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CNET Hypnosis: Only the Poor People of Brazil Might Want GNU/Linux

Posted in America, Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers at 6:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Well, that’s pretty much the message they send

Ina Fried, one of Microsoft’s media talking points, has taken a trip to Brazil. Now that articles begin to be published, it’s clear that this is no vacation. There appears to be a subtle yet visible agenda there.

It was several months ago that Ina Fried downplayed the impact of GNU/Linux in Brazil by quoting some Microsoft-obedient analysts. It’s happening again when Ina writes:

“There was a retailer in one of the countries that sold their systems with Linux,” said Gartner analyst Luis Anavitarte. “They made a survey of clients within the first 30 days; 95 percent were already on Windows.”

This is not the first time that Ina quotes Microsoft’s Partner [sic] Group [1, 2, 3] on this subject in order to downplay the role and ubiquity of GNU/Linux. How was the survey conducted? Who sponsored it? Who would have had an interest in funding or ‘cooking’ a study with such conclusions?

“It’s likely deliberate, it’s biased by design, and this is probably how IDC is instructed to collect and unleash statistics.”It was only a week ago that Paul DeGroot, a Directions On Microsoft analyst, said: “There’s a lot of Linux out there — much more than Microsoft generally signals publicly — and their customers are using it.”

Also today in CNET, you might find Matt Asay quoting figures from the Microsoft-obedient IDC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], claiming that GNU/Linux has a 13% ‘market share’ in servers. How is it measured? Revenue. Yes, and preinstalled only by industry giants. They don’t count units, they count money. They don’t count D-I-Y, they don’t consider cost, and they don’t track actual use or utilisation. It’s likely deliberate, it’s biased by design, and this is probably how IDC is instructed to collect and unleash statistics. They glorify Microsoft and this was covered here before.

Fortunately, some shrewd readers don’t let CNET/ZDNet get away with it all. Need it be mentioned that it’s indirectly funded by Microsoft, just like many other sites?

Apart from readers’ comments in CNET, there’s this response in Linux Today where Munchins are rare.

Ina Fried talks about Brazil’s big Linux usage but right off the bat implies it is not what the people want. And not only does the author start putting Linux down right from the start, the author uses the last few paragraphs to promote Microsoft’s agenda. Adding quotes such a 80% of Linux PCs get Windows installed by users within 30 days and another 10% in another 30 days. That’s write, the Microsoft employee is quoted as saying that 90% of Brazils Linux PCs are getting user installed Microsoft Windows.

The story is a pitch against Linux usage and very much about Microsoft’s products and strategies. And the Microsoft employee also stated that Linux is good for Microsoft because it keeps them on their toes. He then goes on to say that it exposes where they need to do better with distribution. That is correct, not make better software but push harder in the distribution channel. That means limit choice folks.

This is classic Ziff/Davis style of doing Microsoft PR work.

The next post will take another careful look at how Microsoft manipulates public perception in news sites like ZDNet and CNET.

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  1. Ed Landaveri said,

    August 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm


    The beast is scared. It’s ludicrous to see how MS paid people pretend to make the world believe that they’re doing fine when actually the contrary it’s true. By hiring analyst that downplay Linux and FOSS growth they trying to persuade the world that its products are “better” That’s far from the truth. Brazil as many Thirld World countries are blooming with Linux and FOSS that that’s what they need if they want to become truly FREE. Microsoft treats Latin America as the United Fruit Company treated them as “Banana Republics”. Fortunately they are becoming aware of this and many are awakening to the liberating power of GNU Linux and FOSS. Thanks for keeping this site and please do NOT give up!

  2. lyle howard seave said,

    August 28, 2008 at 11:22 pm


    Its interesting how she can re-use the numbers given to her by the Micro-soft PR guy but she can totally avoid talking about the Brazilian govts tech plans such as the 150,000 one laptop per child Linux/KDE project but more importantly the ongoing ProInfo project.

    KDE guru, Maurício Piacentini, talked about it in his blog after going to a free software event in Brazil:

    In a nutshell, the Brazilians will deploy 30,000 computer labs by the end of this year serving approximately 36 million students.
    And by the end of 2009, they will have a total of 52,000 computer labs (usually one server with 7-8 thin clients and KVM switches for a possibility of 15 stations) which will serve 52 million students with localised Linux distros such as Linux Educacional 2.0 with KDE.

    I repeat, 52 million students (I checked the numbers on the brazilian gov website and that is about the % of potential students) just in case someone thinks its a typo.

    Between Ina Fried, Don Riesinger, Molly Wood, Tom Merritt and Matt Asay, I cant figure who is more clueless about Linux at CNET
    Dont forget, netbooks (the first form factor where Linux has finally managed to squeeze into the pre-installed field) dont exist according to most CNET columnist, they are nothing more than a fad.
    And Linux has never succeeded into getting traction not because there was no OEM pre-installs happening before last fall’s EEE breakout and all the politicking involved in the OEM process but because its not easy of use.
    The fear of Linux is strong at CNET.

    Btw, cost of computers in Brazil is three times what it is in North America, so computers have to last a long time.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 29, 2008 at 11:58 am


    You can already find the CNET FUD growing feet and finding itself parroted in the Microsoft-oriented Salon.com (been slammed for at least a decade over Microsoft bias):


  4. Chris Lees said,

    August 30, 2008 at 6:52 am


    Cnet is “Indirectly funded by Microsoft”? That sounds like a less embarrasing way of saying “We don’t like Cnet, but we can’t find anything to throw dirt on them about; not even if we use links from our own website and quotes from strangers on IRC”!

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 30, 2008 at 6:54 am


    Paul Allen. Do some research.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 30, 2008 at 6:56 am


    Start here:

    (C\NET gets money, boost from Paul Allen. (C/NET Inc.))

    Paul Allen and Bil Gates have many low-profile investments such as this.

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