that gives them a
strong association with Windows. How about: “Open Your Windows With Lindows.” (Lindows could probably get away with using this one too, and not get sued. Or at least, not lose the lawsuit. And a lawsuit can be a good thing, because it brings you publicity.)
But for Lindows to be marketed correctly, it must stick in consumers’ minds as an upgrade option for Windows users. (Which is where this article is going.) Lindows’ current policy seems to be that of marketing their product as an alternative to Windows. But this will not be enough. Most people and businesses purchase computers with
operating systems pre-installed. And that operating system is usually one of the Microsoft Windows operating systems. This will be a hard market for Lindows to break into. An easier market for Lindows to get into is the upgrade market: selling Lindows to those people wanting to upgrade their version of Windows to something newer.
It is my opinion that for Lindows to be truly successful, it must be pushed and marketed as a valid Windows upgrade! (And not just a Windows alternative. Although they should pursue the
Windows alternative angle also.)
Think of it, “Upgrade from Windows 95/98/ME/ME2 to Lindows” written in advertisements; written on the box that Lindows comes in. (The Lindows team should work hard to get their product into all the main retail stores, where everyday consumers can be exposed to it.)
Lindows could even give discounts to existing Windows users when they upgrade. (Discounts are always loved by consumers. I am always amazed at how people will purchase things just because they are on sale, or have a coupon for it, or get something free with it, or have some other
money saving gimmicks associated with it.)
Lindows could even have other value-added incentives. Like pre-bundling other software packages, with it; and giving the consumer a discount on the package as a whole. (Meaning, the combined price would be lower than what it would cost to buy each separately.)
Lindows has a lot of promise for success. The name itself gives it that. As soon as Lindows graduates from the vaporware stage, to a real product, things should get interesting.