Mass market endorsements can have a powerful 'bandwagon' effect. (The illustration and headline come from The Band Wagon starring Fred Astaire. )
The bandwagon effect can validate decisions. It can encourage defections.
Such campaigns are older than technology, and right now Microsoft is aiming just such a pitch at users of Novell's NetWare,while Novell itself is trying to move these customers toward Linux.
The battle is important. Small businesses are often reluctant to make big changes, and millions are now being pressed on all sides to do just that.
To win the business Microsoft must convince people that Linux is complex, that help will be hard to find, that it's 'geeky.' The bandwagon pitch, that 1.5 million NetWare customers have switched to Windows Server 2003, aims at that uncertainty. It's a 'no one ever got fired for buying IBM' pitch.
How should Linux vendors, ironically including IBM, respond to this?
Write your own ad. Tell us about it at TalkBack.