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IDG, IDC, and Microsoft Money on Their Table (Updated)

ComputerWorld, NetworkWorld, LinuxWorld and many other publications tainted by Microsoft influence

The honourable Larry Lessig argues that when there is money on the table, trust is gone (highly recommended speech by the way). He is absolutely right. As witnessed many times in the past, at least within the scope of this Web site, money is being used to distort the computer industry. Examples include:



  1. Microsoft bribes to fight against (and almost ruin) an already-signed Mandriva GNU/Linux deal [1, 2, 3, 4]
  2. Microsoft pays its employee millions of dollars to stop his lawsuit against Microsoft (over financial fraud) and for the evidence to disappear from sight
  3. Novell pays millions of dollars to its investors in order to end a securities fraud lawsuit [1, 2], which was never resolved
  4. Novell supports Microsoft's OOXML after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from Microsoft
  5. An author encourages a lawsuit against Linus Torvalds, using a book whose writing is funded by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4]
  6. Microsoft recommends investment in SCO and also invests in SCO itself amid lawsuits against Linux users
  7. Polymorphic pressure groups, which are funded by Microsoft [1, 2, 3], attack Microsoft's rivals and defend Microsoft from regulation
  8. Microsoft-funded groups attack ODF, GPL, and call for software patents to spread


The catalyst for today's post is the following new article from IDG, which parrots IDC. This appeared in LinuxWorld and it need not be considered innocent. It just happens to include Novell too, but that's not the point.

Sydney, 2 September 2008, A new IDC report has shown the competition in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) market in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) has intensified over the last 12 months. Oracle has established a strong presence in the market, challenging other incumbents including IBM, CA, Sun and Novell.


It's unfortunate to find IDG as an almost-exclusive source that publishes not one but two articles (ComputerWorld and NetworkWorld) about identity and security management from Novell, as mentioned less than an hour ago.

We hereby decalre that IDG too has Microsoft money on its table. And sadly, the publication known as ComputerWorld is owned by IDG, which is quite an empire. It has a great effect on people's minds, especially in information technology. IDG owns a variety of others such as NetworkWorld and LinuxWorld, which used to carry blatantly anti-GNU/Linux ads and run Windows.

IDC and IDG are virtually the same thing by the way.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG , the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.


IDG is huge, so the bias is clearer to see. IDC has been in Microsoft's pocket for a long time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is an example from 6 years ago (intended to show that these biases may have gone on for a long time):

Microsoft-sponsored white paper from IDC found the Windows 2000 server cheaper over a five-year period.


It was also covered here. The key phrase is "Microsoft-sponsored". IDC/IDG is doing business with Microsoft, so a relationship was formed.

Just yesterday, Matt Asay complained once again about the uselessness of analysts (like IDC).

The problem is that analysts like Gartner get their information from the vendors that subsidize their research, as well as from CIOs. Neither is a good indicator of where the market is going.


This is not the first such complaint from Asay. There are other publications as such, which are worth exploring in the future. For example, according to one reader, LinuxInsider was sold to ECT, which now uses it to attack GNU/Linux sometimes. It didn't use to be like this. LinuxInsider is also somewhat notorious for quoting Laura Didio extensively (she and her employer are a Microsoft talking point [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) and for allowing Rob Enderle to write and publish entire articles there on a regular basis. As an introduction to Enderle's inclinations, consider some quotes:

"I saw what appeared to be a word-for-word copy of about every third line of code in the central module of the Linux kernel" -- Rob Enderle (regarding SCO)

"Many Linux supporters are a bunch of potty-mouthed malcontents. Enterprises are better off staying away from Linux and open source" -- Rob Enderle

"Linux is being widely used on the desktop in the third world, where applications are limited and labor is inexpensive..." -- Rob Enderle

"I have a hard time seeing the Zealots as any different from terrorist... I strongly believe that if September 11 showed us anything, it was that zealots" -- Rob Enderle

"I started writing about Linux because I was told I couldn't and the more people told me I couldn't, and particularly when they said 'or else,' the more the Linux dirty laundry became attractive to me" -- Rob Enderle

We've also addressed the problems in ZDNet and CNET [1, 2] very recently. The bias in the media is a known problem and we shall continue to study it.

"As discussed in our PR meeting this morning. David & I have spoken with Maureen O'Gara (based on go ahead from BrianV) and planted the story. She has agreed to not attribute the story to us....

"[...] Inform Maureen O' Gara (Senior Editor Client Server News/LinuxGram) or John Markoff (NYT) of announcement on Aug 28, 2000. Owner dougmil (Approval received from BrianV to proceed)

"Contact Eric Raymond, Tim O'Reilly or Bruce Perrins to solicit support for this going against the objectives of the Open Source movement. Owner: dougmil [Doug Miller]. Note that I will not be doing this. Maureen O'Gara said she was going to call them so it looks better coming from her."

(From Microsoft's smoking guns)



Update: To give a more complete list of the publications owned by IDG: InfoWorld, CIO, ComputerWorld, CSO, Demo, GamePro, Games.net, IDG Connect,IDG World Expo, Industry Standard, IT World, JavaWorld, LinuxWorld, MacUser, Macworld, Network World, PC World and Playlist.

LinuxInsider changed hands in 2003 or 2004.

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