“You’re getting very, very sleepy…”
Image from Wikimedia
In our continued exploration we strive to find answers to questions. Among them: why is media coverage of the Novell/Microsoft deal so biased and one-sided?
One strand comprises people who publicly comment on this issue and pass on such comments to journalists. Those are typically marketing people (PR) and analysts, whose biases and funding source render them unreliable [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Open Sources has pushed out a cautious new post about this serious problem.
Others saying they have heard from someone who heard from someone that once they started paying their exposure improved. Others saying it’s just like the rumors that magazine advertisers get better reviews, an accusation that has been levied to Ziff-Davis publications, as well as photography and stereo equipment magazines for years.
”They conduct research more selectively, under someone else’s rules, control and with somebody else’s obligatory figures and methods.“As the text above indicates, it is a known issue. None of this is news. The only lesson to be taken here is that the vast majority of analysts can (and should) be ignored because they are paid by companies with whom they have a personal and financial relationships.
Sadly enough, universities, which were supposed to be the source of some unbiased benchmarks, are gradually being commercialised as well. They are expected to obey parental companies in order to keep their stream of money flowing. They conduct research more selectively, under someone else’s rules, control and with somebody else’s obligatory figures and methods. Disclosure policies are no exception as illustrated by the following
[PDF] leaked correspondence:
[Microsoft manager:] I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on TCO on webservers. I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on availability [windows was down more than linux]. And I don’t like the fact that the reports says nothing new is coming with windows .net server.”
I don’t like it to be public on the doc that we sponsored it because I don’t think the outcome is as favorable as we had hoped. I just don’t like competitors using it as ammo against us. It is easier if it doesn’t mention that we sponsored it.
Whose work can we trust nowadays? Even the Internet is being poisoned by corporations, not to mention the press.
As someone who became a freelance journalist some time ago, I can safely confess that attempts to include reference to the Halloween Documents, for instance, had them watered down. They were intercepted by editors, so there might just be an editorial filter everywhere. █
Older related article: (pointer extracted from the post above)
Research firms make their living by offering expert advice to business and technology people about the best ways to invest their IT dollars. It can be invaluable insight, but only if that analysis comes with no strings attached. And on that, there’s no guarantee.
Forrester, Gartner, IDC, and others insist their output is squeaky clean, yet they also rake in millions providing services to the very same companies they monitor, heavyweights like Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. Which leads to a question that continues to dog the research firms: How much influence do technology vendors have over their work?
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Interestingly enough, the States' complaint about Microsoft was fueled by Microsoft's attempt to 'steal' the Web using Silverlight. Apparently, just like their friends over in Europe, they understand what Microsoft is trying to achieve with XAML/OOXML/Sharepoint.
If you are new to this major issue, here are a few posts worth reading because they also discuss Novell’s new role.
The latest developments involve Microsoft vain attempt to dismiss all criticism and dust off all those States which have been on their back for months.
Microsoft, which was found to be using its operating system dominance to quash other types of competing software, has operated since 2002 under the terms of an antitrust settlement struck with the federal government and 17 U.S. states.
CNN has a headline which better demonstrates the vanity we sometimes refer to.
Microsoft: Lay off the oversight, would ya?
The Justice Department has extended the parts of the consent decree that have to do with technical documentation and server-software licensing through 2009.
Do remember the many articles that explained why no real remedies were offered by the previous oversight period. Au contraire, in fact, if what we see in OOXML is anything to go by. The abuses, which even include briberies, must not go unnoticed.
”The Department of Justice will continue to be a toothless tiger that Microsoft controls by the leash and the whip…“The Department of Justice will continue to be a toothless tiger that Microsoft controls by the leash and the whip [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. A few days we wrote about lobbying and political influence, which have become a multi-billion-dollar industry. If you need further evidence of the seriousness of this problem, look no further than Saturday’s news from the Seattle Time.
Not long after Nelson Ludlow and his wife started a technology business in Port Townsend with money scraped together from friends, family and retirement accounts, they spent precious dollars in an unlikely way:
They hired a lobbyist and started giving to a congressional campaign fund.
The lobbying paid off. Soon, an $800,000 earmark for the Ludlows was tucked into a 2003 spending bill, giving their tiny startup, Mobilisa, a no-bid contract to provide Internet service on Puget Sound ferries.
As they say, the country is run by the “money rule”. Those who have the money make the rules (i.e. (re)write the law). █
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This isn’t exactly news, but now that a year has ended, it’s worth looking back to see many projects which have adopted the new and improved software licence. The latest report summarises and aggregates the numbers. It shows that growth remained steady throughout the year, so it wasn’t only GNU projects that immediately upgraded and embraced more explicit language that guarantees 4 fundamental freedoms.
We welcome 2008 with open arms as we say goodbye to 2007. Looking back, since the release of the GPL v3, the license has grow quickly and consistently.
A list of major adopters is appended to this report. Remember what was said yesterday about the rise of patent harassment and consider this brand-new article.
Metrologic and Motorola subsidiary Symbol Technologies had been in a dispute over patents related to bar-code scanning and mobile computing since 2002. As part of the agreement the two companies will cross-license their patents for a limited term.
The patent disputes take no breaks, not even when it’s a holiday. It’s an issue to be addressed, not ignored. The GPLv3 is a nice start.
Microsoft fears adoption of the GNU GPLv3 and it coordinates a well-disguised smear campaign [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. █
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CRN’s Ed Moltzen has just posted an item that cites Novell executives. One of them, John Dragoon, even references the Bill Gates-funded Gartner as if Microsoft-commissioned studies are something to rely on.
Both John Dragoon, Novell’s chief marketing officer, and Jeff Jaffe, Novell’s CTO, offer up blog posts today on the subject – - both praising the results of the arrangement with their one-time enemy from Redmond.
Dragoon spoke about Novell's selfishness last year and this post’s title says that the “Partnership Is Working Out Just Fine”. Working out for who though? Among the things that Microsoft paid Novell for:
- Holding back cooperation with Red Hat, Ubuntu, Mandriva and others
- Supporting OOXML, i.e. helping Microsoft kill ODF
- Fueling a patent intimidation campaign
- Stifling the antitrust case in Europe
There are several more ill impacts of Novell’s deal – -which they even called it an “alliance” at one point — with Microsoft. Microsoft has truly gotten its money’s worth. Novell could have actually received more money for selling blood (see context).
Financially, Novell still does badly and attempts to embellish things. Selling lots of blood is a short-term investment. You then faint.
Happy new year, Novell. █
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