Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Media Seemingly Masquerades as Government Media

"The danger is that Microsoft is using strategic monopolistic pricing in the education market, with the government’s assistance, to turn our state university systems into private workforce training programs for Microsoft."

--Nathan Newman



Summary: A glimpse at an unacceptable overlap in coverage from 1105 Media

LAST year we mentioned that Web sites like "Federal Computer Weekly" and GCN -- sites that pretend to have some authority above business (GCN is calling itself "The online authority for government IT professionals") -- are seemingly just serving Microsoft's agenda. Even the OSI complained about them. These sites are very hostile towards Microsoft competitors and they even make factual errors that seem deliberate (serving a bias). As other people have complained about it we decided to check who is behind this network of Web sites that include:



* Contingency Planning * Defense Systems * Environmental Protection * FCW * Federal Employee News Digest * FederalSoup * FOSE * GCN * Gov Sec US Law Ready * Network-Centric Security * Occupational Health & Safety * Security Products * Washington Technology * Water & Wastewater News

It turns out that some company called 1105 Media is running those sites, so they have nothing to do with the government (as these names may often suggest). They offer promotion of particular products and giving endorsement to Microsoft software/formats (like OOXML). But it gets even more interesting. Guess which other network of sites 1105 Media is running? The 'Microsoft press' from Redmond, namely:

* ENTmag.com * MCPmag.com * Redmond * Redmond Channel Partner * Redmond Developer News * Redmond Events * Redmond Media Group * Redmond Report * TCPmag.com * Virtualization Review * Visual Studio Magazine

Here is one of the latest examples of Microsoft vapourware, which was posted in the Microsoft magazines and then also in the so-called 'government' site:

Microsoft plans to talk about Internet Explorer 9 at its MIX 10 event for Web developers next month.


Yes, there is now an overlap between online Microsoft magazines and Web sites that supposedly inform people in government. The same articles are sometimes appearing in both networks of sites, which obviously enhances Microsoft's mindshare in the United States government (and influence in Europe too). According to this new press release, "Microsoft to Host More Than 300 Government, Education Leaders at 8th Annual U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit"

The Microsoft U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit on Feb. 24–25 will bring together more than 300 government and education leaders from around the country, as well as Microsoft Corp. executives, product managers and partner organizations. Throughout the event, Microsoft and its partners will discuss and demonstrate the latest technologies and preview emerging government and education solutions. Members of the press will have an opportunity to attend general sessions, ask questions during special one-on-one sessions and converse with customers between sessions.


So technical government officials are almost literally in bed with Microsoft. Can't anyone see how wrong this is? And Microsoft even enjoys leverage in the press, where advice to governments gets fused together with Microsoft's.

"Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process."

--Richard Stallman, June 2008

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