Here Comes Microsoft’s Next Anti-Linux Crusade?

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s Linux versus Vista comparison site has been officially launched, just as Shane prematurely indicated a couple of days ago. Meanwhile, the entire World Wide Web is speaking about Europe’s latest study which proves Open Source software saves money. This is proving to be a real threat to Novell’s new deal partner.

Hours ago I discovered, through a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) who submits thousands of items to Digg (mostly pro-Microsoft, which makes you wonder), that the Yankee Group is conducting a new Linux versus Windows survey. Sounds benign, does it not? It might, unless you already know the history of the Yankee Group. They are often accused of becoming and acting as merely a Microsoft sockpuppet (see slang definition). Microsoft spreads its word through third parties, as means as avoiding customer alienation, as well as gaining credibility.

This particular nugget of information aligns with the words of Mary Jo Foley/Microsoft Blog. Therein she argued that a new Microsoft-commissioned, anti-Linux study is set to debut.

Let us take a careful quick look at The Yankee Group again. The firm conducted the notorious Get the Facts campaign, which has been revolving widely around the Web for a long time, even invading Web sites such as Slashdot. This anti-Linux crusade uses no credible data (a perfect fit for the Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics proverb). In fact, here is one recent criticism of the validity of this ‘study’. Microsoft-Watch recently explained this well, albeit in a different context:

Research firms aren’t in the business of giving away information to the news media, but selling it to clients. The information provided to the press should be incomplete.

There are many other studies that are commissioned by Microsoft amid this time of rising criticism and endless pressure. These prove that money can buy repution (recall the blogger/laptop backlack), or even spread lies (or to the commissioner—biased truth).

Lastly, I would like to add that Martin Taylor, the man who headed Microsoft’s anti-Linux crusade, left the company without stating a reason for departure. That happened several months ago. And yet, a Yankee Group lead analyst (or one among them) — one who is responsible for the Get the Facts campaign — as already expressed her true sentiments when it comes to Linux and Open Source software.

An example of her opinion on how Open Source Software is handled shows in this remark (quoted from a phone interview from her home in Massachusetts): “The thing about Linux is, you can talk about a free, open operating system all you want, but you can’t take that idea of free and open and put it into a capitalist system and maintain it as though it is some kind of hippie commune or ashram, because if you can do it like that, at that point I’m like, ‘Pass the hookah please!’” [1]

Even recently, after admitting that a SCO victory in their case against IBM seemed like an extreme longshot, Didio said, “There is a larger issue, though: Even if the SCO case gets dismissed entirely, it does not remove the copyright cloud hanging over Linux and open source.” [2]


Unsurprisingly, Linux advocates have in response heavily criticised DiDio. Typical criticisms are a lack of formal Computer Science qualifications and promoting studies funded by Microsoft; frequently this has resulted in questioning of her integrity and her being characterised as “a Microsoft shill”.

Can the study from the Yankee Group provide results from a fair assessment?

Returning to the point which started this ramble, prepare for another storm of disinformation, often motored by MVP’s, such as the guy advertising this new study from the Yankee Group. The flood of professional and online shills is clearly bound to continue. It is history’s lesson, as well.

First Albany Likes Microvell

Posted in Deals, Deception, Finance, Microsoft, Novell, Servers at 1:16 am by Shane Coyle

Apparently, the news that 16,000 stay out of court free coupons had already been distributed to three large corporations has led Mark Murphy from First Albany to change his outlook on NOVL from neutral to buy.

Murphy wrote, “The news of the activation of over 16,000 certificates translates into roughly $11M in revenue.” That may only be the start, though. He adds: “We believe it is becoming increasingly likely that NOVL could widely exceed the $4M-$7M built into its plan for FY07 for MSFT-driven transactions. Industry contacts also indicate that Novell will likely show additional SLES certificates being activated this quarter, beyond the 16,000 certificates that have already been announced. On that basis, the bogey of 70,000 coupons per year begins to look like a very low bar.”

First Albany didn’t see this coming. “When the MSFT agreement was announced, we believe the common view was that NOVL would receive a slug of cash and that was the whole extent of it, because very few customers were likely to activate the coupons,” continued Murphy. “In that pessimistic scenario, there would be no meaningful impact to NOVL’s P&L [profit & loss] during the next 12 months; after which NOVL would begin to recognize meaningless, empty one-time revenue events as the coupons expired without any true customer deployment of the SLES technology. As time passes and the Street learns more about the arrangement, we believe it will become more apparent that customers are implementing the SLES technology as they accept MSFT-sponsored coupons.”

The problem is, these were existing customers that "activated" coupons, (no one ever said anything about new deployments and Microsoft has asserted that they lost no seats in the transactions), and there is no reason to believe that these same customers won’t get their IP indemnification, i mean support, coupon from Microsoft for the next four years as well.

Microsoft already paid for these subscriptions, and these companies already were customers apparently, so how exactly would the "activation" of these already purchased coupons increase Novell’s revenue a second time?

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