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09.13.10

Microsoft-funded IDC (IDG) Attacks GNU/Linux in Russian Schools, Accused of Using “Corrupt” Data

Posted in Asia, Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Soviet Russia, government controls commerce

IDG propagada

Summary: IDG is still selling bias and lies to customers, agreeing on how to present data in a way that’s favourable to the client, even if it’s Microsoft Russia, which is attacking citizens of Russia and supporting a suppressive/corrupt regime

INTERNATIONAL DATA CORPORATION (IDC) is not about data and there is nothing so “International” about it; it’s just a private company pretending to have a global authority over information and it is not much better than Rupert Murdoch's enterprises. For information about IDC see our wiki page (there is also newer one about IDG, the parent company).

IDG, IDC and MicrosoftIDC uses improper data so as to fit its clients’ requirements, e.g. to make GNU/Linux market share in servers look very low (counting the wrong items or misusing criteria).

“…Microsoft was helping the Russian authorities imprison political opposition.”A little earlier in the week (more links at the bottom) we showed how Microsoft was helping the Russian authorities imprison political opposition. OpenBytes wrote about it and so did Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (among many others):

I repeatedly say to readers, ask your friends what they actually think of Microsoft. How many can you find that are actually happy with them or their products and more importantly how many believe that there are no alternatives purely due to years of FUD and PR.

 

But, in all these other cases, the companies have at least tried to preserve their user’s rights to privacy and free speech. Microsoft, though, appears to have been working hand-in-glove with its Russian partner.

And, people wonder why I recommend Linux over Windows! With Linux, you own your software. The police of any country can always find an excuse to take your computer, but at least with free and open-source software they won’t have the tacit support of the programs’ creators.

Today we are going to show how IDG/IDC (almost interchangeable) also helps Microsoft battle GNU/Linux adoption in Russia, where usage of GNU/Linux in enterprises is already quite high based on Microsoft's own intelligence/numbers that are secret.

IDG, a punishing company (not a research company, IDC is more of a subservient spinoff on the face of it), likes to promote IDC’s ‘findings’, which are almost always a load of nonsense, defended by convenient data that’s selective or made up. That’s the case in several different areas. We are talking about the same IDC that works with the Microsoft front group, Business Software Alliance, to produce fake numbers for lobbyists to use [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The thing about IDC is that it knows it’s lying; off the record, even its own employees admit that it’s corrupt. The BSA is no better. People report to the BSA the mistake of using proprietary software (like those crackdowns in Russia) in order to receive BSA bounties like in this new case:

The software industry’s police self-styled police force, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), has said that it recently paid a £10,000 ($15,300) bounty to an employee who informed on his former company’s use of unlicensed software.

A couple of months ago we got informed of a report that's connected to Microsoft and has the intention of killing migrations to GNU/Linux in all Russian schools. Yes, we heard about such a ‘study’ before and wrote about it well ahead of other Web sites. Alexey Smirnov, the ALT Linux CEO, finally reveals that this study (or another study) was conducted by IDC. “The data used in the study issued by IDC are corrupt,” he alleges. Here are parts of his open letter:

On August 31 Vedomosti, one of Russia’s leading newspapers, published an article referring to a special study by IDC entitled “Total cost of ownership of IT infrastructure in Russian schools”, which had been ordered by Moscow municipal center of information technology and educational equipment (http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/244690/idc_sela_za_partu). The article targets the comparison of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of free and non-free software in schools.

The conclusions set forward in such a study are of major significance in Russia now, as by the end of the year 2010, all of the 55,000 secondary schools in the country must decide whether to migrate to free software or to purchase Microsoft products and other proprietary software instead. Therefore, the findings of the study authored by IDC may significantly affect the procurement decisions by schools, and a mistake in the analysis may lead to losses of the Russian taxpayers’ money and damage the reputation of IDC.

Unfortunately, the examination of IDC’s study shows that it is based on the incorrect data, does not fully take into account the Russian realities and contains a number of gross mistakes in its findings.

[...]

The data used in the study issued by IDC are corrupt. Let me give a few examples:

*

When assessing the cost of free software licenses, the author ignores the fact that all the necessary applications are already provided as part of the Linux distribution, and therefore, there is no need to separately procure any “other software”. My statement is based on the list of software applications for secondary schools that was officially adopted by the Russian government (Edict of the Government of the Russian Federation from October 18, 2007 N 1447-p), as well as on the fact that a specially tailored Linux distribution in full conformance with these requirements was developed under the commission of the Ministry of education of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the expenses related to the procurement of free software are exaggerated sixfold.

*

The schools have an opportunity to receive a copy of the Linux distribution free of charge with a full set of the necessary software applications. The access to software updates is also offered for free. They pay $6 a year only in the case when they want to receive technical support from the developer through telephone or e-mail.
*

Besides the Linux distribution, the tailored free software package that has been developed for schools under government commission contains a full set of software that can be run under Windows. Unfortunately, the study ignores the very real option to buy Microsoft products and use the free software from the package as the “other software”.
*

The estimation of license costs for the Microsoft products is based on the price offer ofAlexey Smirnov, ALT Linux CEO $8 per year for one seat. This price offer is valid only when licenses are acquired for all of the school computers in the region. Therefore, the license fees need to be paid not only for Windows PCs, but also for Apple computers, which are used rather extensively in Moscow schools. Furthermore, if a school owns a server, an additional yearly fee of $22 needs to be paid, while the price of the yearly licenses for workstations increases to $14 (see http://download.microsoft.com/documents/rus/education/pdf/Letter.pdf). The IDC study assumes that there is roughly one server for every 1,000 students, i.e., almost one server for every school, but the analyst neglects the consecutive rise of the workstation license fees.
*

The data concerning the costs of supplementary training for teachers in Russia that is available from freely accessible sources demonstrate a more than ten fold difference from the data used in the study and, depending on the region, amount to $40 to $120, or $8 to $24 a year. The cost of federal government contracts dealing with the training of teachers also fits within this price range. This observation overturns the key finding of the study: that the cost of supplementary training for teachers specializing in particular disciplines may become “the most significant factor in the total cost of ownership of IT infrastructure in schools”. In fact, these costs turn out to be of comparable size, and even tend to be lower than the costs of yearly license fees for proprietary software.
*

Finally, the supplementary training does not require any special expenditures, as teachers in Russia are obliged to complete training courses once every 5 years, and the expenses of such training are totally unrelated to the particular type of software being used. Therefore, over the term of 5 years (which is the time frame of IDC’s study), this part of the expenses related to the training of teachers is the same for free and non-free software.

I do not want to overload my letter with mathematical expositions, but the facts given above show that the findings of the study would have been completely different if they were based on real data from freely accessible sources, and in such case they would not have allowed to confuse and mislead people by referring to the authority of IDC.

Given all the money that Microsoft gives IDG through advertising and IDC through contracts (maybe Microsoft commissioned this particular study too), it is not surprising that IDG/IDG is again attacking GNU/Linux. It’s good for its clients. Now that we learn about new HP corruption in Russia (separate from the Hurd debacle [1, 2, 3, 4]), bribery is not out of the question, either:

HP can’t catch a break. Weeks after the board ousted former CEO Mark Hurd and just days after the company settled False Claims Act and kickback charges with the U.S. Department of Justice for $55 million, the company discloses that government officials are also looking into allegations of bribery in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the investigation began with German officials looking into charges that a German subsidiary of HP paid bribes in Russia to win a $44.5 million contract with the Russian Federation prosecutor general’s office. The United States joined the investigation and is asking for information on “certain governmental and quasi-governmental transactions” in and outside of Russia.

The “government in Russia is very corrupted,” told us a person who alerted us about the ‘studies’ against GNU/Linux in Russian schools back in July. Well, anything that collaborates with Microsoft turns out to be “corrupted”.

Russia links:

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