Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Has Been Rigging Votes/Polls for Ages

The OOXML scandals merely part of a pattern

Microsoft has rigged the ISO vote (the European Commission is investigating and Redmond press acknowledges). ISO too is claimed to have pretty much rigged the vote on complaints against it (and Microsoft/ECMA). Since old articles continue to disappear and Microsoft revisionists put history away along with the ashes, we though we should bring up two old incidents that are no longer covered on the Web. They can be fetched from the Web Archive though.



The first is a convincing accusations against Microsoft gaming a Linux versus Windows poll in a Microsoft-affiliated press, of which there is plenty.

Linux users are accusing the Microsoft-affiliated news site of tampering with the results of an online poll. They believe that the numbers were altered to ensure that a Microsoft-made system was chosen as the winner.

[...]

Reichard also notes that at some point during the poll Linux "magically" lost votes. "At one point Linux had 37 percent of 37,000, which works out to just over 14,000 votes. But when the voting reached 205,000, the poll showed Linux had 6 percent, which is only about 12,000 votes."


The second example is actually much better because there is damning proof. Read this and be disgusted.

By 21 December, more than two-thirds of the respondents (69.5 percent), said they planned to deliver some applications by Web services by the end of 2002, with a large majority of those (nearly half the total sample) planning to use Java. Only 21.5 percent said they planned to use Microsoft .Net -- less than the figure (23.5 percent) planning to use neither.

But by the time the poll closed, on 5 January, the position had dramatically changed, with three quarters of voters claiming to be implementing .Net. This apparent sudden change of heart over the Christmas period appears to be the result of a concerted campaign within Microsoft.

ZDNet UK logs reveal rather obvious vote rigging, and prove that it originated from within Microsoft:

* A very high percentage of voters are from within the microsoft.com domain.

* There is a very high incidence of people attempting to cast multiple votes, even though the poll script blocked out most attempts at multiple voting. The one that wins the prize made 228 attempts to vote. This person was from within the microsoft.com domain.

* Several of the voters evidently followed a link contained in an email, the subject line of which ran: "PLEASE STOP AND VOTE FOR .NET!" We know this, because our logs include the Web address where visitors browsed from; when people click there from a Microsoft Exchange email message, Exchange helpfully gives us the subject line and username. The people who followed that link all had email addresses in the microsoft.com domain.

* There is also clear evidence of automated voting, with scripts attempting to post multiple times.


Why are those links breaking and why do articles 'dissolve' over time?

Interestingly enough, the previously-mentioned (and official) Boycott Microsoft site has just disappeared as well. It has been fine for a decade. Today's IRC log, which will be published tomorrow, has the details.

Microsoft's dirty fight for .NET continues to this date. Never forget the "Slog" and those 'extensions', not to mention secret APIs. Novell is a major part of it now because it owns Mono. When you write about Mono, apologists will show up. They try to shut up critics. That's just what they try to achieve.

A common excuse they bring up is ECMA standards. Public standards are unrelated to patents; put differently, it is possible to have an ECMA standard with accompanying patents, not to mention the possibility of 'extensions' that are covered by new patents (even submarine patents).

Software patents are far from the only issue here. It's also about the composition of the cloud and whatever it integrates with. It's about the API. He who control the API....

Mono is not a root to GNU/Linux success and FOSS adoption. It doesn't replace the competition more than it makes it stronger. You can't beat Microsoft at its own game, for which it sets the rules (both legal and technical).

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