Bonum Certa Men Certa

Hard Times: Is It The New York Times or Microsoft Times? (Updated)

"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent" analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). "Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Some people may not have noticed it, but the The New York Times appears to be behind a lot of Microsoft's marketing work. The latest demos and chatter surrounding Windows 7apourwaveâ„¢, for example, seems to be coming from that direction. The same goes for sessions with some of the most senior Microsoft staff. Pretending that the New York Times is totally isolated from Microsoft would be naive and here we are sharing some new examples.



New York's Lesson on Vendor Lock-in



On several occasions over the past week, we mentioned the New York State-backed study on document formats [1, 2, 3]. The important message has just reached GovTech also:

The report recommends establishing a statewide, cross-government Electronics Records Committee to address, in a formal, long-term and collaborative manner, all aspects of electronic record creation, management and preservation.


Will everyone in New York take notice? Apparently not.

New York Times: WPF Trailblazer



How does one market a technology on behalf of a partner?

“Just what is it that requires using a specific proprietary platform to simply read a paper?!?!”Inconvenient option: Become an early adopter of unknown technology that's scarcely understood or supported. That would be smart and fair to all readers (NYT's target audience), right? Maybe not.

Back in February we showed how the New York Times was betrayed by Microsoft, and rightly so for its stupidity in choosing WPF. Would you not expect the New York Times to understand lock-in vendor? Was the publication perhaps bribed compensated by Microsoft to choose this lock-in? We already know that Microsoft did this to lock down the Library of Congress (mentioned previously in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 ]. Here's the impact and consequences for the New York Times:

NY Times readers give thumbs down to Silverlight



[...]

While the Mac version provides better searching than its Windows sibling (with full text searching over seven days rather then one day of headlines, bylines and article summaries), text flow is not supported so the view is restricted to four pre-set window sizes, and copy and paste are not accessible.


Needless to say, once again, Microsoft's #1 rival is locked out. The New York Times offers no love for GNU/Linux. Ironically enough, that's the same paper that has just acknowledged Microsoft's lost dominance on the Web.

According to The New York Times "With tasks like e-mail and word processing now migrating from the PC to the Internet, analysts and industry players think the browser will soon become even more valuable and strategically important."


If so, why does the New York Time select Silverlight-like technologies that deliberately exclude Microsoft's rivals and make the Web proprietary. It sure seems like the New York Times either sold out or decided to become an “agent of monopolisation”. Just what is it that requires using a specific proprietary platform to simply read a paper?!?! Hasn't the Web already resolved these 'challenges'?

If you haven't sufficient reasons to suspect that the New York Times is biased, then you might also wish to see the following (not new):





Microsoft Delivers Major Piece of Nothing; NYT Does It Up Front Page



[...]

Please. This story is more appropriate for placement in the Times’ Bits blog, if its to be presented anywhere in the folds of the publication. Markoff’s efforts in reporting the latest news in the tech industry would’ve been better spent on another item.




Windows Live Installer Thingy Coming This Week



[...]

The NYT calls this a Netscape-level event, meaning it may be as significant as when Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer in 1995 and eventually brought Netscape to its knees. “The empire is preparing to strike back — again” writes John Markoff.

That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. The important new web services are all browser based, and Microsoft has no competitive advantage over offerings from Google, Yahoo, AOL and thousands of new web startups all trying to move users from away from the desktop.




The New York Times continues to perplex with its analyst- quoting policy. Rather than having analysts declare their ties to clients, the paper would prefer to quote analysts that have no experience with a client - a protocol which seems to undermine the very point of citing analysts.

The Register this week started pushing the Times to explain its quoting stance after noticing that Rob Enderle - the most quoted technology analyst on the planet - had been blocked from commenting on companies with which he has a financial relationship. The ban against Enderle appeared odd, given that Times reporters continue to cite analysts from larger firms who also have financial relationships with the companies discussed.

[...]

Just days after banning Enderle from discussing Microsoft because he has Microsoft as a client, the Times quoted Gartner analyst Michael Silver and AMR Research analyst Jim Murphy in a story about Microsoft's Windows and Office software.

If the paper would prefer not to quote an analyst who has experience with a client, it did a poor job. Silver is Gartner's vice president in charge of client computing. Microsoft happens to do lots of business with Gartner and also happens to have a client-software monopoly. We're guessing that Silver knows Microsoft's products well and has direct involvement with the company.

And, sure enough, he appears a number of times on Microsoft's own site and thousands of times in stories about Microsoft.


To be fair, the New York Times is not alone. It's also other papers, establishments, and so-called 'analysts'. Glance again at the quote which is located at the top of this post. Yes, right for horse's mouth!

Get the facts



Update: Right off the news, watch the New York Times' icon sitting next to Microsoft's patent troll Myhrvold [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], defending and advertising the man.How heartwarming. They try to mend the man's image, using publicity and a stage appearance for him to state his case.

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