22 April 2004
IBM is running prime-time TV adverts to promote Linux. This pleases but intrigues me, given that most prime-time viewers will have no idea what Linux is, and will care less if they ever learn. So - first time ever, in response to a TV ad - I went to their website, just to see what they’re saying. Obviously what they’re doing is pushing their own Linux-based e-business services (to prime-time commercial-channel TV viewers - again not an obvious ploy), but what they start off by saying is this:
"If Linux were a person, he would be ... a savvy nine-year-old boy improving the way the world works."
Which is one of the most bizarre and incongruent advertising images I can remember. One knows, I suppose, what they mean - young, vital, heading towards maturity, active already & with huge potential, all of that - but have these people ever met a nine-year-old boy, and can they cite me one, just the one who actually improved the way the world worked? Ever?
Still, never mind. I still love Linux, despite my current installation difficulties, and despite IBM’s attempts to brand it with a white-haired cherub (here, if you want to check it out for yourself. All the TV ads are there, save you having to watch TV, which has got to be a good thing).
© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.