02.16.09

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Where Do Gartner’s and Fortify’s Attacks on Free Software Come From?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

WE RECENTLY showed Microsoft’s attacks on NC, as demonstrated very clearly using internal communication. This was practically done by the Gartner Group at Microsoft's behest and with Microsoft’s invocation.

There are many other such cases where Microsoft uses the Gartner Group against Microsoft’s rivals (including GNU/Linux), typically using Microsoft funding. Gartner also negotiates its coverage of Microsoft products... with Microsoft. We gave plenty of examples like these before, but the following new example sure resembles the group’s attack on NC, which is a paradigm shift (away from the ‘desktop’) that Microsoft simply cannot allow. Is the following man yet another ‘attack dog’ of Microsoft?

Analyst: SaaS and open source ‘won’t happen’ in 2009

Software as a service, the model by which software is hosted and delivered over the network, “will not happen” in 2009, according to Gartner research director, Andrew Rowsell-Jones.

Was this opinion bought? Did he truly believe what he said with a subconscious bias?

Another known ‘attack dog’ of Microsoft is Fortify, a Microsoft ally that’s currently attacking messengers who promote Free software, including the conservative party in Great Britain.

Microsoft’s past talking point was that Free software is more expensive, but having realised that the public no longer buys this FUD, the company and its partners proceeded to attacking using "security" as ammunition, not “cost”. Here is some more analysis which contradicts the latest FUD:

First, Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne no less put out another chapter in his tech emerging manifesto, extolling the wonder of open source and berating the Government for its inability to see the light. His job is to berate governments, which tend to be easy targets, and open source software makes a hard bat.

That, predictably, prompted one vendor with an axe to sharpen, Fortify Software, to remind the media, to remind the media of a report released last July by the company that found security patching fault in 11 Java packages. Disclaimer: Fortify sells software assurance products.

Inevitably, a number of sources have slated Fortify in turn, and one, Coverity, has even come up – hey presto! – with its own report showing that, on the contrary, open source programs had fewer flaws than closed source, not more.

It sure seems as though Fortify was lying or bending truths to promote itself and vilify its ally’s nightmare. It’s easy to make up supportive numbers while hiding the rest [1, 2, 3].

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2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    February 16, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Gravatar

    It is silly for people to say that Software as a Service won’t happen in 2009 when it is already here. Google and Yahoo’s search, email, groups and office services are shining and profitable examples but there are thousands of other services for everything from photo sharing to online gift cards and have been for the better part of a decade. If you want to restrict your definition of SAS, you can look at what Red Hat, IBM and others do with free software to make billions of dollars. If you want to do a Zune like restriction that leaves you with nothing but M$’s vapor in the clouds, well OK, then you are looking at something that probably won’t happen. M$’s business model is at odds with the fundamentals of what makes software as a service possible – free software and free networks – and they will probably go out of business before they get it.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Gravatar

    Even Picasa is considered software as a service (photo manager/album/viewer) and it poses a great threat to desktop lock-in.

    Gartner is either deluded or self serving.

    They can go ahead and try to redefine SaaS just like Microsoft tries to redefine meaning and connotation of “Open Source”. If words lose their distinct meaning, they cease to be usable.

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