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Novell is Feeding the Shills-for-Hire from IDC

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pay-to-say Gillen et al return

Summary: Novell pays IDC for GNU/Linux studies, but it mistakenly feeds one of the most FOSS-hostile and corruptible groups out there

AL Gillen and his goons are showing up in the “Linux” news again. They were fed last year by the Linux Foundation and this time they are fed by Novell. Most of the time, however, they are fed by Microsoft and the proprietary software cartel. Wherever there is money, their opinion will naturally swing.

Welcome to the world of ‘analysis’, where money drives a CIO’s opinion which is based on so-called ‘whitepapers’. Microsoft puts it best when it says [PDF]:

“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.”

Another Microsoft analyst, Paul DeGroot from “Directions On Microsoft” said last year that “there’s a lot of Linux out there — much more than Microsoft generally signals publicly — and their customers are using it….”

“…Microsoft is paying IDC a lot of money to manufacture dirt against GNU/Linux.”Under certain circumstances, analysts are inclined to tell some truth, but truth does not drape one’s pocket. As we’ve shown before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], using very solid courtroom evidence, Microsoft is paying IDC a lot of money to manufacture dirt against GNU/Linux (c/f Analysts Cartel part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5). Comes exhibits show this too, so it is far from an empty allegation; it’s a substantiated fact and we urge readers to examine the evidence and reach their own conclusions.

As we explained back when IDC — headed by Al Gillen in this particular area — had thrown FUD at Free software, paying IDC is playing with fire (or fighting against fire using more fire). Whoever pays them the most will ‘win’, but the only big winner — in financial terms — is IDC, which uses its media platforms to promote Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Anyway, regarding some new “Linux” survey that percolates through the news right now, bear this in mind:

Novell, the distributor of SUSE Linux Enterprise System, was the sponsor of the survey and made a draft of the IDC white paper available to InformationWeek today. But it had no role in selecting survey respondents, said Markus Rex, senior VP of Novell’s Open Platforms Solutions.

“Had no role,” eh? Would Novell have sponsored a study that is favourable to its competition? Was IDC expected to deliver results that flatter the prospective customer/s? Or choose methods and criteria that are favorable by design (not advantageous based on merit)?

“Do better, clean up inherently-unethical and corruptible systems.”Questionnaires from Novell are shamelessly ‘cooked’, as evidenced two years ago. Microsoft too has used IDC to inquire with a highly-biased populations regarding GNU/Linux, thus knowing what answers to expect. There are other, more recent examples like push polling.

This probably all begs the question, how to improve rather than just complain? What to do other than to fund?


Refuse to play the corrupt game. Do better, clean up inherently-unethical and corruptible systems. IDC is part of this system and by funding it, Novell gives this group credibility which it does not deserve. For Novell, to dismiss IDC studies while paying the very same group is not just hypocritical; it’s dangerous and it is almost uncanny.

GNU father
Freedom is about truthfulness and
honesty, not cartels and ‘junk science’

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  1. JohnD said,

    March 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm


    I just found the IDC link on my own and I’m confused at your position on the survey. From what I can see it’s showing that Linux has great potential to come out of the downturn in a better position than before – how is that bad? I also did not see evidence promoting Novell and/or M$ over anyone else – in fact RedHat is mentioned.
    I’m not trying to debate IDC’s ethics, or lack there of, I just see the survey as positive for Linux in general.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm



    Yes, that’s because Novell paid for it. As the headline and subheadline suggest, IDC doesn’t exactly do independent studies. It produces compliments for a cheque.

  3. JohnD said,

    March 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm


    While I hate statistics and firmly believe they can be manipulated to support any position – in this I’d question how much influence Novell could exert over respondent’s answers. They are either using Linux or they aren’t. Even if you work the survey to focus on those who are already using Linux or have plans too – the end result is that it’s in the enterprise and they have plans to use more of it. While it’s unclear which side will lose more Unix or Windows – it seems Linux will do better. I also think any attempt to spin this as a plus for M$ would be quite a stretch. Let’s be honest you’ve been using RH fiscal numbers in an attempt to prove various points – yet it’s unclear how much of RH revenue is driven by supporting Windows based solutions.
    Aren’t well all guilty of spin?

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