Bonum Certa Men Certa

Attack ODF, Get a Job at Microsoft

Deed and reward

THERE IS A GOOD REASON for keeping track of characters that attack ODF. Several months ago, Microsoft hired a journalist who had constantly wrestled with ODF in the press. It also hired a BBC executive who had fought against GNU/Linux users in the United Kingdom. These hirings might be coincidental, but it seems unlikely. People who develop a vendetta against Free(dom) software are sometimes asked to "plant" stories for Microsoft [1, 2]. They are obviously assimilated and like-minded (they fit Microsoft's corporate culture), so may expect to be rewarded somehow. There is nothing fishy about paying someone 'compensation' in the form of an weekly paycheck, eh? So they think.



The Burton Group was one of the main forces that fought against ODF. Leading this effort was Peter O’Kelly, whose group relentlessly caused harm to real standards [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23]. This group will attack anyone, products or business competitors that Microsoft considers as threats to its market dominance.

Well, guess who Microsoft has just hired?

IT market watcher Peter O’Kelly has joined a number of other former industry analysts who’ve taken the Red Pill and joined Microsoft over the past few years.

[...]

O’Kelly hinted in his blog post that some of his former IT analyst colleagues also are part of his new collaboration team. O’Kelly didn’t name any names or provide further details on exactly what the new team will do.


However, it's apparent that he has brought some friends along.

This was the main man responsible for poisoning the minds of journalists and producing pro-Microsoft (and anti-ODF) material, for which he received lucrative consulting contracts from Microsoft. That's how it typically works. Speaking of journalists, why are none of the English-speaking papers covering the major news from Brazil (re: ODF adoption)? It's the same with Germany at the moment.

Anyway, to conclude and summarise, the example above shows a potential recipe for disinformation being manufactured, which Microsoft's evangelism presentations further validate:

  1. Ask an analyst to conduct study proving some hypothesis, then hire the analyst to consult. It's a form of reward or sponsorship for the study, which does not count as sponsorship. It's a loophole.
  2. Ask an analyst to conduct study proving some hypothesis and a year later hire this analyst This arouses less suspicion because people are forgetful and the study has had time to be absorbed and make impact.
  3. Ask an analyst to embark on a 'study' that proves some prescribed hypothesis, then have the analyst charge large amounts of money to obtain a copy of the full report. The company and its allies can then purchase many copies of the report, thus compensating rather than sponsoring.


It's a simple exercise in money-following. The Burton Group charges a lot of money for its reports, and it's not alone. Who would be interested in buying the study (sometimes it costs thousands of dollars per copy) and spreading it among CIOs to make a case? This gives plenty of room for strategy (3), not just (1) which for a fact applies here.

Microsoft must have given Peter O’Kelly a lot of money to give those presentations in Redmond (about document standards) after he had published that 'study'. Lastly, (2) applies here too, according to the news. Options (4) and (5) would probably involve sponsoring the analysts firm or its study somehow, but why do it in such a blunt and obvious way when there are sophisticated tricks and loopholes?

Burton Group: zero credibility.

“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]



Man alone
Turncoats abound

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