12.12.06

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Microvell Survey Questions Mary Jo Foley Would Ask

Posted in FUD, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell at 10:50 am by Shane Coyle

I mentioned Microvell’s recent survey in passing, but luckily for us Mary Jo Foley took the time to give it some perusal and thought.

The questions asked as part of this study were about as open-ended and wishy-washy as you could get. Researchers asked customers deploying a mix of Windows, SuSE Linux and Red Hat Linux whether they were in favor of more vendor interoperability. They asked customers if they believed it would be helpful if Microsoft worked more closely with Linux vendors. They asked whether they approved of the Microsoft-Novell collaboration. And they questioned whether users "take responsibility for the intellectual property in the products they ship."

The only question on PSB’s list that I found remotely interesting was whether users would be any more likely to buy SuSE Linux as a result of the Microsoft-Novell deal. Sixty-nine percent said yes. (I’m actually surprised this number isn’t higher.)

Head over to ZDnet for the questions, there are only a few but I think they are fair. In fact, I think they will become the first few Poll questions here on BoycottNovell.com, the results should be comparable since our reader base is likely just as impartial as the one that PSB selected (all Windows users).

Further analysis can be found on CBR’s Open Source Weblog, where Matthew Aslett also points out that 1/3 of the respondents were unaware of the deal prior to the survey, and were provided a brief summary from which they could base their responses:

It is also worth noting that only 67% of all respondents were already aware of the agreement between Microsoft and Novell. The remaining 33% based their opinion of the deal on the following provided statement:

"On November 2nd, Microsoft and Novell announced a set of broad business and technical collaboration agreements to build, market, and support a series of new solutions to improve interoperability for customers and make Novell and Microsoft products work better together. The two companies also announced an agreement to provide each other’s customers with patent coverage for their respective products."

Again, I should state that I do not disagree that the deal is good for the companies’ customers, but when a third of respondents are replying based on that statement – and only that statement – it puts a slightly different view on the results.

So, the only remarkable aspect of this latest Microsoft FUD survey is that it was Novell’s first appearance on the "good side" of the FUD.

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