Sugar Learning Platform Will Succeed In Virgin Markets

   
   
   
   
   

I think is time that Sugar Labs and Sugar developers to realize that the success or failure of Sugar does not depend on its ability to play YouTube videos. Not because is not important but because there is very little chance to penetrate this market dominated by Microsoft and Apple.

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Like it or not Sugar Learning Platform's success or failure lays on its 1 million users with XO-1 (and hopefully XO-1+). If they are successful and happy and the data pile in to support it, everybody will pay attention and traction will be gained even in the developed world. However, even then Sugar's aim should be the virgin markets.

The ones with the limited resources, the ones that can not "afford" Microsoft, Intel and Apple, and Microsoft, Intel and Apple can "afford" to not to dominate them. The ones that may not have the bandwidth for youtube or even e-books. If a large enough based is formed there, it will develop its own sustainable dynamics and sugar will expand and flourish.

Going for really energy efficient software to couple the hardware and paying attention to the current users and deployments, could double linux use world wide in few short years. Hopping to get 10 million kids in the develop world schools to use sugar on their $1000+ intel laptop is fairly unlikely for reasons that we would take some time to lay out here (and please do not bring Sugar on a Stick here because that's another lengthy discussion).

So unless Sugar Labs developers want to develop for the fun of it and show what cool applications they can make or how cleverly can use the cutting edge fedora infrastructure, I would suggest to take the RedHat road. Make something solid efficient and functional for the work at hand. Developing world classroom teaching. Improve it and update it according to your customers needs. The XO deployments.

And if you do not like XOs contract another hardware and work with this in new deployments! Going after the GameBoy/PSP/iPhone kid head to head with Microsoft and Apple, as a side show on top of other linux distros and leaving behind the limited user base you now have, is a recipe for demise.

This was originally published as a comment by Mavrothal.

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3 Comments

As I previously replied to this comment:
I appreciate the advice, but I'm not sure I can use it. It's ridiculous to claim that SL and Sugar developers think the success or failure of Sugar depends on its ability to play youtube videos. Get to know the developers better please before saying such things, you do them a disservice. As for MS and Apple: their K-6 offer is weak and neither is interested in cheap netbooks, the kind most interesting to schools (I'm afraid the number of kids with a $1000 laptop is limited). ZDNet's education blogger has a good handle on what is happening for example. Targeting virgin markets is an approach, but in my view won't assure Sugar's success by itself. As for Sugar on a Stick, how can it not be in the conversation when it is the central pillar of our marketing strategy? Since it bypasses the installation barrier, the most serious blocker to changing a system on a different OS. Read through the SL marketing meeting logs, you will understand how we developed our strategy. Sugar is fundamentally hardware-agnostic and that's what schools need - a consistent learning platform across varied and often outdated hardware. Other pieces - feedback, Activity-to-curricula matching, the XS server for non-XO hardware (such as Intel's offer for teacher's laptops, cf. the Macedonia project) - are missing, but are being worked on. Volunteers are needed; if you or anyone you know wants to assist, you will be welcome.

Happy New Year.
It's an old story but let's give it another try with a twist :)

My understanding is that SoaS is by now just another DOWNSTREAM project. Isn't it true anymore? Is it still THE pillar of SugarLabs as far as the end user is concerned? (we could could point to the relevant post when I get a reliable internet again, if you contest it :)

My Understanding is that today the ONLY deployment strength Sugar OS/hardware is Sugar 0.82/XO-1. Isn't it true? Is SoaS deployment ready? (We could get to the reliability, hardware compatibility, server integration, collaboration etc details if you are interested :)

But the cornerstone issues is this: Failure or success of sugar depends on the failure or Success of the 1 million+ CURRENT users (and others LIKE them I may add)

Please elaborate if you disagree and also elaborate if you agree (pointing to recent decisions/actions).
My feeling is that SL is getting to realize that.
OLPC and SL are really working better together lately. Deployments are getting involved and supported by upstream. Sugar release cycle/elements are modified to accommodate the LTS required by deployments, etc.
Things are looking good! Don't spoil it! Do you have a different opinion? Or you are trying to "sell" SoaS. We are talking about SUGAR here!
Is it personal, marketing group or SL's opinion what you write above?

What does OLPC has to say on TechCrunch's view?

The Biggest Product Flops of the Decade
The One Laptop Per Child project was supposed to change the world. By sending cheap technology into developing nations, you would offer kids a ticket out of ignorance and poverty. Sadly, however, corporate infighting and the glare of reality made the sub-$100 laptop idea a failure.

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