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02.12.10

Microsoft Mouth for Hire Forrester Research Becomes Even More Discreet

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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 [PDF]

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4 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    February 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Gravatar

    Replied to Scott Berkun’s post:

    “Windows 95, Office 95, Internet Explorer 5.0, MS Natural Keyboard, XBOX 360 were all excellent products by most standards,”

    You’re not serious are you? Xbox 360 has probably been the most unreliable piece of consumer electronics released in history.

    Windows 95 was all hype and no substance. It was a terrible product that grabbed the market attention but never actually delivered.

    And the MS natural keyboard is somewhat subjective. I’m sure if I had a stomach so big I couldn’t get my arms around it it might feel ‘natural’ but otherwise it feels anything but.

    Office 95 was also a terrible product, and they’ve only gone down-hill since.

    “The premise: The core point of the Brass article is how the introduction of middle management and bureaucracy has killed innovation at Microsoft.”

    Well that’s just bogus too. Let’s be frank. Microsoft was born out of the suppression of innovation. And that’s been their business model ever since. Can’t compete? Buy out the competitor and sink their product. Damn the customers. Rinse. Repeat.

    Get your blinkers off and have an unconstrained look at the company you used to work for, and you might see things very differently.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, I did find it important to point out that Microsoft had paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars. You don’t bite the hand/breast that fed you.

    Many ex-Sofies are deluded.

    “People everywhere love Windows.”

    Bill Gates

    Mikko Reply:

    Windows95 = IRQ Errors

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 13, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Gravatar

    And blue screens of death were a huge problem at the time.

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