From: Martin Feeney (martin at domain tuatha.org)
Date: Thu 09 Sep 1999 - 17:16:36 IST
On 9 Sep 99, at 16:45, David Murphy wrote:
> Do you think people are likely to start looking for "A Red Hat box"
> instead of "A Linux box"?
Not at the moment because the people who are installing linux are either
very well informed about what they are doing or are so completely at sea
that they ask people who are very well informed. In either case the linux
installation generally turns out to be the correct one for the job in hand.
Two things are going to change this however.
The first thing is that more people want to give this linux thing a go
just to see what it's like so they install a dual-boot with winxx.
Completely the wrong way to go about things, in my opinion, but that's a
rant for another time. A friend who "does Linux" is asked about what to
This friend installed Red Hat about a year or two ago (when it was the
friendliest thing going) and recommends it so that's what gets installed.
Red Hat has a lot of corporate image going for it, with many of the
"friendly sysadmin tools" having the red hat logo plaster all over them.
I seem to remember the default backdrop for X being a large Red Hat logo
also - instant brand recognition.
Thing the second is that more journalists are going to write about Linux.
I'm not talking about technical articles written in serious computer
magazines - I'm talking about gaming and business magazines who are
covering Linux in a casual way as a page-filler because it's hot and a
buzzword at the moment.
They've gotten a brief for a half page or one page article about Linux so
they're not going to put in loads of research (time) as it's not worth it.
They ask someone they know who know a bit about Linux - they mention Red
Hat as being reasonably easy to install. Journalist gets a copy, tries it
out at home and writes about said experience. Therefore their article
mentions Red Hat as often as Linux and the two will start to become
Now with the likes of OpenLinux etc. with flashy PhD (Push here, Dummy!)
installations there might be a redistribution of mindshare. However, as
there is much mysticism surrounding Linux, most of the knowledge amongst
non-hardcore geeks will be by word of mouth. Almost everyone who knows of
Linux has heard of Red Hat. How many know about Debian, Suse, Mandrake or
I'm still betting on Red Hat getting a huge mindshare (god I hate
marketing buzzwords) and becoming the coke or hoover of linux distro's. I
just hope the Linux common base succeeds and Red Hat becomes compliant
For the record I'm a Debian user (2.0 with kernel upgrades and lots of
extras) - I use my Linux box more as a server than anything else.
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