Summary: A firm that Microsoft occasionally pays to smear Free software has begun lowing the profile of its staff
IT IS NO secret that Microsoft is having trouble and its financial results are constantly declining [1, 2, 3, 4]. Scott Berkun, a former employee of Microsoft who is known to many, has just responded to the claim from a former Microsoft vice president, who said that the company is creatively destroying itself [1, 2].
Microsoft needs to change this consensus in order to keep the illusion that nobody ever gets fired for buying Microsoft*. In order to do this, Microsoft hires analysts, fake journalists, and PR agencies.
Forrester Research, an apparent proponent of AstroTurfing, has already been paid by Microsoft to slam GNU/Linux and more recently to help promote Microsoft. Forrester is just a mouth for hire or an analyst who “sells out”, to use Microsoft’s words from confidential training material (see this leaked document and accompanying talk).
According to this new post, Forrester is going underground, i.e. choosing even more secrecy.
Forrester crimps bloggers: epic E2.0 fail
That is a one dimensional view based on what? Forrester cannot reasonably prevent anyone of its employees from presenting an opinion. If they try overtly then @fake…you-name-it will soon be popping up. The same holds true for Gartner and for any other analyst firm that tries to muzzle its best people. How do you factor that sort of random behavior into any plan? But let’s do a sound check here and review the reality.
Redmonk – and largely through James, is ridiculously active on Twitter – the place where its constituents meet. A good percentage of what James says is barely ’safe for work’ or even relevant to any work. It’s definitely not stuff I could directly quote on the pages of ZDNet. But…and this is THE point…it works. Clients benefit and developers love the firm. In other words, the Redmonk model of personal brand promotion combined with rock solid analysis/support for developers is proven as a business model. Can that be transmuted to the likes of Forrester or Gartner?
In further Tweet conversations with long time correspondent and Gartner analyst Jim Holincheck, he reminded me that Gartner started with a no blog policy. True. But I’d hardly regard most current Gartner blogs as exactly illuminating. And let’s be totally fair. I know that is not a reflection of the individual analyst but a reflection of the firm level problem of matching revenue with value in the context of an outdated business model. Jim also says that blogs are not the only form of social media – heh – we were exchanging on Twitteer – right on !!
Glyn Moody says that “Redmonk’s open beats Gartner’s closed,” but the Gartner Group is not just closed, it is also corrupt. It has been accused of playing a role for large companies like Intel, Microsoft and maybe even Oracle in exchange for what some people call “the analyst tax” (Oracle’s and Microsoft’s chiefs are investors in Gartner for example). █
* In reality it's the opposite and earlier this week there was a report here in the UK indicating that the CIO of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is being replaced after the Microsoft failures [1, 2].
“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.”
–Microsoft, internal document