Bonum Certa Men Certa

Scepticism Versus “Analysts”

“Whether or not it actually represents ‘pay for play’ is, I suppose, in the eye of the individual but it is certainly true that many vendors refer to engagements with Gartner as ‘paying the analyst tax.’”

--Mike Karp, Infrastructure Analytics analyst



Summary: Novell resorts to using so-called 'analysts' and Microsoft's own analysts are shown to be knowingly/deliberately lying to give Microsoft ammunition

TWO YEARS ago Novell acquired Managed Objects (BSM), which it made almost no use of (and the CEO left). Over the past couple of weeks we have given some examples of Novell's PR people trying to play up BSM and here is another new example (specifically this report). To make its case for BSM, Novell resorts to citing Gartner, which is essentially a company you pay to say whatever you want it to say (provided there is some trick for justifying it). Gartner is a business (with investors that include Bill Gates), it's not a firm that's dedicated to conducting unbiased research. The disclosure policy is very iffy, for reasons that we named and showed on several occasions in the past. The so-called 'analysts' themselves come from the commercial sector, which leads to conflicts of interests.



There is a new example of analyst lies. The annual IDC/BSA study [1, 2, 3, 4], which Microsoft uses for propaganda about counterfeiting, is a famous case of fabrication/deception. Here is a new article which exposes the BSA for spreading lies with IDC:

The BSA’s figures for software piracy in this country need adjusting. It could start by surveying some South Africans.

If it’s May, then it’s time for the Business Software Alliance’s annual Global PC Software Piracy Study. The study, a comprehensive look at the state of unauthorised software around the world, is commissioned by the BSA and carried out by research giant IDC, which uses its data from quarterly PC shipments and market indicators from around the world to come up with a global figure as well as rates for individual countries. South Africa’s piracy rate was given as 35 percent this year, not as bad as some other countries but not good either, according to local BSA chairperson Charl Everton.

[...]

How was the 35 percent rate arrived at? It’s a guess, or rather, a combination of guesses combined with some market data and presented as a final authoritative percentage.


As someone who claims to have worked for IDC told us anonymously in IRC, these numbers are indeed just based on gut feeling. They are guesses accompanied by a press blitz, which is easy for IDC to achieve because it has IDG, the media giant. As for the BSA, it is funded by Microsoft. It is essentially a front group.

One absolutely needs to treat analysts' output sceptically. They are not academics and they do have an agenda. If they don't, they won't survive in this business.

“Analysts sell out - that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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