The “Gartner|IDC Groups Corrupted by Microsoft” series
THIS IS almost the last part of a series that comes in 5 parts (see part 1, part 2 and part 3). It reveals the ways in which IDC and Gartner interact with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and today we turn some attention to IDC.
Going a day back, IDG News Service, which is linked to its parent, IDC [1, 2], spread some more lies — as in “lies, damn lies, and statistics” — about GNU/Linux.
We won’t remark on this report in an elaborative fashion — a report which bears the provocative headline “Enterprise Linux? Not so fast.” Some people blindly fall for it, without a challenge.
“IDC has Microsoft as a major client and it counts only server revenue, not actual growth.”One need not wonder where it’s coming from. IDC has Microsoft as a major client and it counts only server revenue, not actual growth. It discriminates against GNU/Linux by definition and design. We saw this before, carried by a reporter who is now a Microsoft employee. They measure the wrong thing; That’s the ‘Microsoft standards’ for measuring things because it makes Linux (free) look bad; it assumes that the only thing in this world is money — short-term gain from direct sales, not even services.
As for the figures collected in this latest article, there is something familiar about it. We saw IDC in the EDGI scheme [1, 2, 3]. IDC was asking about GNU/Linux in a form of ‘survey’, but it was asking only Microsoft customers (talk about biased population sample).
Either way, this news brings us to today’s antitrust exhibit, Exhibit PX07175 (Sept 2002)
Says one reader: “It’s my belief that this vendor meeting shows the beginning of what became “Get the Facts.”" On page 32 we find Microsoft’s Jim Allchin casually mentioning the as-yet unpublished IDC study.
We include half of the text (manually extracted from the scans) in the Appendix, with its second part coming in the next post (due to length constraints in the CMS). Here is a summary of key points:
In this roundtable, Allchin opens by inquiring with partners about Linux:
I wanted to do this meeting specifically. I asked for lt because I wanted to know what was on your minds. I mean, it’s a tough economy. I wanted to know how we could help you be more successful in your business. I — I’m very interested in what you see happening, what you see happening in the Linux base, what you see happening in terms of your customers, what we can do to improve things. You know, I’m — I build my organization, the technology, mun If you want to wander down into licensing, we can talk about that as well.
That was just before a big server software release. Says Allchin:
We have Windows .Net server coming up within the next few months. Have you seen that? Had an opportunity? Okay. So we’re not going to ship it until it’s ready.
This includes the lock-in known as SharePoint:
But the thing that we’re probably the most excited about is — yes, there’s a new version of Share Point coming on, which is also very cool. But I’m excited about the way the ASP .Net system works there. So how fast you can write applications and how well they’ll perform once you’re running in that environment.
Pushing people to buy new stuff is key here:
You know, we’ve got to get the people off NT-4. Can’t have — it’s a 1996 technology and the level of concern over security and the like at this point I really think is quite different than not.
Back in 2002, Allchin also talked about “Longhorn” (to be Vista), which was expected to come soon with all these features which were dropped:
And then the future, at least from the platforms area, the next wave is something called Longhorn. And Longhorn is a whole new generation that has some fundamentals of a new storage system, which is much richer than what we have today. And the client thinks about it as a data-basing file systems integrated together. So at actually would be a storage system on the client’s server.
Then comes more fantasy (vapourware) talk from Allchin:
And we’ll add 3-D graphics through managed interfaces so that you can do these folders I just talked about. Imagine, you can do 3-dimensional presentations of these clusters so you can see nice shading going on in the background. And also digital media is being further integrated in.
Allchin then asks:
What can we do — what’s the number one problem with Microsoft that you have?
The first reply?
MR. MARTIN: Security.
MR. ALLCHIN; Okay. Tell me about it.
MR. MARTIN: Just last week we were attacked from China. They were attempting to do a buffer overflow with closed Messenger — Messenger server.
Mr. Martin was clearly unhappy:
MR. MARTIN: Actually, from France Telco and from China. And like I said, there’s nothing we can do to -every time we try to — we got the FBI involved, but our hands are tied
MR. ALLCHIN: We’ve been there.
MR. MARTIN: I’m sure you guys are experiencing the same thing.
MR. ALLCHIN: And there’s no one home when you go to call.
MR. MARTIN: Yeah.
MR. ALLCHIN: And the FBI, although they will do certain things, it’s a hard problem.
Then come more promises from Microsoft that Windows will become more secure (false).
On it goes:
Last week I was at a seminar and I was speaking — I was talking with a gentleman from Cisco who mentioned to me that recently there was an attack in Japan on their 911 system through the cell phones, through wireless
devices. That a virus had actually infected wireless devices; in turn, all at the same time they called 911 in Japan. And so security’s becoming much, much more important, not lust on
operating systems and on applications, you know, desk tops, but also now on wireless devices as well. And I think that that’s something that our customers ask about. We’re working wlth
Microsoft technology. Of course, all the heat, press lately about Microsoft and the security packages -
Allchin speaks of ‘medicine’ (Linux/UNIX):
MR. ALLCHIN: Let me push on this just a minute. We said that we were going to get focused on this trustworthiness. Jusd what that meant was more transparency. Anytime that we found
something we were going to publish it. We’re now getting abuse -I mean, it’s not like Linux or Solaris or — you pick your system.
Mr. Ratajczak remarks:
At the SMB market, mostly the S, you know, when Microsoft comes out or people come out with security issues and Linux penetration, they save — you know, they don’t — they remember that about 30 seconds and then they go on. But they do
obviously know that it costs money to keep — keep it going, get the updates and all that kind of stuff. And that’s probably the hardest thing I’ve run Into.
Ms. Hutchison on the upgrade treadmill:
I can’t believe I’m going to be talking about XML. Correct me if I’m wrong. But say you’re in an application and this is an operating system – let’s say it’s Office for a moment here. You — you’re in Excel. You want to publish a pivot table as a Web page. Gee, it worked really great when we were running Office 2000. Now we’ve got Offlce XP. Guess what, the only people who can see this pivot table on a Web page are other XP users.
Later, 15 minutes from the end, they begin discussing “Linux”:
MR. O’NEILL: We have about 15 minutes left. I want to make sure if there are other topics -
MR. ALLCHIN: want to switch gears unless you have one last thing.
MR. VINOKUR: Well, one of the questions you had – part of the question you had was Linux.
MR. ALLCHIN: Yeah, I’m about to get there.
MR. VINOKUR: I will let you lead.
MR. VINOKUR: I will let you lead.
MR. ALLCHIN: – want to know first your — you guys are important partners for us so — and you’re out promoting our products.
We feel a huge threat from Linux. Maybe we shouldn’t, which is a question you could answer from your perspective, but we’re trying to — you know, there’s many characteristics of Linux. There’s Linux the community. We’re going to learn from Linux the community. Incredible what they aid. You know, our shared source effort, people on our news groups, our commitment to MVP’s. We’re on that one. We’re going to woodshed, woodshed. We’re going to practice and practice and practice.
Then Allchin mocks the GPL, saying it’s bad for the United States:
MR. ALLCHIN: — and improve. The second is GPL. GPL is the licensing model. We think it’s very bad for — on an education, telling the world why we think it’s bad. We don’t think it’s the same as public domain. Somebody wants to put in a free DSB, we don’t have a problem with that, at least on licensing. But GPL, we think it’s very bad basically for the world, but especially for the United States.
Third is the product and we’re going to go compete with Linux. So what I want to know is how, from your perspective, are our product not matching up today; what should we, in your opinion, be doing about it? It could range from, “Nothing. It’s not a problem. Don’t worry about it,” to, “Boy, you got a real problem here and you’d better do X.” So that’s what I would like
to hear about.
Then Allchin talks about the IDC study he’s preparing — the one he previously said he must have or buy.
MR. ALLCHIN: Don’t you think — just to push on that a little bit. For the whole discussion that we just had about that it’s a traction of the cost. And we know — there’s a study going to come out from IDC that shows that Linux costs companies more, but -
Allchin’s partner try to reassure or calm him down, but he is not easily convinced.
MR. ALLCHIN: Why do you think it’s going to get tougher and tougher? [for Linux]
They respond with myths and FUD:
MR. WATTS: Because as you start getting to where you’re going to be writing more and more code to make Linux capable of doing what
Using Linux requires writing code?
It then turns out that some of Microsoft’s partners actually use GNU/Linux (they kept quiet about it up until now):
MR. VINOKUR: We’ve set up a few Linux boxes, primarily…
And on it goes…
MR. VINOKUR: So with Linux when it came our, I can take a — I had one customer, just to show them what we can do, because he was trying to save money, really trying to save money.
We took a 486 DX266 with — I don’t remember how much memory, 64 — I don’t remember, I really don’t. I think he needed like 5 megs worth, because it’s primarily XML doctuments, Word documents. He was happy, 100 bucks later and maybe 6 hours of my time and the computer that he had sitting holding a door open. so there’s — there’s that – and I have more and more clients asking me about it. Two or three years ago nobody would ask me. Now they’re asking me. Now one of the clients who has two of those machines is asking me about work stations. Because all we do is documents and spread sheets. Star Office just came out — I mean Sun just came out with Star Office 6.0. I hate to say it, but for the honey — the $67.00, it’s incredible. Mac, Apple — I mean, Apple, Windows and Linux and Solarls.
I mean, it’s — so it’s — it’s it’s that competitive side. So is Linux going to be harder? I disagree with you. There are so many tools out today that are also getting to be — because the real reason why Microsoft is easier is because you have utilities that are graphics. Click, click, click you’re done. Same thing with Linux. Is it something to worry about? I believe so. The biggest — the way I have always — the reason I came back to the smaller market is because those 5 to 10 user companies will grow. If you help them, they will grow. And that’s a huge market out there that Microsoft just can’t seem to step in.
Desktop, okay, because a lot of it was not possible to get anything other than. Today, Dell, IBM, HP, they’re all selling other than Microsoft OS. So you can order a Redhead on the regular desktop and save 150 bucks or whatever the difference is. So it is — it is going to be harder. And the tools that are coming out, and then the Linux community is learning from Microsoft. We need tools, we need to make it easy. The idea ms the more techies cut there that can support us, the more Linux is going to be in the market.
Later on, the subject of Linux comes up again:
MR. VINOKUR: I actually have learned to — you know, you were talking about doing coding with Linux. It’s actually — I have been following it for the last three, four years, Linux, and for the longest time I’ve been saying it’s for those people who have enough time on their hands.
And in the last probably year or so you have documents
MR RATAJCZAK: It’s getting -
MR VINOKUR: It has got — and that’s what I keep saying. It’s going to get even easier. It will catch up with utilities and so on. And it’s already there. So I think it’s very close to being there.
It’s important to remember that these are all Microsoft employees or close partners.
There are some more eye-opening bits in the next part, which also contains the remainder of the transcript. █
Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px07175, as text – Part I
Part II here
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WHAT are Microsoft and Portugal’s government up to this time around? Same old, same old on the face it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].
One of our informants in Portugal argues that “Vortal makes the web site where most of the Portuguese public procurements are done” and “[he has] been told by many that you have to be a Microsoft client to run for any public procurement [...] here is the proof (screenshot below).”
The page says:
2.4 O que é necessário para utilizar as plataformas de contratação
pública electrónica da Vortal?
Para utilizar a plataforma, o seu utilizador necessita somente de dispor
de um computador e de um software de acesso à Internet (browser), não
sendo necessária a instalação de qualquer software aplicacional
Os postos de trabalho (computadores) têm apenas de cumprir com os
seguintes requisitos mínimos:
* Pentium II, 300 MHz, 64 Mb RAM ou superior.
* Software – MS Windows 98, NT, 2000, Millennium, XP, 2003 ou Vista
e Internet Explorer 6.0. Outras aplicações que seja necessário
utilizar estarão disponíveis para download e instalação a partir
da plataforma vortalGOV, tais como o Adobe Reader ou o Microsoft
* Ligação à internet (é aconselhável uma ligação de banda larga)
2.4 What is necessary to use Vortal’s platforms for electronic public
In order to use the platform, its user needs only to have a computer and
an Internet access software (browser), without the need to install any
other application software.
Workstations (computers) need only to fulfill the following minimal
* Pentium II, 300 MHz, 64 Mb RAM or superior.
* Software – MS Windows 98, NT, 2000, Millennium, XP, 2003 or Vista
and Internet Explorer 6.0. Other applications that need to be used
are available for download and installation from vortalGOV
platform, such as Adobe Reader or Microsoft Silverlight.
* Internet connectivity (broadband is advisable)
To receive this sort of insult from any government is a truly a shame; it’s more to be expected from suppressive regimes or Ryanair [1, 2]. Then again, Microsoft breaks laws in procurement [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], so it’s not particularly surprising. Will the European Commission take this into account?
Overall, Microsoft’s proprietary ‘extensions’ to Web pages are locking GNU/Linux users out and leaving them to complain about Monolight[sic], not Microsoft. At the same time, Microsoft fools developers, telling them that “Silverlight is cross-platform”. This is a lie that neglected individuals can also thank Novell for. █
“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”
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