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10.18.09

Microsoft Analysts Mock Free Software and Praise Vista 7

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New FUD from Gartner and Laura DiDio; the points are explained and addressed in turn

WHEN the Gartner Group does not praise Windows as we showed a couple of days ago, the firm is typically saying negative things about its clients’ competition. Bill Gates is one of Gartner’s big investors and Microsoft a major client, so F/OSS bashing from Gartner is a routine thing. A lot of the time they try to change the identity and definition of F/OSS, espcially taking the “F” out of F/OSS. It ensures their money (wages) carry on coming. As a reminder of Gartner’s disdain for Free software and love of Microsoft contracts (as antitrust exhibits), see [1, 2, 3, 4].

Here is one of Gartner’s software patents lobbyists (Brian Prentice) who threw mud at ODF using shameless FUD (which turned out to be utterly incorrect). He now throws mud at FOSS, having raved about software patents for a while [1, 2, 3, 4]. InfoWorld (IDG) has more to say about it.

Brian Prentice over at Gartner has posted an interesting blog article called “Open Source’s Dying Narrative.”

Sam Dean too has responded, but not a single word was said about the vested interests of the source. And yes, it does matter. It was only about a month ago that Gartner also used "cloud" to throw mud at F/OSS (more here), only to be told off repeatedly by people who could easily see through the FUD and rebut with logical arguments, even evidence. Integrity of analysts is generally an issue. They usually don’t have credibility, they have clients. To forget this is to leave oneself vulnerable.

Another new example regards Vista 7 as a success before it’s even released. Guess who’s behind the claims? Laura DiDio. That’s right! Those who have watched the SCO saga and the GNU/Linux world for the past half a decade will surely be familiar with her repertoire.

She is contradicting many previous surveys that show Vista 7 adoption will be very poor and the Microsoft-sponsored blog enthusiastically cites her as follows:

The report from Laura DiDio’s Boston-based Information Technology Intelligence Corp., in partnership with Sunbelt Software, is the latest piece of encouraging news for Microsoft in advance of Windows 7′s release next week. DiDio said this afternoon that the independent survey was conducted without any influence or funding from Microsoft, and she hasn’t yet informed the company of the results.

“There is a lot of Vista 7 boosting at the moment and it is not a coincidence; it’s a matter of timing.”That’s an amusing thing to say. Microsoft paid her in advance — so to speak — for many years, so this is a lie and pure comedy. The FTC’s new requirements probably encounter an unfortunate loophole here. DiDio happens to come from the Yankee Group, which is a longtime friend of Microsoft [1, 2] (and foe of GNU/Linux, obviously). The above seems like another very familiar loophole that we wrote about (with examples) before. Often we find cases where an analyst that serves Microsoft is later (or beforehand) given a contract, sometimes a whole job. So the payments are made indirect. As for the actual claims, we all know that statistics are easy to manipulate based on desire.

As another last example of what we consider to be deceptive, Microsoft Nick comes up with vapourware by mentioning Vista 8 just days before Vista 7 is released. There is a lot of Vista 7 boosting at the moment and it is not a coincidence; it’s a matter of timing.

Here at Boycott Novell we prefer speaking about (and addressing) the ‘Big Lies’ which are most commonly spread. We consider how they should be countered, as the same issues are frequently raised in GNU/Linux advocacy groups. Issues like the market share of GNU/Linux, for example, are some of the points Boycott Novell addresses a lot. Some of the firms above occasionally help lie about it, although just over a year ago Gartner publicly said that GNU/Linux has a 4% market share on the desktop (and growing). One just needs to account for places like South America, which Microsoft-funded meters very rarely do.

Ballmer's slide on Macs and GNU/Linux
Steve Ballmer’s presentation slide
from 2009 shows GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple on the desktop

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