Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Shills Praise Microsoft in the Press (Public Relations Stunts)

Well, what do we have here? An article in ZDNet is telling us that Internet Explorer was voted the "most influential" tech product. Guess where this little nugget of information came from? CompTIA.

Microsoft and CompTIA have traditionally been closely aligned, particularly in the fight against open-source software--both are key members of the Initiative for Software Choice, which frequently takes an anti-open-source stance. Earlier this year,


To say the very least, that is. We'll come to this in second. Perhaps Internet Explorer was the "most influential" among Web developers who had to hack their properly-designed Web site in order to work in Internet Explorer, which Microsoft deliberately made non-standards-compliant (by its own recent admission).

CompTIA is a Microsoft lobbying arm and it viciously attacked Richard Stallman quite recently. It is only one among many incidents that we covered before (it fights OpenDocument format now). CompTIA is poison. It is not alone in this because Microsoft has other lobbyist arms. Some of them are working in disguise, presenting themselves as independent analysts, and they are responsible for 'placements' in the press.

A reader of ours recently mentioned a disturbing antitrust exhibit [PDF] that tells us what it's all about.

“There’s an interesting article in the April 2007 issue of Harper’s magazine about panels, audits, and experts. It is called CTRL-ALT-DECEIT and is from evidence in Comes v. Microsoft, a class action suit in Iowa. Here’s a paragraph from a document admitted into evidence, called “Generalized Evangelism Timeline,” about guerrilla or evangelical marketing:

Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology is a key evangelism function. “Independent” analysts’ reports should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent consultants should write articles, give conference presentations, moderate stacked panels on our behalf, and set themselves up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour. “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and granted research money).

They advise cultivating “experts” early and recommending that they not publish anything pro-Microsoft, so that they can be viewed as “independent” later on, when they’re needed. This type of evangelical or guerilla marketing is apparently quite common in the high-tech fields, and seems to be used liberally by open source developers.

The document admitted into evidence also says, “The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator,” and explains how to find “pliable” moderators–those who will sell out.

It is all a big money game. Most activists in any field know of countless “hearings,” in which hundreds of citizens would testify before a panel, only to be ignored in favor of two or three industry “experts.” When a panel is chosen, the outcome seems to be a foregone conclusion. As with elections, they don’t leave anything to chance.”

(a post from a Mark E. Smith about exhibit PX03096 “Evangelism is War” from Comes v. Microsoft)

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