Bonum Certa Men Certa

CNET Hypnosis: Only the Poor People of Brazil Might Want GNU/Linux

Well, that's pretty much the message they send

Ina Fried, one of Microsoft's media talking points, has taken a trip to Brazil. Now that articles begin to be published, it's clear that this is no vacation. There appears to be a subtle yet visible agenda there.



It was several months ago that Ina Fried downplayed the impact of GNU/Linux in Brazil by quoting some Microsoft-obedient analysts. It's happening again when Ina writes:

"There was a retailer in one of the countries that sold their systems with Linux," said Gartner analyst Luis Anavitarte. "They made a survey of clients within the first 30 days; 95 percent were already on Windows."

This is not the first time that Ina quotes Microsoft's Partner [sic] Group [1, 2, 3] on this subject in order to downplay the role and ubiquity of GNU/Linux. How was the survey conducted? Who sponsored it? Who would have had an interest in funding or 'cooking' a study with such conclusions?

“It's likely deliberate, it's biased by design, and this is probably how IDC is instructed to collect and unleash statistics.”It was only a week ago that Paul DeGroot, a Directions On Microsoft analyst, said: "There's a lot of Linux out there -- much more than Microsoft generally signals publicly -- and their customers are using it."

Also today in CNET, you might find Matt Asay quoting figures from the Microsoft-obedient IDC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], claiming that GNU/Linux has a 13% 'market share' in servers. How is it measured? Revenue. Yes, and preinstalled only by industry giants. They don't count units, they count money. They don't count D-I-Y, they don't consider cost, and they don't track actual use or utilisation. It's likely deliberate, it's biased by design, and this is probably how IDC is instructed to collect and unleash statistics. They glorify Microsoft and this was covered here before.

Fortunately, some shrewd readers don't let CNET/ZDNet get away with it all. Need it be mentioned that it's indirectly funded by Microsoft, just like many other sites?

Apart from readers' comments in CNET, there's this response in Linux Today where Munchins are rare.

Ina Fried talks about Brazil's big Linux usage but right off the bat implies it is not what the people want. And not only does the author start putting Linux down right from the start, the author uses the last few paragraphs to promote Microsoft's agenda. Adding quotes such a 80% of Linux PCs get Windows installed by users within 30 days and another 10% in another 30 days. That's write, the Microsoft employee is quoted as saying that 90% of Brazils Linux PCs are getting user installed Microsoft Windows.

The story is a pitch against Linux usage and very much about Microsoft's products and strategies. And the Microsoft employee also stated that Linux is good for Microsoft because it keeps them on their toes. He then goes on to say that it exposes where they need to do better with distribution. That is correct, not make better software but push harder in the distribution channel. That means limit choice folks.

This is classic Ziff/Davis style of doing Microsoft PR work.


The next post will take another careful look at how Microsoft manipulates public perception in news sites like ZDNet and CNET.

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