Bonum Certa Men Certa

IDG, ACT, CompTIA and the Rest of the Microsoft AstroTurf

20 dollar bill



Summary: Rob Enderle still attacking Google and GNU/Linux (and Preston Gralla from IDG likewise); Spinners from IDG tilt Microsoft antitrust in Microsoft's favour

IDG's relationship with Microsoft is a subject which we wrote about quite comprehensively in the past [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This company has its share of Linux-hostile writers, one of whom is Preston Gralla. His Microsoft crusade is something we previously wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Gralla sells Windows books, so his agenda merely aligns with his pockets. But why does he spend so much time attacking Microsoft rivals he knows nothing about? Why does IDG permit this? Ad revenue?

“Gralla sells Windows books, so his agenda merely aligns with his pockets. But why does he spend so much time attacking Microsoft rivals he knows nothing about?”There are quite a few reporters in IDG (also ZDNet) who write about GNU/Linux despite not using it. Ever! That would be the equivalent of someone who never tried any Apple products writing about how Macs suck (based on screenshots and other reporters). It's simply not appropriate.

Preston Gralla is to GNU/Linux what Rob Enderle is to GNU/Linux, but the former is still far worse at hiding the source of his poison pen [1, 2]. Gralla is somewhat of a wannabe of Enderle, who is still at it by the way -- currently aggravating Google with an outrageous comparison to Palin over at ECT.

Another person is calling out Gralla for his seemingly endless attacks on GNU/Linux.

In this weeks (May 18th, 2009) Computerworld print edition’s opinion column “Desktop Linux: Why you Shouln’t Care” Preston Gralla (who?) bashes Linux for no apparent reason other than to bash something he obviously knows nothing about. I’ve never heard of this guy before so I checked out the rest of his blog post, and to my surprise (note the sarcasm) yep he loves his Microsoft. It’s fine to love your operating system of choice but it’s another thing to spread out right lies about the operating system you choose not to use.


It is valuable to put one's effort citing (and thus 'fueling') the writings of those reporters who actually use GNU/Linux and write about it, not those who provoke to defend their personal interests. They are like lobbyists dressed up as writers and sometimes they even swap such roles (analysts-lobbysists-journalists-marketers). Some of these roles are easily interchangeable as Peter Galli, Peter O’Kelly, and Michael Gartenberg [1, 2] demonstrate very nicely.

A couple of days ago, Glyn Moody drew attention to the Web site of ALT (not to be confused with Microsoft lobbyist ATL), which stands for Alliance for Lobbying Transparency.

The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency (ALT) is an alliance of civil society groups concerned about the growing influence of professional lobbying on Government decision-making and life in the UK.


Banning or jailing would be even better and more suitable than just transparency.

The above is a very timely pointer because of ACT [1, 2, 3], an incarnation of Microsoft lobbyists ATL. Paul Meller is again promoting (by parroting) the ACT party line in IDG:

The latest Microsoft antitrust battle in Europe has sparked a turf war between lobby groups that claim to represent small and medium size enterprises' (SMEs) interests in the case.PIN-SME, a lobby group on the side of the European Commission -- Europe's top antitrust authority -- hit out at rival the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) in a statement Thursday. The document dismissed ACT's claim earlier this week that SMEs need a solid Windows platform containing Internet Explorer (IE) for building software.

[...]

Another long-serving Microsoft ally in its European Commission antitrust battles, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Thursday backed up Zuck's argument that SMEs are on Microsoft's side in the case.CompTIA is intervening in the Microsoft case on behalf of 90 SMEs, it said.


What is Meller doing? He is bringing another Microsoft lobbying gun (CompTIA to be precise [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]) into this debate so as to verify and virtually justify ACT's talking point, which is Microsoft's.

“It's the illusion of confrontation or a debate between straw men.”A informant calls the author "MS Meller", explaining that he "puts ACT and Pin SME on equal footing, impl[ying] Pin SME was on the same grounds." It's the illusion of confrontation or a debate between straw men. To suggest that there is representation of small businesses here is also the illusion that businesses large and small (Mirosoft AstroTurf) support Microsoft in this particular case. it's not just dishonest and unethical; it should be considered criminal.

"Have a look at his article history just for the NYTimes," says our informant about Paul Meller. He is among the Brussels correspondents (IDG says that he explores "European Commission" issues).

Further to previous coverage of Microsoft dodging the EU hearing [1, 2], there is also this short piece suggesting that Microsoft deliberately discredits the European Commission.

Whoever tries to slap in the face of the European hearing officer because some potential national observers prefer to go to an international conference, looks pretty incompetent. It was reported also Commissioner Kroes intended to honour the hearing of DG competition with her attendance. It seems also inspiring how failure is spinned in a way to smear the Commission and dig the hole deeper.


At the end of the day, a lot of this boils down to politics and those who cover (spin) this. IDG is hardly a source to be trusted.

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