12.08.07

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Analyst Firms, Including IDC and Gartner, Named and Shamed for Serving as Microsoft Mouthpieces

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Vista, Windows at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time for some more FUD busting

It is no secret — but an actual fact — that blood supplies of analysts are large companies which these analysts simply serve. They sell figures to them. In many respects, analysts can be used as proxies for seemingly-independent assessment of a situation, which makes the analysis seem more credible. It’s a sockpuppet technique (making a crowd out of a single party).

It is easier to sell a product while waving a flattering report from a ‘third party’, potentially at the same time as golfing with a business partner. That’s the way our industry is run. Biased information can be bought and procurement typically boils down to personal relationship and moneyflows.

”Biased information can be bought and procurement typically boils down to personal relationship and moneyflows.“Despite Novell’s arguably pathetic state, there is one analyst out there who boosts their stock. But what does that mean? Analysts get about half of their predictions wrong. Later on they bother to mention only the few things they coincidentally got right. They rarely try to make a correct prediction as much as they try to just serve their costumer well enough by handing over the required (and selective) figures/results. A pleased costumer will come again for another gig, so being brutally honest can sometimes be a poor business decision to an analyst. Remember this: it’s dishonest reports/studies that are most difficult to earn, so they can be bought instead.

Microsoft controls the analysts just as it controls bloggers (astroturfing), controls the press (investments), and controls individual journalists (advertising and other pressures). Consider the fact that Microsoft brought its money even to academia in order to discredit the GPLv3. There was almost no disclosure about the funding in sight, proving that even figures of unquestionable authority can be corrupted by the money. This was far from the first time such an incident got identified. Microsoft’s money injections into academic research has led to some embargoes before. Then, consider Microsoft’s use of analysts in contexts that relate to this Web site’s theme alone. Let’s restrict scope and set our sight only on IDC and Gartner. These are merely 2 examples, among many more.

By this stage, you are hopefully convinced that analysts need not be listened to. Here is where new opinions from field experts come into play. They know what they have seen and they spoke about it in the podcast that we mentioned yesterday. Here is the direct address for the podcast, in case you wish to tune in.

I’ve listened to the entire podcast. The bit which is dissected below starts approximately 40 minutes after the beginning of the session. It’s very revealing, so I took notes while listening (not complete quotes, which can make it a very time-consuming task).

  • Bill Gates and Larry Ellison (of Oracle) are among the major investors in Gartner
  • Ballmer has picked up the phone shot/shouted at the analysts (that’s the expression they used)
  • “IDC is the absolute worst”
  • The panel “can’t believe they get paid for that stuff”
  • If only there was no conflict of interests
  • The analysts must deal only with the figures their clients give them and deliver what was paid for
  • You have to wonder “who is paying the bills… you have to wonder out loud…”
  • No conspiracy theory here
  • Microsoft demands that the analysts will count GNU/Linux if there’s a shipment (i.e. payment) is attached to it
  • There’s no information out there about GNU/Linux usage (nobody would fund such a study, apparently)
  • Red Hat is eerily quiet in the media despite its unbelievable impact
  • Some tried to phone Gartner and the analysts to ask about Linux, but they would only talk about money
  • Those analysts: $7.5 billion for the Linux PC market is estimated, but working solely by Microsoft’s definitions
  • Microsoft controls information in the sense that “they [analysts] get forcefed.” Nobody actually tracks Linux usage at the moment.

That’s a sad state, isn’t it?

”Interestingly enough, Microsoft seems to have just assigned Gartner to be its ‘Windows Vista salesman’.“On another note, which is unrelated to or at least separate from this podcast, it turns out that IDG (a very major media company that writes about GNU/Linux) is owned by IDC. No wonder the press is so biased, but we already knew about the Gates Foundation 'buying' the press in the form of individual media companies.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft seems to have just assigned Gartner to be its ‘Windows Vista salesman’. Only a couple of days ago, Michael Silver, who is extremely close to Microsoft, used his ‘Gartner analyst’ hat in order to call for Vista adoption. He even used scare tactics to achieve this. Here is a headline:

Buy Vista or die [says Microsoft's friend from Gartner]

Gartner research vice president Michael Silver said that outfits have delayed their Vista migrations to the point of stupidity and now some are considering late 2008 or even 2009, while others mull skipping the OS completely.

Is there any hope for analysts? Read all the references included above (and below), then judge for yourselves.

Related items:

Novell blinded by money

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