Bonum Certa Men Certa

Here Comes Microsoft's Next Anti-Linux Crusade?

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.

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