09.23.09

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Microsoft Crowd Uses comScore Numbers to Lie Again

Posted in America, Deception, Google, Microsoft, Search at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Location on Earth -  Asia

Summary: Microsoft fools everyone by showing only some numbers from a business partner that gauges queries in the most friendly population (to Microsoft)

HOW MUCH of a difference does money on the table make? Experience suggests that it makes a real difference, but those who take the money always have excuses and justifications for what they do. How about this rather FOSS-hostile new post which ends with:

Disclosure: MS is a pluggd.in sponsor – but that relationship has no influence on any of the post.

Sure, sure. Well, the very fact that a particular entity (site or individual) accepts payments from Microsoft is enough to be indicative or prior convictions. For instance, one who is fond of Free(dom) software is less likely to take money from Microsoft to begin with; those who are apathetic towards freedom will have no qualm about accepting money from a convicted monopolist. This brings us to today’s issue.

“Microsoft sells the world an illusion — the illusion that the American market is representative of the world at large.”As pointed out before, Microsoft signed a deal with comScore [1, 2, 3], which led to some conspicuous congratulations from comScore. But more importantly, comScore measures activities on the Web only in the United States and Microsoft systematically uses these US-only figures to deceive the public [1, 2]. This strategy applies to sales figures, to so-called 'market share', and also to search share. Microsoft sells the world an illusion — the illusion that the American market is representative of the world at large. It could not be further from the truth.

Well, comScore is doing it again and the results are predictable. The MSBBC covers it without any scrutiny and so do Microsoft fan blogs, including some that are Bing-sponsored. They present proprietary (i.e. cannot be validated by an outsider) US-only data and speak about it as though it’s global and factual. It’s a case of clever deception because Microsoft’s share in search is really minuscule at a global scope (under 4% according to one source) and the business is extremely unsuccessful at delivering RoI. In fact, this business loses so much money so rapidly that had Microsoft not borrowed money and made some money from Office and Windows, it would have been bankrupt a long time ago. Here is Ars Technica making an understatement about the performance of Windows Live (Windows Mobile gets mentioned too), cleverly using the term “unprofitable” to describe a business that loses almost a billion dollars per year (Xbox has lost about $6 billion or more).

Microsoft has disclosed that its Windows Live and Mobile Services divisions were unprofitable in the financial year of 2009. Razorfish, which the company sold off last month, also lost money.

For several years now, Microsoft has been fixing the buckets in order to hide these losses from less qualified observers.

“Bartz says search engine Bing unlikely to make significant mark”

MarketWatch (June 2009)

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