Bonum Certa Men Certa

(Another) Microsoft-Commissioned 'Study' Inverses Truths

If the giant oil companies do it, so can Microsoft

ONE TREND WE HAVE been spotting recently is that Microsoft-favourable pseudo-studies were either funded by Microsoft or conducted by its former employees. The former example is an anti-GNU/Linux study from September (there are many more). The latter example is an anti-Google study that downplays the progress made by Google in applications.



The press is humming about claims that Microsoft's bribery is paying off because Microsoft -- allegedly -- gains market share and approaches Google. This is not only far from the truth, but it also turns out to have been seeded by Microsoft funds.

Several independent studies demonstrate Microsoft's continued decline, but not those pseudo-studies which Microsoft itself pays for (probably to please executives, meet and fulfill promises, elevate its investors' ego and pat itself on the back). IDG has the details where beans are spilled too (with regards to funding).

Memo to Microsoft: Enough With The Bribery



[...]

Here's the problem, though: Despite Microsoft's recent claims that its efforts were succeeding -- those claims, by the way, were based on a study Microsoft itself commissioned -- the numbers just don't add up. Offering a few bucks may get people to use the service once, but it's not enough to get them to leave their preferred product behind for good.

Don't take my word for it. Check out traffic measurement company ComScore's analysis of the shifting search market share over the past several months:

April 2008 (before Microsoft launched Live Cashback)

● Microsoft: 9.1%

● Google: 61.6%

● Yahoo: 20.4%

October 2008 (most recent rankings):

● Microsoft: 8.5%

● Google: 63.1%

● Yahoo: 20.5%


There are lies, damn lies [1, 2, 3], and Microsoft sponsorships. People must always read the fine prints and investigate properly if they do not exist.

Magnifying glass



NB: In the IDG article referenced above, mind Microsoft's use of penguins imagery. Microsoft must have known that this 'collides' with the Linux mascot, but was undeterred. It was caught advertising its products a few weeks ago using penguins, as well (Ken Starks reported on the findings).

This 'dilutes' Linux branding in the same way that Microsoft/Windows-only open source harms the open source movement as a whole and 'Open' XML shattered the credibility of standards and standards-setting bodies. To Microsoft, it is a win-win situation.

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