Bonum Certa Men Certa

Yankee Group Busted for Microsoft Shilling Again, Forced to Destroy Lies

To those who are familiar with the Yankee Group, none of this should be surprising. We even covered this before and will continue to do so in the future.

For many years this so-called 'research' group has been carrying out anti-Linux studies (read: manufactured publications for clients) that had been commission by Microsoft. Even recently, The Yankee Group's founder called open source "a religion" and mocked it for some kicks.

At the moment the group is just trying to get rid of this stigma which it earned itself, but it's finding new targets. This time it's VMWare and it's already backfiring.

Yankee Group pulls 'inaccurate' report



[...]

Virtualisation vendor VMware objected to a number of inaccuracies in the virtualisation report, which seemed to favour its competitor Microsoft. The report still being carried on Microsoft's site, although VMware has asked Microsoft to remove it from there too - as yet, this requested has not been responded to.

VMware said it didn't "send the mob guys" around to Yankee Group and that the analyst had removed the report, Virtualisation Price War: VMware's Little Big Horn? from its website.

The complaint centres on the comparisons that were used. VMware said the report didn't compare "apples with apples" in technology terms, as it lined up Microsoft's hosted Virtual Server functionality and pricing with VMware's "bare metal" offering, instead of with VMware Server. The report also double-counted licencing costs on VMware implementations, and contained inaccuracies in its price list by failing to list VMware's bundle options and its á la carte pricing compared with those of its rivals, VMware claimed.


This sounds familiar, does it not? There are many other tricks that Microsoft is using against VMWare and it's quite safe to predict antitrust complaints, which VMWare has already warned about (speaking of pre-bundling specifically). In the above, mind the fact that the Yankee Group tossed out its 'study' (hard work, wouldn't you think?) without a fight and Microsoft got itself a copy very fast, which gives a clue about sponsorship. Learn how disclosure rules work (or simply don't work in the case of Microsoft).

Other analysts you need to watch out for at the moment for are people like Gartenberg, Silver and more recently Forrester (no direct citations here, but very much on purpose). They are close to Microsoft and they currently try to spread out the message that there is no point looking beyond and away from Windows to consider Apple Macs and GNU/Linux.

“Learn how disclosure rules work (or simply don't work in the case of Microsoft).”The Gartner Groups can even use headlines like "Windows is collapsing" merely to attract the readers' attention (especially Microsoft skeptics) and assure that the future is all Windows. They try to stop CIOs from doing the logical thing.

Regarding the attention-grabbing headlines, it's a viral marketing trick. We wrote about videos from YouTube before and Microsoft continues to pull these tricks, most recently with a stunt that attracted bloggers attention (fake 'internal' Vista ad, a corny 80s-style music video). Innocent bloggers spread it further and further. This helps Microsoft's image and promotes its products. We mustn't be fooled here.

I contacted Gartenberg the other day because in articles which praise or/and defend Windows he describes himself as: "Michael Gartenberg is vice president and research director for the personal technology and access and custom research groups at JupiterResearch in New York." Of course he won't tell you that he is a former Microsoft evangelist working for Microsoft very briefly (and getting paid by them). He later wrote some anti-Linux slurs and spread them to many networks. His response to me was not surprising (a denial) and it brought back to mind the latter part of the following quote:

“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]



More from the same antitrust exhibit (a document from Microsoft):

"In the face of strong competition, Evangelism's focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent" analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). "Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Be careful what you read out there. Microsoft has a large army of shills doing its marketing work on the Web and also in the printed literature. It's a fact. Even university professors can no longer be trusted due to Microsoft's academic kickbacks. All these practices make a corrupt industry, an academia that is not credible and an unpleasantly unethical society. Microsoft never changed its ways.

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