While reading the KOSH discussion lists it occurred to us that we mention a lot of non-KOSH organisations - many of which will have nothing to do with the KOSH project (except perhaps to give us ideas).

This kind of openness, effectively providing free advertising of opposing products such as Linux, Be and the Amiga is something we should see throughout KOSH.

At all stages we should say "here is what KOSH can do", "here is what system XX can do", "here are the benefits of each", "here are the disadvantages of each", and there will be disadvantages in KOSH 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. - we don't believe there can be a "perfect" system that cannot be improved. After all, the way to get goodwill from people is surely to be honest. Show them the bits that aren't quite right yet so they don't get disappointed, and so they know you know it's a problem - but also show what is right.

It's a good thing used by Larry Wall and Perl - every new language or development is seen as an opportunity not an enemy. When asked about whether REBOL was seen as a threat to Perl, Larry Wall replied something along the lines of "My only thought is how can I make REBOL and Perl work together?". Perl is a wonderful language in its own right, but it's great when you need to tie several unrelated things together as well. That's one of the many reasons Perl is so popular - hopefully, KOSH will become the OS equivalent.

By being open and admitting our own weaknesses and the strengths of rivals we can do something that has not been done before in computer systems and further enhance our reputation for being user-oriented. Openness is a good way of getting a second look from users who would otherwise ignore what will most likely be a very limited system at first. By this, we can help convince potential users that we aren't trying to mop up the opposition, we are trying to help bind things together. No enemies, just potential allies.

If we could run a bank of computers next to each other at a computer show - say 1 Windows, 1 Linux, 1 AmigaOS, 1 Mac 1 Be and some KOSH machines with people talking about and demonstrating each to the best of their capabilities. Just let them see what they think. If they tell us they don't like something, we show them how to change it and note they didn't work it out for themselves, or record it as a feature for the next version. Either way, we don't want to ever forget that we're trying to build what the user, developer and reseller communities want, so we need to always listen to that. This could be one of the best ways out there of getting this done, and getting publicity at the same time. After all, aren't we confident we can produce something better than the opposition? And if so, why on earth should we be scared of showing exactly how we're better with side by side comparisons?

This sort of approach may well get media attention... "KOSH the only computer system in the world that suggests you may be better off with something else... or maybe not...". After all, most people don't really care much about the technology, they're looking at the applications - we have to focus on educating the general user. Impartial advice on what different systems offer. As long as we have something that KOSH offers that the others demonstrably don't have, or don't do as well, we have a potential market.

This has to be what the average user really wants - to get a straight answer about what OS X (well.. not MacOS X... but like brand X version of an OS.. oh well...) can do for them well, and what it can't do well. Perhaps even use this set up to highlight how KOSH provides integration with all these different environments too. Say, X and Y are best on KOSH but application Z is a killer app only available only for, say, BeOS - show the fact that KOSH allows you to use BeOS for that application as well as run the KOSH stuff natively.

With KOSH marketing itself very strongly as a product designed to benefit the users rather than corporate investors, this style of marketing can only help our credibility. We have to recognise that most people will either understand or even mistrust our work, but such methods could help overcome this problem. By emphasising that we're in this for them, not for us, we stand a much better chance of achieving our aims, which has to be positive.