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06.13.08

Forrester Paid by Microsoft to Generate Anti-Linux ‘Studies’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ammunition in exchange for dough

We have been warning about Forrester for the past few months [1, 2]. This firm has done a great deal of Windows Vista advertising recently. By all means, they do it in sophisticated ways — wearing suits and equipped with ‘reports’ — yet it does not make them much more than sophisticated marketers in practice. Case of point:

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document

Critical observations about analysts/consults are by no means unique. Just watch what Cringely thinks of the likes of them (analysts in general). He spoke about this recently. Let us go back to 2005 for a case of point:

Commentary: Getting the Facts, Forrester-style

[...]

Still browsing through Microsoft’s Get the Facts campaign website, and I think I found one of the primary reasons Microsoft is hammering on the “You’ve already bought us once, why not more?” theme. Take a look at this Forrester chart, available here in its original report, posted (and paid for) by Microsoft.

Recently, Matt Asay has been suspecting that Forrester is doing it again. He cites the report above.

Back in 2005, Microsoft was paying Forrester for anti-Linux research. I assume that this report, referenced at the top of this post, is more of the same. But even in the midst of FUD there is real data that can make open-source vendors better.

The Gartner Group, a close ally of Microsoft, has done something similar to Forrester does here. It last did this just a couple of few weeks ago. In its key report it pretty much ignored open source.

According to Asay’s update (‘correction’), Forrester denies that money was exchanging hands this time around, but benefits/incentives needn't be immediate. In many cases, it’s like paying in advance or receiving ‘mass discounts’. We have already seen how the Burton Group was granted consulting contracts for slandering ODF [1, 2, 3].

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