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04.10.08

Linux Foundation, Please Stop Feeding the Shills

Posted in Finance, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 12:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pay-to-say Al Gillen, IDC exposed again

We previously mentioned Al Gillen in:

At your leisure, feel free to quickly skim through the posts above and find out just who this guy really is. It’s just a cogwheel in the manufacturing process at IDC, which acts as a factory of whatever report and whatever outcome you wish to buy.

“International Data Corporation”. Sounds formidable, doesn’t it? Sounds universal and therefore trustworthy. As we have seen in the past, disclosures are nothing worth relying on because Microsoft executives explicitly request for funding sources to be omitted, even where IDC is involved.

Al Gillen is not be alone here and he could argue that he’s merely a scapegoat. We have been identifying a variety of other former faces from IDC, such as Dennis Byron, who jumps to his defense within minutes or hours only after posting. Examples of recent posts include:

A quote that can never be recited too often is this:

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model…”

Microsoft, internal document

Using this as our assertion, are any analysts worth listening to at all? It looks rather grim for the industry as a whole if all information and studies are manufactured rather than conducted. With universities being privatized and sponsored by companies, it becomes incredibly hard to trust anything you come by, even if a professor signs it.

In our more critical writings about the Linux Foundation we note that it’s behaving less like a programming warehouse/coordinator and more as like marketing/corporate arm that sometimes bends to the will of Novell (and Microsoft, by association). They even inherit some of the same tricks of the trade. We warned about Al Gillen’s presence in the Foundation’s Summit only a few weeks ago. Watch this:

First, we have this Linux Foundation-sponsored white paper from IDC, entitled “The Role of Linux Servers and Commercial Workloads”.

“Linux Foundation-sponsored”? Hold on a second. So out comes Microsoft, which is sponsoring anti-Linux and anti-ODF ‘propaganda’ from IDC, from which IDC makes a living and the Linux Foundation counters that by throwing even more money away at those very same shills, who now have two companies throwing money at them to buy love. This is ridiculous. Also, it makes accusations against IDC seem like a case of hypocrisy. The Foundation essentially shatters a moral shield and higher moral ground that Linux once enjoyed.

Additionally, here we see a situation where people must pay to receive a good word from ‘puppets’, who are, for some unknown reason, respected by the mainstream media and frequently get cited by it. Further, the above article states:

The importance of this report is not so much what it says – since most of its predictions are necessarily plucked out of the air – but that it exists. As you may recall, in the past IDC has been best-known – and much-reviled – for its Microsoft-sponsored reports that strangely find that Microsoft systems are better than GNU/Linux. Now we have the same company saying GNU/Linux is pretty wonderful, too.

What does that prove? Certainly nothing about Windows or GNU/Linux, and not much about IDC other than the fact that anybody can sponsor its research. But it does show, once again, that the Linux Foundation is getting pro-active, and fighting fire with fire. The IDC report in itself may be of limited value, but it’s the kind of propaganda that needs to be put out in the market if only to nullify the propaganda from the other side.

The Foundation should just extinguish the fire and put an end to this industry of paid liars. The Foundation should take the lead and have IDC further exposed. Don’t fight fire with fire by adding fuel (money) to that very same bonfire.

The Linux Foundation should have better dignity than this because while on the surface the ‘study’ looks good, it’s truly a sore and a disservice to the ethics on Free software and you can hardly beat the Microsoft media machine which feeds on cash (the rich controls the minds). Eradicate the problem, don’t become part of it.

“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.”

Microsoft, internal E-mail about Windows vs Linux [PDF]

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3 Comments

  1. Glyn Moody said,

    April 10, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Gravatar

    In a perfect world we wouldn’t have all these reports flying around, but the fact of the matter is that Microsoft uses them a lot, and that – sadly – uninformed observers are sometimes taken in by them.

    It seems to me to be the lesser of two evils to have some countervailing propaganda, which at least levels the playing field. The alternative is constantly to attack Microsoft’s studies, but that’s easy to portray as a kind of tiresome whining by bad losers.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 10, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Gravatar

    Glyn,

    Do you think that a project like Apache can challenge the wallet of IIS (Microsoft) and pay for GoDaddy-like mass defections of parked domains? Microsoft’s financial situation aside (most recent reminders here and here, with “…watching Ballmer drain the company’s cash…”), I think that it’s a losing battle that makes accusations against those guilty seem hypocritical.

    In general, a lot of people nowadays evade tax because “everyone else does.” It makes many people part of the problem rather than the answer, the solution. Free software should never devolve like this because it would lose the very same charm and credibility that made it attractive to volunteers — those who continue to make it possible.

  3. Logan said,

    April 10, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    In general, a lot of people nowadays evade tax because “everyone else does.” It makes many people part of the problem rather than the answer, the solution. Free software should never devolve like this because it would lose the very same charm and credibility that made it attractive to volunteers — those who continue to make it possible.

    The best commentary ever. Right on.

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