Bonum Certa Men Certa

IDG on IDC+BSA Deception, OpenOffice.org Growth, and Thoughts on ODF

Summary: IDG makes an attempt at criticism of its very own output (poor attempt, obviously); OpenOffice.org grows regardless

AS we pointed out last month, there is clear evidence to suggest that Microsoft front groups such as the BSA promote the false perception that free is illegal. They try to discourage adoption of Free software like OpenOffice.org.



Here in ComputerWorld there is rare type of new article where deception from the BSA is actually debated in the sense that the other side of the story (the truth rather) is being told, in addition to the usual fabrication of big numbers and sob stories. It's the annual BSA/IDC propaganda, indirectly funded by the likes of Microsoft [1, 2]. It's analogous to propaganda which is manufactured by the MPAA/RIAA on behalf of the big studios.

The loopholes are always the same, but the mainstream press refuses to pay attention, so it parrots and deceives the public time after time. This type of obedience/compliance is what keeps it in business, by business, for business. From IDG:

But critics of the study say it fails to account for the possibility that pirated software could be replaced with Linux or other open-source options. If it were, the BSA's global loss figure of $53 billion would drop sharply, they maintain.


The imbalance in this article is stunning. Only a single sentence gets dedicated to this very important issue that may as well debunk the message as a whole. Then again, it is the job of IDG to propagate these words of big business; it's rarely about challenging them effectively. IDG happens to be one of those gigantic businesses*, not just an advertising partner [1, 2, 3, 4]. The conflict of interests here is obvious. From the same source we also gather some numbers which may or may not mean something. As the following new post states (with caveats):

InfoWorld runs an article titled Windows Pulse: The Real-World State of Windows, in which they report the results from a network of machines that voluntarily downloaded a reporting application. How the machines were chosen was not specified, and the sample size of 20,000 may not provide an accurate picture of global trends, but the data shows OpenOffice installed on 12% of those machines, which looks like great progress!


As further advice for the likes of OpenOffice.org, here is one bit of opinion on the subject: [the scrupulous Microsoft employee wrote (via Glyn Moody): "Interesting read, but do you know why thinkovation.com blocks access from Microsoft?"]

I happen to think that Microsoft’s OOXML shouldn’t be called an “open standard”. It’s not about “open” it’s about “closed” it’s not about the “future” it’s about the past. The development of OOXML must have been like driving a car using only the rear-view mirror to tell where you’re going. It’s a nasty kluge designed to serve the dual purposes of reinforcing Microsoft’s virtual monopoly and providing some backward (backward in every sense of the word) compatibility. I also object to the shenanigans associated with the OSI process – but I do feel obliged to note that the activity of filling committee rooms with your supporters wasn’t invented by Microsoft – many other vendors have “stuffed” meetings in the past in order to sway votes, and many more will in the future.


In interviews and analyses last year, no-one was able to find anything close to the corruption demonstrated by Microsoft. Yes, corruption. Not everyone is familiar with the pertinent stories, but the facts speak for themselves. Microsoft too is unable to defend itself.

Protest against OOXML



____ * IDC works with the BSA on those numbers and it's more or less a subsidiary of IDG.

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