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Novell/Microsoft 'Study' Reveals More Than Intended

It is beginning to seem as though the Novell- and Microsoft-funded study was bound to backfire.

A jointly sponsored Microsoft and Novell survey purporting strong customer support for the companies’ controversial alliance looks like back firing on Novell.

While the poll of 201 IT executives with “significant” purchasing power found near unanimous support for interoperability between Linux and Windows, relatively few said they’d actually pick Novell’s SuSE Linux Server (SLES) as a result of the deal.


Pay careful attention to that second paragraph. Clearly, the study was using a flawed method to achieve the desired results. Moreover, among the many flaws, one third of the surveyed people did not even know about the deal prior to questioning. It is therefore likely that these people were not technically-oriented or well-informed. would you truly expect them to comprehend the principles of Free software if for over a month they never heard about the deal? Therein lies just one flaw among many. Novell must be learning from its partner, with whom it conducted this study. Here is a recent short article which appeared in Yahoo! News.

Microsoft Press Releases: Read Between the Lines

We have a game we play around the office here with Microsoft press releases. The game is called Find the words that make the headline true. It's not always easy.

[...]

Our point: Microsoft has a long history of using press releases to promote their product momentum in shall we say interesting ways, using words like "fastest growing" (meaning, the number we started with was really really small) to redefining words such as "sold." It's not good marketing practice. Why? Because once consumers and press people figure out you are playing lawyer, they stop believing you and your brand. And that's more likely to do you harm than good.

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