Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Might Sabotage Google's Big Announcement Using Shills

When Ina Friedshill [1, 2] tried to rain on Google's parade, she later received this response from Google: "Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service."



“The Maureen O'Gara incidents teach a lot about the ways such a routine works behind the scenes.”For those who do not know, Microsoft's 'public relations' figure in CNET (motives are always disguised) muddied the water a bit when Google announced Chrome. This is only to be expected and it is also likely that Microsoft's intelligence staff knew about Chrome well in advance, so they could prepare 'FUD points' to sling via the media, using special friends like Ina Friedshill. The Maureen O'Gara incidents [1, 2] teach a lot about the ways such a routine works behind the scenes.

Licensing ambiguities/issues aside, there are some other known 'Microsoft moles', who walk around praising Microsoft in the press and slamming its rivals. Some of them wear an "analyst" hat. A new example you can find here, under the article "Analyst Says Google's Chrome Browser Needs Polishing." Looking inside the article for the 'meat' by which a sensationalist headline was chosen, people can find only this:

"But for all the hype, Michael Gartenberg, vice president of mobile strategy for Juptermedia, said Chrome is somewhat underwhelming for a first release."

Michael Gartenberg, eh?

Who is this guy? Is he a shill? Why, yes he is! He's a former "Microsoft evangelist" on the company's payroll.

We even mentioned him previously in [1, 2, 3] and I once sent him an E-mail, to which he replied, denying any connections with Microsoft.

Let's look carefully at what we have here.

Evangelist Gartenberg back to being analyst



After only three weeks at Microsoft as an "evangelist," Michael Gartenberg is returning to his old job as vice president and research director at JupiterResearch.


Perhaps he has had enough 'recruitment time' in Redmond. Shortly afterwards came his anti-GNU/Linux piece, which made it into a lot of publications and was finally rebutted here.

More recently he was found praising one of Microsoft's most disastrous products: the Zune.

Microsoft upgrades Zune players to challenge Apple iPods



[...]

"It's a nice evolutionary development to the product line," said Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg.


Gartenberg is surely part of 'The Club'.

"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]



Other known AstroTurfers are clinging onto any morsel of dirt there is against Google Chrome. They pick up anything that they can find, then spreading it all over the place. It's happening at the moment. We base this on observations made throughout the past couple of days. People whose preference is blatantly anti-GNU/Linux articles (sometimes dedicated just to that) and other Microsoft competitors are all over this one.

Could it be because Microsoft really needs IE8 to break the Web? Dana reports:

Microsoft’s decision, with IE8 beta two, to make its proprietary standards the default in corporate Intranets, defining Web pages using open standards as “broken,” may be the final break between these two Internets.

Can the two Internets be brought back together? And can we return to an Internet where consumers have choices and are free to do as they will?


Could it be because, according to some new tests, IE8 is a resource pig?

In a multi-tab browsing session against 10 websites under Vista, IE8 grabbed about 380MB of memory, in contrast with 250MB consumed by IE7 and just 159MB by Firefox 3.0.1. That makes IE8 nearly one and-a-half times more memory intensive than IE7 and well more than twice as greedy as Firefox.


Could it be because reports are suggesting that Google Apps, for which Chrome is optimised, are 'stealing' customers from Microsoft? Sales of Microsoft Office are already declining.

Google Apps tops 1 million businesses



Almost all of the company's revenue comes from its search engine, which last quarter accounted for more than $5 billion. New initiatives, such as the Chrome browser, Google Gears, and Google Friend Connect, are focused on building a mostly open-source Internet operating system out of Google technology in order to funnel more user data and targeted advertising opportunities into the Googleplex financial engine.


Could it be because Google is said to have 'gained' 1% market share in just one day or so, whereas Microsoft lost 1% in the past month?

Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer lost nearly a full percentage point in market share during August, the browser's biggest drop in three months, a Web metrics firm said today.


This Web metric is highly inaccurate if not altogether meaningless, but trends as opposed to absolute number may say something. For an explanation about this "Web metrics firm", see this previous post.

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