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From Graham Lauder <>
Subject Re: Someone is selling OpenOffice on Ebay....
Date Thu, 08 Mar 2012 14:12:06 GMT
> On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:57 AM, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> >> On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:31 AM, cklsynt <> wrote:
> >> > I just thought I should bring this to your attention.
> >> >
> >> > ss-
> >> > Excel-Compatible-Free-Post-/140624633605?pt=AU_software&hash=item20bd
> >> > e19f 05
> >> 
> >> This one is not using the OOo logo, just showing a screen shot and
> >> nominative use (IMHO) of "Open Office".  Some odd claims, like saying
> >> Draw is "comparable to Microsoft Visio".
> >> 
> >> At the end of their description they say:
> >> 
> >> "eBay Staff: We are an authorized community distributor of this
> >> software. We are authorized to distribute this software by the
> >> Intellectual Property Owner. This software is licensed under the GNU
> >> General Public License and Lesser General Public License (GPL & LGPL).
> >> No copyrights have been violated and our listing is in compliance with
> >> eBay rules and policies."
> >> 
> >> Not sure what "authorized community distributor" means.
> > 
> >
> Interesting.  How important is that distribution network?  I suspect
> that a decade ago, when bandwidth was less available, being able to
> get OOo on a CD was very important.  But what about today?
> -Rob

Bandwidth is still problematic in a large portion of the world so I would 
think that there is still a call for it.  It does require a little work 
however.  Alex used to build the iso and installer for the DVD that came with 
installs for every platform as well as all the langpacks.  Many Community 
distributors focussed on a single language with win32 only installs mixed with 
other FOSS.  In India the government plays a large role in distributing CDs in 
specific local languages (5 million for the Tamil distribution if memory 
serves.  Two Indian MarCons were present at that launch they may have more 
accurate numbers)  

The Community distributor programme was simply a way to get people to sign off 
on a few non-challenging rules, in return we would list them on the Marketing 
project site and they were able to use artwork provided by the Art project for 
the CDs and Covers. 

A lot of unsophisticated web users are still wary of downloading anything off 
the internet.  They have been told by all the NetSafe types that all downloads 
are full of trojans, viruses, worms and various virulent indecypherable 
acronyms.  Hence the valuable service that the EBay sellers and local bricks 
and Mortar Community Distributors perform.  

Good distribution is about maintaining as many channels as is possible.  
Online download is only one.  Hard copy EBay is another.

It was my opinion that we never went far enough.  I wanted to have listed on 
the marketing site a reasonable recommended retail price.  $5 on ebay is 
ridiculous when the Seller's time and effort is taken into account.  I have 
talked to groups of High Street retailers who installed OOo on Computers for 
free and proved to them that they should in fact be charging around $60 per 
install when you take into account:  Download, install, first level support 
and media.  

First response was: "Yea that's a bit unfair though because only 1 in 20 will 
come back asking for support."
To which I answer: "Yes, but that one person will likely consume most of the 
support allowance for rest of the twenty."
Sometimes the response has been: "Yea but we'd rather do without those ones."
To which I respond: "The ones that keep coming back are the ones that pay your 
rent and wage bill and from my point of view I want that loud noisy pushy 
customer to loudly tell the world 'I got OpenOffice on my computer and the 
support I got was brilliant and it only cost me $60 and they tell me I get 
free upgrades for life!'  best advertising going."

We have two large difficulties in the market, one: We don't get to people's 
consciousness early enough, this is why the OOo4Kids project is so important 
and why we need distribution channels into schools.
 and two we don't have the community support networks that the opposition does 
(by this I mean the guy next door, the cousin the niece, the son, the guy down 
at the local computer shop) distribution channels enhance this community 
support network.

As an extension for this I had a pipe dream, not sure how feasible it would 
be, but I think it would be brilliant if it were possible, like SUSE Studio, 
to be able to build a customised instance of AOO online.  Upload templates to 
the install, select languages, extensions, font sets, customise look and feel 
defaults such as icon sets, upload ones own graphical elements such as 
splashscreens and then build it for whatever platform you choose.  A bit like 
the distros do now but instead it would be for the users or distributors to be 
able to "roll their own".  

A possibility, who knows but it would strengthen the community networks.  


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