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Rick Moen Debunks Gartner Myths 169

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-read dept.
An anonymous reader sent us a bit where Rick Moen speaks about the recent Linux Myths thing that has raise MS once again to the top of everyone's "People We Love" list. Its a good summary piece that pretty much explains how valid the Gartner Report was.
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Rick Moen Debunks Gartner Myths

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Outrage is an appropriate response to Gartner allowing vendors to editorialize beneath the GartnerGroup banner. The MS webletter appears to be part of a product Gartner calls GartnerConnects which is an effort by Gartner to allow venders to present their editorials within the Gartner web site, clearly suggesting to the inattentive that the point of view is that of an independent research organization.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The reports Rick mentions http://www.gartner.com/webletter/microsoft/article 1/article1.html http://www.gartner.com/webletter/microsoft/article 2/article2.html http://www.gartner.com/webletter/microsoft/article 3/article3.html http://www.gartner.com/webletter/microsoft/article 5/article5.html http://www.gartner.com/webletter/microsoft/article 6/article6.html is available (on the 16th) from http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/news/msnw/Li nuxMyths.asp And I must say this is great PR for Linux! Microsofts FUD grinders does a great job promoting Linux and RedHat as well. Listen to this for example (article6): From 2002, Windows 2000 will have the critical mass, improved functionality and scalable 64-bit OS for IA-64 necessary to reduce the market aura surrounding Linux (0.7 probability). Linux will also continue to lag behind leading Unix variants in scalability (0.9 probability). Enterprises can still consider Red Hat a safe bet as a top-tier Linux distributor for the next three years but should avoid making substantial investments in Linux for complex, critical applications before 2001. 0.7 and 0.9 propability predictions about events in the _computing_ industry three years ahead!? Is 640K enough for such calculations Bill? Overall these "Reports" is just too biased and speculative to even comment. Cheers /Patrix, Sweden
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's all this is. Prior to the DOJ, Linux was a happy little obscure operating system that while better than Microsoft was unknown and not much of a threat. Enter Desperate Microsoft trying to prove there is competition - Linux for example. Huh???? There's an alternative??? Suddenly a world of disatisfied Microsoft customers start to eyeball this "competition" and major Microsoft competitors embrace this "competing OS" and suddenly products are being ported to this "competing OS". I am CERTAIN Microsoft could not have forseen this or even fathomed the depth of disatisfaction it's customers had with it's products. They opened a can of worms and are to thank for the sudden surge of popularity for Linux. For an OS with no marketing budget, us Linux users seem to have done very good because Microsoft.

    Now Microsoft is desperately trying to pull its foot out of its mouth and say the Linux is a nothing OS that can't possibly be considered competition and can't possibly measure up to the quality of Win32 and "soon to come" Win64. But tell me, who's gonna be dumb enough to listen to the very same guys that stated Linux was serious competition (in reality costing Microsoft Billions in past and potential revenue). So they need some spin-doctoring NOW. What better than to start calling your favors and to turn to companies you do major business with or are a major shareholder in? But this is stupid too and drips of lack of fore-thought. Microsoft is paying people to write good things about them and bad things about Linux (reminds me of the "satisfied customers" Microsoft paid to write the DOJ). DUH!!! The media loves stuff like this and it WILL get out. That and Microsoft trying to get a reduction in the Anti-trust funding and all the other stuff it's doing that is so clear in it's desparation to save face and restore its "Good Name" in the eyes of the public and shareholders. It's really pathetic.

    It's easy to slam Microsoft because they provide us with so much good material. They can only use ancient history to slam us. Linux IS multi-processor capable, IS secure, IS everything Microsoft claimed it wasn't. Based on 30 year old technology is actually a compliment - it's technology that's been used, abused, tested and improved upon and proven as reliable and, well, perfect for the job. Kinda reminds me of a centuries old Constitution. Or the internal-combustion engine. Or AC electicity. New doesn't necessarily mean better - it just as easily mean unproven, unexperienced, untested.

    Once again, rather than improving it's product (Win98 Second Release is worse even than the original Win98!) and showing the public that it's sincerely interested in providing better quality and quick fixes, Microsoft is instead following it's old habits of deceit and FUD.

    I have to agree with one thing - Bill is certainly correct that Microsoft won't be around forever. Given it's actions, it may do more damage to itself than any competition... We'll see.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Exactly the same can be thrown at Linux. In the early days, people producing a distro would generate complimentary threads to Usenet and other, less complimentary threads about their 'competition'. The techniques are so well know that its not even worth mentioning it here, other than ALL the distro's were at it.

    Then we have the employment of key Linux developers. Is this so different to MS hiring people? No, its not, yet the Linux/OSS following hate MS to much that they forget that the 'cool' employment of say, Michael Johnston by Red Hat in the very early days, it just as bad as MS hiring someone today.

    The difference between prejudiced bigotry and rational analysis comes in part by the way that we apply the same standards to ourselves and the competition. But MS hatred is seen as 'cool' and anyone even suggesting anything different is a traitor to the cause. Result? Linux and OSS fall into the same trap as those they claim to hate.

    The early days of Linux saw competition and vicious infighting far worse than anything done by Microsoft. Years later, some of the players left the field, others are millionaires; all would be hugely embarassed if proof of past events were to be made public.

    Linux has some very dirty laundry hiding in the closet, on disks and in dusty shelves. When the individuals and Orgs are worth enough $$$ the embarrising facts will emerge. God help us if this info was ever 'sold'.

    Everyone has their price, and there are some very pissed off people in the Linux world.

    Not that you will get a chance to read this, /. 'unbiased' Moderation will kill it. Kinda proves the point really.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Microsoft *paid* for the content of the report.

    Do you think they would have paid for it if it favoured linux?? Do you think that Garter doesn't hope to sell their studies?? Are you telling me that Garter doesn't have a bias to favour microsoft in order to sell the report???

    Are you saying Garter had some factual basis for their report, and the MS just happened to buy it.


    Are you saying 2 + 2 != 4???????????????????
  • What's with all you Linix dweebs always slamming Microsoft? Just look it in terms of the global employment scenario. It used to be "what's good for GM is good for the US." Now, thanks to the Internet, we can revise this to "what's good for Microsoft is good for the world."

    Did you ever really look at the Windows animated flag icon? It doesn't wave, it bounces (just like their operating environments...)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    (btw, I'll start by adding that I used to know a guy with webbed toes and an extra vertebrae)

    Every person has 2 complete sets of genes. The average person has several fatal and several abnormal recessive alleles; these are blocked or hindred by the opposing dominant genes. When 2 people have a child, if they had the exact same genetics, each of the dangerous recessive alleles has a 1/4 chance of being doubled over so it doesn't have a dominant gene to block its affect. When 2 random people have a child, while each has several dangerous alleles, they have different dangerous alleles, and so none get doubled over. But, the closer together the 2 people are related, the more likely they are to have some of the same fatal/abnormal recessive genes, and pass them on to the child. After several generations of close inbreeding, this can get severe, as more and more genes get doubled over.

    This little tidbit brought to you by:

    - Rei
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's certainly reasonable to expect Senator Gorton to fight for the people who employ the electors in his constituency. The end result is more jobs, lower unemployment, greater contentment and his probable re-election.
  • Does Linux keep track of sockets opened by an application and clean them up if it croacks? I don't know.

    Of course it does. Managing resources is one of the fundamental points of an Operating System. If you can't do that right you might as well go home and give up.

  • Taco bell is the only one left (and they will probably sell out to reach their long time goal:
    "In the future all restaurants are taco bell")
  • by pb (1020)
    Heh. Probably. Congratulations, in my experience NT leaks too much memory to make that possible. However, you are of course missing the latest and greatest service packs which ensure this behavior, if you miss having it. :)

    Installing Windows NT on older hardware:

    Rule #1, avoid the ActiveDesktop crap...
  • Okay, remembering the interview with Bill Gates [slashdot.org] where [He] adds: "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to the editor and say 'run headlines I like'.
    "What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it."


    He sounded pretty benign and there were many slashdot posts arguing that he does have an influence. Certain posts already in this thread lead me to beleive that Microsoft may not have actually had a influence on the Gartner report.

    But this article does remind me of the many publishing oportunities they do own, and some are more cloaked in influence than others.

    Besides, like many posts have mentioned, the Micosoft Spin machine won't work against Linux. Like Linus said himself (quoting from memory on his address at Usenix) "I see the [group of Linux researchers hired by Microsoft] as a Linux User Group in disguise. Sure, they don't report bugs in a very good way... but they spend much of their time and resources finding them." (If someone has the exact quote I welcome them posting it.)

    In essence they are devoting Microsoft time and energy to finding the shortcomings of Linux so we can work on them. How could that be wrong? Every time they complain we just make it better. We wind up winning every time, not losing. As a famous publicist said "No publicity is bad publicity..." or something like that.

    They can complain about where we aren't but they can't keep us from getting there. I for one thank Microsoft for there (misguided) support, and I note that Mr Bill really isn't as benign to media as he wants to appear.
    ^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~ ^~
  • As another poster mentioned, IBM conceded early.

    There is a reason, and that, being a business, IBM have to make money. IF OS/2 is not economically viable to keep supporting (and in the face of the MS-FUD out there, it quite possibly wasnt, definately seeing as software is not IBM's core business), then why shouldn't they drop it?

    Linux on the other hand does not have to be "economically viable" to keep competing.

    Microsoft FUDs the hell out of the linux community. What if they succeed? Ill tell you what :

    Redhat can die. SuSE can die. Slackware can die. The kernel will still be tweaked, all the GNU stuff will still be worked on, and most likely, Debian will still be around :)

    They can FUD all they want, most of the people pushing things forward will continue to do so regardless, whether it is Linux/Hurd/*BSD or whatever.

    The net result on development will be effectively 0.

    If linux was to miraculously fall over and die tomorrow (which it wont), FreeBSD (or another free NIX) could simply take its place anwyay .

    smash
  • Another "Mindcraft fiasco"? Microsoft is said to be excellent at marketing, but with the increasing popularity of the Internet as an information source, I think it's tactics are finally being exposed for what they are. Disinformation. Maybe since the Cold War with the Russia is over and the CIA has downsized, Microsoft has hired some of their ex-agents into their "marketing" department. Microsoft is trying to play these games that may have worked against Apple and IBM in the past, but just don't cut it in the Internet age.

    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • Which is why, of Moen's complaints:

    -- Gartner Group wrote it all, despite what the small-type notice (quoted earlier) says in direct contradiction.

    -- We're to understand that a set of URLs on www.gartner.com are "the Microsoft site".

    -- Microsoft "sponsors" this "site", and paid unspecified fees to Gartner Group related to the content, but in no way did Microsoft fund the study.

    ...I can only find the third a legitimate complaint. We should treat Gartner for what it is: research for hire. They're not objective unless they're paid to be.

    The first point is incorrect, and the second is irrelevant. The third is a legitimate concern, striking right at the dark heart of PHB consent for brand-name spindoctoring.

    J.
    trust your local newspaper reporter, unless he's John Markoff

  • Silly customer, Taco Bell is owned by Pepsi.


    As are Pizza Hut, KFC, and Frito Lay. Not sure who owns Pepsi.
  • This is a war after all. Redmond has vowed to destroy us, and everything we stand for.


    If they unleash everything they've got (money, disinfo, and connections) on us, it's to be expected that we would use everything we've got (bandwidth clogging, en-masse bitching, computer crime) on them.


    May the real geeks win.

  • If someone else other than Microsoft had filled the needs for corporate and home users, then people would have ended up using more reliable, technically superior software! If that was the case, then we would not have jobs where we would need to hold users' hands! The servers would never crash and no one would need us! Thank you Microsoft! :)

    "Microsoft is the epitome of innovation and product quality."

  • It's really sad that Gartner has so much influence over the IT industry. All they publish is substance-less fluff pieces. And they can get away with it. People are going to remember the headline, not the fact that M$ shilled them for this report. That is unless CNN reports on it... I never have and never will pay any attention to what Gartner Group has to say. They are comfortable where they are and can survive charging outrageous rates and publish absolutely nothing worth reading. But this latest development swinks them to a new low.
  • Microsoft's flight sim was acquired from SubLogic, wasn't it?

    Also, on the "bigger is better" theme: Yes, Microsoft and every other US retailer seems to benefit from that psychology. Pontiac sold me a nice, supercharged Grand Prix with nifty blinkenlights to tell me how much boost I'm getting. So what? I don't see how that's relevant to Linux vs. Microsoft here. There are Linux distributions that are every bit as bloated as Microsoft's Windows (for instance, RedHat, which I run at home).

    (That reminds me, I really must give Debian a whirl. That is, as long as I remember my waders before I start traipsing through the thick field GPL religious dogma that surrounds it. I respect the GPL and I'm even distributing my own code under it, [primenet.com] but I think it's possible to take an ideology too far. I view Free Software as a means to encourage Good Engineering, not as Theology and Religion.)

    --Joe
    --
  • http://www.osopinio n.com/Opinions/AaronFransen/AaronFransen1.html [osopinion.com]

    Because Shelled [slashdot.org] was too lazy.

    People who can't take the time to create links should automatically get moderated down.

  • Did you ever really look at the Windows animated flag icon? It doesn't wave, it bounces (just like their operating environments...)

    Pardon my ignorance but how does an operating environment bounce?

  • I agree that it would be ideal for /. to automatically convert URL's to links; however, I wasn't presenting a wish list for /. development, I was attempting to address a current issue with /. use.

  • Chasuk writes:

    This tells us that Microsoft Web Letter is sponsored by Microsoft...

    And further down:

    Why the puzzlement? My final quote:
    'So, we're to believe that: -- Microsoft "sponsors" this "site", and paid unspecified fees to Gartner Group related to the content, but in no way did Microsoft fund the study.'
    Fees are not mentioned anywhere, so if one chooses to believe that "unspecified fees" were involved, the evidence should first be presented. Failing that (the presentation of evidence), yes, one is to believe that in "no way" did Microsoft fund the study.

    So what, dear Chasuk, does "sponsorship" mean in your dictionary?!?

    One would imagine that it involves something like money changing hands (or bank accounts) -- a.k.a. "a fee", right?

    But the amount this sponsorship costs wasn't mentioned -- i.e, the fee was not specified -- was it?

    So yes, the evidence was presented; in a direct quote from (the "Microsoft WebLetter" subsite of) the Gartner Web site.

    And, no, one is NOT to believe that in "no way" did Microsoft fund the study.


    "The postings of Anonymous Cowards deserve no reply." - Chasuk

    Which, IMnshO, further proves Chasuk to be something of a moron.



    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • I'm running NT4 SP4 at work, and I never switch off the machine. Depending on what I currently work on, I can go for weeks without rebooting. In such cases I typically only have to reboot for moronic software installs that demand so.

    On the other hand, I'm doing a lot of sockets programming lately. Boy, have I discovered NT4 weaknesses. There's nothing like debugging TCP/IP stuff to bring NT4 down. If you don't release sockets properly, pretty soon you'll get the "Insufficient buffer space..." error and no TCP/IP app will work anymore. Hello reboot...

    To be fair, I don't know how other OSs handle this scenario. Does Linux keep track of sockets opened by an application and clean them up if it croacks? I don't know.

    Incidentally, when I have to debug code that requires frequent reboots, I very much prefer WinLite (95/98) over NT. While they crash even easier, they also boot much quicker. I can do about 5 Edit/Run/Crash/Reboot cycles on 95/98 for every two such cycles on NT.
  • >> Does Linux keep track of sockets opened by an
    >> application and clean them up if it croacks?

    > Of course it does. Managing resources is one of
    > the fundamental points of an Operating System.
    > If you can't do that right you might as well go
    > home and give up.

    Of course it's a theoretical duty of an OS to keep track of such stuff. I guess my question should have been "does Linux do so successfully", at least more successfully than NT? Because if you ask MS, I'm sure they'll tell you that NT does so as well. Just not very well, I guess...
  • What you fail to see is that the people who might believe this kind of crap is not reading Slashdot. The target audience seldom finds out about how gross the misrepresentation is, and we already know... The fact that we can read the article does not mean it's intended for us.
  • Um, I don't want to look like a Microsoft booster, but even Linux (The Great and Powerful, yada, yada, yada) can't handle bad memory! If you got memory errors then you probably had a bad chip.

    But in answer to your question, no. I have to reboot my NT box at work about once a week because it runs out of memory (256MB physical, about the same swap). Closing all apps doesn't help. The memory just disappears. I suspect windbg is to blame.

    /peter

  • ... in Redmond can feel the heat. That's why they are calling in all of their favors from the people that they have "protected" over the years.

    I'm surprised that people aren't sprinting to get out from underneath before the M$ ponzi scheme crumbles to the ground.

  • Ummm oddly enough, that is what's happening. Most Linux users are (guess what?), EX-WINDOWS users who have had it with the Microsoft Way (TM). And nobody is denying that the Linux user base IS growing.

    Amd if you have such distain for Slashdotters, what the hell are you doing here anyway? Don't you belong on ZDNet's talkback? :)

    Fink
  • I agree with much of what you have to say, and Linux is in danger of following the same path. The major difference I see is that the Linux developers still have the desire to improve their product. And to react to emerging IT needs, instead of imposing their bloatware changes onto the IT world.

    I have no real hatred towards MS, I just don't see them working for their customers, I see them working their customers for their gain.

    Finkployd
  • Well, I live in Wisconsin. One of my Senators isn't for sale, and the other had enough money to buy himself out of the market. ;-)
  • Damn, I thought Taco Bell was owned by
    Stanford.

  • I disagree. The /. code should just automatically convert something matching the syntax of a URL to a link. It's not that hard to match, something like "(http|ftp|mailto|telnet)://[a-zA-Z0-9\.-]*(/.*)" or "[a-zA-Z0-9\.-]*\.[a-zA-Z0-9\.-]{2,3}/[^ ]*" as the matching regexs, convert anything that matches into a link. Would take about 3 lines in perl.

    P.S. and yes I know how to put links in myself, I just think we should make it easier for people. [slashdot.org] Also, the code can make sure to attach the "http:" to URLs so that they don't try to link internally to /. like happens if people forget the leading part in their HREF.

  • That pattern matching stuff to detect URLs is annoying. MS Outlook client does this and it's mostly a pain. It sometimes catches things that aren't intended to be URLs.

    There is a tradeoff between capturing badly formed URLs(e.g. www.slashdot.org is a badly formed url, it should be http://www.slashdot.org/) and capturing junk. (e.g. www.blah blah) Just because MS Outlook's URL auto-detection uses an overly broad pattern doesn't mean everything has to. For example, the pattern I gave for detecting things without the initial "http://" specifically checked for the last part being 2 or 3 characters, as all TLDs are 2 or 3 characters, to my knowledge. You can put a variety of checks like that in, and if you like, even open an http connection and see if you get an error accessing the URL to guarantee validity, if you wish.

    If you're sending mail that tries to explain how to do something with HTML tags in this mode, it can be very confusing.

    Well, URL autodetect should be optional. Just like the anonymous posting checkbox, we could have a URL autodect checkbox, and/or not auto-detect URLs in certain entry modes, like HTML. That way when you want to do something where you don't want URL-like things highlighted, you don't have to worry about it.

    Also, URLs can and do have embedded spaces and there's no good way to deal with that.

    Actually, no, no legal URL can have an embedded, unescaped space. Webbrowsers accept spaces in input, but hopefully they convert it to %20 over the network. If you check section 2.4.3 of RFC2396 - Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax [cnlab-switch.ch], it says:

    2.4.3. Excluded US-ASCII Characters

    ...

    The space character is excluded because significant spaces may disappear and insignificant spaces may be introduced when URI are transcribed or typeset or subjected to the treatment of word- processing programs. Whitespace is also used to delimit URI in many contexts.

  • Linux and OSS didn't get this far by listening to the pundits or "authority" opinions. Lets just do what we do best: code; and let the "powers that be" do what they do best: create lots of hot air.
  • They can complain about where we aren't but they can't keep us from getting there.

    I like this quote! :-)

    Chris
  • Did you read the message? I'll admit, the point-by-point arguments get kind of old, but this wasn't one of them. Microsoft wrote the article and tried to pass it off as independent. That seems pretty significant, and probably more people than just us care about that.
  • I just thought I'd say this. Lots of gamers will simply say that OpenGL is better than D3D, simply because Carmack said so a few years ago. If any of these same people read Carmack's Q&A session, they will say that Windows is better than Linux simply because JC said so.

    Carmack never said Windows was better than Linux, he said he prefered Windows NT as a development platform.

    And AFAIK, he still hates D3D. :)
  • I believe the numbers were halved because they added up the costs for two years and then wanted to present a yearly TCO number.

    Also, the other amusing thing I noticed in that study was some of the numbers up top related to the loads placed on the machines involved. It would appear that the NT machines cost 37% less to own and operate but it also appeared they did 50% less.
  • > Taco bell is the only one left

    I heard that they and their sister companies didn't come out too well on the Star Wars marketing deal (presumably due to the public's "Jar Jar fatigue").

    If they're strapped for cash, we may end up seeing Bill Bill's homely mug on cola cups and pizza boxes for all eternity.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • No, no I know for a fact that they don't want to have a conversation about it. It's all marketing, of course. We all know that. And that's why it bugs me - we all know it. There's nobody who's been on slashdot for more than a week that doesn't understand the concept behind MS FUD. So, to go with your analogy, us harping on it is like people at a bible-study patting themselves on the back saying, "yep, we're going to heaven and, haha, all those other guys are dropping straight to hell!" It's just needless talking. Writing letters and complaining only goes so far. After a point it's just annoying and it's the exact reason that the Linux community has gotten pigeonholed as flamers and zealots.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I'm not sure how you figure that. In my mind this isn't much of a fight. Or, at least, it's a fight that we can't really lose in. Even if MS managed to grab 99% of the market it wouldn't affect Linux as a platform. Because, obviously, Linux can't "go out of business". The users who count, the people who really love Linux, and UNIX in general, will stick around. And that's all that matters.

    MS is a side-note that we sometimes get too wrapped up in. It doesn't have to be a personal battle though - Not hardly. Linux is a great platform for a huge array of uses. Let MS have their profits - we don't need them.

    I use Linux and I am definitely not a zealot; I'm probably one of the most laid-back members of the Linux community. If MS wants to say that I am a zealot though, let them. I can take the hit. As much as I like what people like Perens and Raymond have done, we need developers more than we need enthusiasts. Let people who're in it for the money deal with that stuff - I just don't give a damn.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • And yes, while it isn't a point-by-point rebuttal, it's still primarily there to dispute the accuracy of another article/story's claims. It just doesn't do it like most of the others do. Rather than arguing that the points don't make sense, it's arguing that the people making the points don't make sense. Not a huge difference in my mind.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • In any case, I think people are missing the biggest offender here -- ComputerWorld, which took a report criticizing Linux as a
    business desktop and turned that into "A damning report from Gartner has all but put the kiss of death on Linux."


    Yes. Kiss of death?
    • What utter crap.
    I don't think there much more to be said.

  • I do.

    Oh, ok, there are a number of other owners too.

    I would bet that, while MSFT does not directly own Pepsi, many major MSFT shareholders probably own stakes in PepsiCo (PEP).

    ;-)

  • I'd like to point out that this was Slashdot's fault. The Gartner group is very serious and reliable. If the links to the article were published, instead of links to a third party commenting on the article, it would have avoided all this confusion.
  • This is yet another example of how MS has become too big and does need some form of government control put on them. They have so much money they can buy any new technology, give away things to kill competitors that need to make money off of them, pay for good press about them, pay for bad press about their competitors, etc. As for Gartner...it is scary to think that so many people respect a company that has proven itself to be up for sale. What we really need is a company like Consumer Reports who doesn't except any money from any companies. They are not perfect but they are much better then the average product reviewer. We need someone that can be held up to a higher standard than that of today's press. It is so important to have the people who report news to the public (from your local news to a computer software review) only care about giving the masses the truth. A free and honest press is integral to a free society. It's sad that all to often reporting is about money and not about truth.

    Does anyone out there have any ideas to solve this problem? If not for all reporting, at least for reporting on computing? This is an area where having an honest press is especially important because the average people in the public do not have extensive knowledge of the subject matter. They can not distinguish the diffences between the truth, the myth, and the out right lie.
  • Remember - the public are a malleable bunch. Say something loud and frequently enough, they will believe - no matter what physical evidence jumps up and bites them on the nose.

    Are they? Doesn't quite work that way; if it did, then there would be no drug problem in the USA--all those "Just Say No" ads would've gotten the crack smokers to give up around 1989.

    Admittedly, that's an extreme case, but everyone forgets that it takes time to make a real change in the world. Back in the '60s and '70s, American car companies made enormous bloated monstrosities that kept falling apart. Then Honda came along, and though their ad budget was smaller, people began to notice something about their cars: they worked, and they were cheap. Took people a few years, but they didn't believe the FUD GM/Ford/Chrysler were spreading after their friends bought a Honda and such.

    Reality triumphs over FUD, even though it takes a while. Patience doesn't seem to be highly valued in the computing world ("I want my servers set up in 15 minutes! We have a business to run!") but Linux enthusiasts may have to show some...

  • The purpose of buying something from Gartner, is to back you up when you decide to follow the crowd.

    When I was at KPMG, every time one of my colleagues wanted to do something truly stupid, (like use NT in a situation where it would be exposed to the net), they'd quote some Gartner report that claimed that NT is secure. (C2 level certification! No Shit!)


    Gartner's credibility is nil.


    -jcr
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just heard this word of mouth, so it's not a direct quote. But, apparently Gartner (according to Gartner Australia ... it's a US report) hosts Microsoft's webletter so that they can ensure that Microsoft use their research in an appropriate manner (that is, quoting the whole thing, and the like).

    How's that for logic?

    Gartner's credibility will suffer quite a great deal because of this. But, I know that Ellen was completely ignorant of the Microsoft webletter, and I don't buy the insinuation that Ellen was Microsoft's lacky on this one. I know Ellen, and she's a good journalist. No, I didn't like this story, but it's one bad story out of a few thousand.

    Now, if you want to make conjectures about whether Gartner wrote this report so that Microsoft would purchase the rights to reprint it, go ahead. It's just conjecture. But the deal is, an independent reseach company cannot afford to have conjecture of this sort floating around.

    Gartner, it sucks to be you.

    Cheers,
    Travis

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Erm, TCO/year? Annual costs wouldn't include the initial costs, only the ongoing costs (which your estimate shows are higher for Linux). Your number for applications also look a bit dodgy.

    Even if your numbers were correct, all you'd have proved is that Linux doesn't begin to cost more per user than NT until the second year, where as UNIX costs more from the start. You're still suggesting Linux costs more in the long run.

    In any case, the comparison is pointless. You can't just assume Linux would have the same TCO as Solaris, so Microsoft's claim is as useless as yours.
  • So the bottom line is that Microsoft wrote that report itself? _Very_ cute. Even cuter that Microsoft in addition to writing the report funded that bit of Gartner to host it. yaaaaah! fnord!
  • OS/2 was controlled by IBM, who manifestly did not have the stomach for the fight at the time.

    We manifestly do.

    Also, we know we're going to win.
    --
  • I personally (still) don't think rebutting Gartner/whoever's "report" is a particularly good use of valuable time, but -- for those who care about such things -- Paul Ferris has bothered, and did an excellent job: http://linuxtoday.com/stories/10912.html [linuxtoday.com]
  • More than that, much of the target audience is not really competant to asses the arguments. To a huge proportion of people out there the entire discussion is basically meaningless - they don't understand any of the technical terms being thrown about.

    If there are people who happen to believe what's said or don't see the other side mentioned at all then that's a plus for them, but the main thing is creating doubt in the minds of the general audience. To these people the very existance of a discussion is cause for concern.
  • let's face it, the existance of rather spotty quality free/shareware has tarnished the origins of GNU/OpenSource..

    Maybe so. but it's a twisted double standard that has people comparing w2k to linux 1.2. You should judge software on the basis of it's latest release.. not previous mistakes. And you shouldn't compare Real Software with Vaporware (ie: comparing linux 2.2 to w2k). If you'd like to see an example of this, flip over to ZDNet and look up whatever Berst Alert is up on the page right now.

    It is a logical error at best, and FUD at worst to misrepresent things like that. The current crop of gnu software is solid and dependable. Some of it is also cryptic - but that's a gripe you can take up with the UN*X Philosophy in general, not just rms and his merry men.

    --

  • Looks like others can't figure out myths either. I keep my desktop machines up all the time. Crashes happen, but 24 to 48 hours??? Ya gots to be a moron if ya can't figure out how to get that kinda up time. My personal machine gets about 4 or 5 weeks before rebooting, and thats because I reconfigure stuff for one of my personal webservers...yeah yeah, I can reconfig my linux server with out powering down as well.

    Servers on the other hand are usually up for a few months at a time. I was sad when my MO Jukebox / SQL Server machine died in april...its been up since replacing the HD April 19th. The problem is that most M$ servers are run by secretaries and others that think having a MCSE means they know shit. Remember ya'll, once ya make linux easy enough for the general public to handle, these are going to be the same people that admin these boxes as well and yer gonna find ya have a whole slew of problems ya never knew existed...

    clif
  • ...to learn that Microsoft just might be generating "independent" support by throwing money around? It's already been proven that they hired people to write "independent" letters to the editors of various newspapers right? We know their history.

    They have no credibility as a company in my (and many other's) eyes. If you are an IT manager and you are taking these "independent" test results and opinions without a healthy portion of MSSalt.exe, then you need to seriously pull your head out of the sand.

    Microsoft is afraid for it's life. Of course it's going to panic. However it's interesting to note that instead of being driven to improve their products and compete with Linux's strengths, they feel their only recourse is to attack and mislead.
    This is the sign of a company that can no longer "innovate" or improve their products to compete. They will be gone in a matter of years, since there is bound to be a better product someday (perhaps Linux, or something else down the line), that no amount of attacking, misleading, or "indepentent columns" can silence.

    No company stays on top forever, and Microsoft has shown that it is past it's innovating stage, and well into it's "trying to hold it's lead with only slander" stage. It's only a matter of time.

    Finkployd
  • Microsoft has enough money that it's difficult to trust anything that anyone says in their favor without confirming it yourself. If Mindcraft says that Microsoft is superior, you are forced to wonder whether Mindcraft is for sale. If Gartner says that Microsoft is superior, you have to wonder whether Gartner is for sale. When Sen. Gorton tries to cut the DoJ anti-trust budget, you have to wonder whether Sen. Gorton is for sale.
  • Actually it does (or rather, it could have done that, had Linus accepted an implementation done by Riccardo Facchetti something like 1.5 years ago).

    Maybe that patch is still floating around...
  • Today on the Windows 2000 Professional front/contents page [microsoft.com] there's this link and byline:

    Oops. Gartner's Migration Model Flawed [microsoft.com]

    Market Bulletin: We think our friends at the Gartner Group used a flawed model for a recent prediction about migration costs to Windows 2000. Here's why.

    This is the same bogus big-developer-to-big-IT-clearinghouse dialectic; I've also noticed this last year.


  • 4 months a record? Are you kidding?

    I think it was Alan Cox who had posted something showing the uptime of one of his machines at 180 days. The problem was the uptime counter had already wrapped. That happens every 497 days. So this machine had been up about 22 months.

    I just recently sent him mail about the linux portaloo being stuck and not presenting any new articles. He replied "that's what happens when the clock rolls over after 497 days". So this means the man has had at least two different machines stay up for over 497 days. That's over 16 months!

    I myself had a machine at my office stay up for over 325 days. It came down (hard) when the water from hurricane Floyd started rolling into the computer room. This machine is our news server. Came right back up after an fsck.
  • > an effort by Gartner to allow venders to present their editorials within the Gartner web site, clearly suggesting to the inattentive that the point of view is that of an independent research organization.

    Hey, Gartner guys -- anyone reading this? I want a Linux webletter area where I can publish my own spin on your reports, and leave readers with the impression that it's your spin.

    How much is this going to cost me?

    Please reply promptly.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > ... with the increasing popularity of the Internet as an information source, I think it's tactics are finally being exposed for what they are.

    MS is hosed if they can't muzzle the internet.


    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > To a huge proportion of people out there the entire discussion is basically meaningless - they don't understand any of the technical terms being thrown about.

    But that works on both sides of the argument. Now they're hearing through the media that "Those übergeeks that amuse themselves by writing operating systems in their spare time think Windows sux." They might not understand "context switching", but they think they understand "egghead".

    And they'll remember what those "eggheads" have been saying next time they lose their work under Windows.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > My point is this: debunking a claim, amongst a group of people who already know how crappy the claim is, is sort of pointless

    Ah, don't forget that other news outlets have started keeping an eye on /. as one of their sources. What journalist would have been able to get a clear view of the problems with the Mindcraft and ZD "NT vs. Linux Shootouts", if not for sites where thousands of technically competent geeks pooled their expertise in picking the "studies" to pieces?

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > You can't even write a bad review of a linux distro because you will have tons of zealots picking it apart

    Kinda like not being able to write a scathing review of Windows because you will have tons of ad money take itself elsewhere, eh?

    Doesn't that make Micorsoft "look rabid and zealous" ?

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • >

    The one in the easter egg?


    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > we can revise this to "what's good for Microsoft is good for the world."

    No, cheap, reliable computing power is good for the world. What's good for Micorsoft is good for Bill Gates.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • The author mentions "expired" webletters that reappeared later. Has he published his before/after analysis yet?

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > Microsoft is not a competitive threat to Linux

    Not a competitive threat in the sense you offer, but still a threat. If Linux were not devouring the server market right now, WNT probably would be. And with enough of the the server market cornered, MS could E&E the standard network protocols to the point that you couldn't put Linux on the net without violating some patent. Then Linux would probably starve -- not just the newly IPO'd Linux companies, but also the grassroots movement that started it. It would be extremely tough to keep it alive by means of a worldwide network of BBS's and swapped floppies.

    So in a very important sense, MS is a direct threat to Linux. Linux can survive and thrive on it's own terms without the Linux companies, but it might not survive at all if the net falls into hostile hands.



    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Stop the zealotry and start to look at things with a *calm* and objective eye.

    Let me understand this now. Gartner writes a report critical of Linux, Microsoft pays bux (how many unknown) and distributes the report.

    Now, suppose Gartner writes a report critical of Win2k (bloated unstable pig-dog of unknown compatability quality and buginess but fact it is largest number of code lines ever attempted in an OS doesn't bode wll unlikely to be installed by anyone sane until at least SP2 is out project being led by PHB who says his number one job is to ship the product). Is anyone in the free software community likely to have the bux to pay for this? No, if they have money they are spending it on stuff like making the code better.

    If you are Gartner you don't have to be all that smart to realize where you are most likely to get a renumeration for your efforts. Heck, we don't even know if there was collusion before the article was written, i.e. some MS flack calls up Gartner - hey Joe - do you have anything critical of Linux we could buy? Joe, realizing this is an opportunity to make his sales target says, sure, I think we have something - might take a day or three to find it in our files. We'll send it over, and put it on your tab.


  • bullshit

    redhat is a commercial company. Their ultimate goal is to sell as many copies of linux as possible and to sell as many support contracts as possible.

    It is only a matter of time before somebody figures out that you sell more if you do marketing. Spreading FUD is a good strategy, MS is the living proof of that.

    So far Red Hat does not seem to attack its real competition (other linux distributions). In an expanding market like Linux, MS is not a threat but only a source for new customers.
  • I reboot once every 4 weeks or so. Usually the reason is to prevent it gets unstable, not because it actually becomes unstable. I have not seen any blue screen yet, but then I don't do any serious c/c++ developing on the machine (only java). I don't think it has crashed a single time since I have the machine on my desk (about a year now).

    I always read about people having to reboot NT every hour or so and blue screens stopping by every few seconds. If the above article was fud then what are these stories? Sure NT is not perfect, I wouldn't want to run it as a server environment for instance, but for the average desk user its not that bad.
  • I really love Linux and the whole OSS community, but one thing I really am sick of seeing is articles/posts that "debunk" MS or some journalist's claims. It's not that I don't appreciate how offbase the articles are, but let's be honest - you could debunk the laws of gravity if you wanted to, and since gravity can't argue back, you aren't likely to get much of a fight doing so.

    My point is this: debunking a claim, amongst a group of people who already know how crappy the claim is, is sort of pointless. It just shows how easy we are to piss off. What you're really doing is arguing with someone who isn't there anymore. Write a letter, make a phone call, but these "debunks" are preaching to the choir.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Yet, you must ask yourself, if it is wrong for MS to promote itself, then why is it right for Rick Moen (an obvious Linux Fan) to promote Linux. That's the same thing. Hell, this whole supposedly "journalistic" and "objective" web site is nothing more than Linux Community self promotion.

    Well, I agree with the MS bashing. I view it as hypocritical. When I got a bit out of my mind, and asked why on SVLUG, along the attacks and such, I did get one (well, also Rick's first was good.. 2nd a bit brutal :^). I can't find the message, of course... :-) To sum it up in a far worse way than it was said, MS's web server never stops cranking out the FUD. The web page doesn't get tired, it just keeps going on and on. Because Microsoft is such a big entity, the Linux community (as of yet) can't just have a page do the same fashoin to counter MS's. So.. screaming and shouting and the rest of it are needed to counter. Until Microsoft stops, the Linux community can't... (of course, one can always say the Linux community started it.. but in return, MS started it by making poor software and doing various unethical business practices)

    Now it's just a bunch of zealots trying to dominate the world and following some stupid dictator. I'd rather work with FreeBSD.

    heh. well, I started thinking the same thing a while back. Which is basicly why I lost it a bit... BSD in general, seems calmer and more orionted towards coding and progress, while Linux/GPL seems bent on good code, but more importantly to get a real fat ego boost. The latter can over shadow the former.. I emphasized the seem because it may be judging the Linux community harshly. The BSD community doesn't generally scream and shout, while at least some of the Linux community does. That may be the wrong impression... Rick's good responce [egroups.com] on that part...

    But just remember... Rick's reply was not meant as an article, or some Slashdot post, or anything else. I was quite surprised ot see it on Slashdot... It was just a reply off the thread in SVLUG... nothing more. It wasn't an article, it wasn't meant to be anything I think that Rick expected so much responce from.


  • Aw chucks, so much for that Linux then.

    I also heard it can't work with burned CPUs and crashed harddisks. And it won't display things on monitors with broken glass! What sort of shit is this?

    -
    /. is like a steer's horns, a point here, a point there and a lot of bull in between.
  • I take umbrage at the claim that Sen. Slade Gorton, who wants the DOJ to have its anti-trust budget slashed is for sale.

    I mean, if he was, he would be at a giant fundraiser in the Safeco Stadium that he forced through against the wishes of the people of Seattle. And most of the proceeds from that event would be used to reelect him. This Saturday.

    And there would be a lot of Microsoft execs at that event.

    Oh, wait, he is. They're holding it today (Saturday) ...

    Never mind.
  • Come now, you're all getting out of whack for nothing. Rick Moen's argument is that the little text at the bottom of the report states that Microsoft published the material. That doesn't mean that Microsoft wrote it (or paid for it) - in fact, it specifically says the content is provided by and copyright Gartner Group.

    I know we all love big conspiracies by evil companies, but not EVERYTHING is a conspiracy. Is it not possible that some (possibly clueless, but let's not get into that) person at Gartner wrote up the thing completely independently, and Microsoft said "hey that's good, we'll publish it in our section of the web site?" Rather than bashing the article based on its delivery, how about CONTENT.

    The Linux advocates (for lack of a better name) are quick to scrutinize anything coming out of Redmond in great detail. How come they don't apply the same attention and scrutiny to anything pro-Linux or anit-M$? Everyone knows there's FUD on both sides.

    I'm certainly no fan of M$, but there's no need to invent evil deeds for them! They do more than enough factually.

    Sponge
  • Rick Moen should learn to read. It is useful when criticising or commenting on a subject to have some comprehension of it.

    I quote from the small-type at the bottom of the Microsoft Web Letter in question:

    'Microsoft Web Letter is published by Microsoft.'

    This is really quite easy to understand. For example, The Times is published by News International. News International also publish The Sunday Times, News of the World, and The Sun. That's not too heady a concept, is it? The content of most newspapers, newsletters and journals are partially or entirely created by outside contributors. There are many outside contributors to The Times (and indeed to /.), so it should come as no surprise that Microsoft Web Letter also uses outside contributors.

    Why, then, the apparent puzzlement? I quote:

    'So, we're to believe that:

    -- Gartner Group wrote it all, despite what the small-type notice
    (quoted earlier) says in direct contradiction.'

    When one has learned to read, there is no contradiction.

    Another source of confusion seems to concern the idea of sponsorship. I quote from Gartner Group's rebuttal:

    'According to Gartner's Australian vice-president
    of marketing, John Barrow, Gartner sold that
    research to Microsoft which it used for a
    "Webletter", which is sponsored by Microsoft but
    hosted on the Gartner site.'

    This tells us that Microsoft Web Letter is sponsored by Microsoft (not an amazing revelation, considering that it is a Microsoft publication), and that the issue reporting the research results favorable to Microsoft was hosted on the Gartner site (again, not amazing considering that Gartner conducted the research, and also obvious from the URL).

    Why the puzzlement? My final quote:

    'So, we're to believe that:



    -- Microsoft "sponsors" this "site", and paid unspecified fees to
    Gartner Group related to the content, but in no way did Microsoft
    fund the study.'

    Fees are not mentioned anywhere, so if one chooses to believe that "unspecified fees" were involved, the evidence should first be presented. Failing that (the presentation of evidence), yes, one is to believe that in "no way" did Microsoft fund the study.

  • "you could debunk the laws of gravity if you
    wanted to, and since gravity can't argue back, you aren't likely to get much of a fight doing so."


    Gravity is constantly arguing back as it pulls you down as hard as it can. They're called facts, any semi-literate linux user isn't getting 'pissed off' as much as she is trying to point out the massive errors of this latest Dixonesque prediction. Having seen more of these than we care for does lead to the typical debunking session, but mostly to show the uninitiated the crystal ball that is history.


    I don't feel like I'm necessarily preaching to the choir as much as informing each other for our mutual benefit. Think of it more like bible study than anything else. *wink*


    I can already picture the conversation with the brain-donor you get when you call Gartner or Microsoft. You really think they want to have an intelligent discussion defending their work with you?



  • "The Gartner group is very serious and reliable."

    Hahaha... this should be moderated up as funny because he must have been joking... right?

  • Seriously, this whole thing with any company able to get away with thinking they're the center of the universe gets to me. It happens in this small town I live in with the radio stations and theatre companies, it happens nation-wide with corporations like Microsoft constantly giving themselves pats on the back.
    Someone once said 'It is better go on foot than ride in a carriage under false pretenses'. Microsoft is riding in a carriage not their own, and any company doing this will ultimately loose the respect they may have held and whither away to oblivion.
    Microsoft says that they're better, but where did these Linux users come from? I would be willing to guess that at least 33% of the people who use Linux come from a Microsoft OS background. Why? Because they were sick of not knowing what was going on in their system, sick of the OS behaving like a bad employee on the verge of being fired, and sick of being told by Microsoft that they were using the best software anyone in the world had to offer, when deep down they knew something had to be better.
    And so, having finished that rant, I'll go eat some soggy cheerios, so I can be annoyed enough to post on something else I hate :)

    Target Practice
  • From the most recent osOpinion

    http://www.osopinion.com/Opinions/AaronFransen/A aronFransen1.html
  • As long as I've been in the "PC" business there has been a sort of ideological/$$$$ warfare between those on top (as they see it) and those up and coming. Disinformation is a very powerful weapon in those wars and in lieu of conventional weapons it is a marketing departments 'nuke'. If a commercial software vendor's product can not stand on its own merits/features against a similar free product what does that say for the vendors' work?
  • by DrSpoo (650) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @05:17AM (#1608873) Homepage
    One is moved to ask, in a spirit of genuine concern: Doesn't incest on this scale tend to lead to problems like webbed fingers in future generations?

    Ah, webbed fingers aren't necessarily caused by incest AFAIK. Lots of people have webbed fingers and toes, and they don't all have circus jobs either. So regardless if the point of the artical was factually correct or not, it isn't right to stereotype people who are different from you. As Linux users (a minority, but growing fast) we should be fully aware of such issues.

    Lets celebrate diversity for the more aquaticly gifted amoung us!
  • [Cross-posting from the SVLUG mailing list]
    Quoting Aaron Lehmann (aaronl@vitelus.com):

    > Nice commentary, Rick. Turns out you made Slashdot with this.

    I noticed. Wow. (I did not post it there, only here on the SVLUG list.)

    It was never intended as a serious-minded analysis: I didn't think the "report" merited one. To the contrary, I was just having fun with some of the delicious absurdities to be found in it, in Gartner Group's hilariously cozy relationship with Microsoft (and perhaps anyone else whose cash is green enough), and in Gartner Australia's "explanation".

    I'm sure the latter was truthful, if you squint at it the right way: I'm certain that Microsoft Corporation's ongoing series of cheques for sundry services and accomodations did not specify (outright) that they were to fund a report that just by amazing coicidence parrots Microsoft's exact party line about Linux, in fine detail.

    So, I'm sure the apparent incestuousness of all this is mere coincidence, and nothing the least bit improper or damaging to Gartner Group's reputation for independence.

    [cough]

    Anyhow, the point wasn't to "debunk" Gartner's Linux piece du jour, but rather to mock it. It's not important, just amusing. I'm far more concerned about poor Hemos and his ruined house, poor guy.

  • by LeBleu (15782) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @07:22AM (#1608875)
    let's face it, the existance of rather spotty quality free/shareware has tarnished the origins of GNU/OpenSource..
    You should judge software on the basis of it's latest release.. not previous mistakes.

    Reading your post, it seems to me that you misunderstand the reference you quoted. Freeware/shareware has nothing to do with the previous mistakes of GNU/OpenSource/"Free Software"(as defined by RMS)

    Perhaps you're not familiar with it, but in the DOS/Windoze world, there is tons of software available gratis(free), frequently with a rarely obeyed stipulation that if you like it and use it you should pay for it, which is almost always closed source. I do believe that this is what the previous poster was referring to. Freeware and shareware tend to combine all the disadvantages of proprietary/closed source software with all the disadvantages of GNU/OpenSource software. You don't get the source, so you can't fix it yourself, but there is no support, and since the people who write it barely make any money off it anyway, they don't spend much time fixing it. Some of it still manages to be pretty good, but a lot of it is crap. (hence the "spotty quality" comment)

    P.S. Personally, I think we should avoid the confusing terms "open source" (which only implies that the source is open, not that you can get the source for free even necessarily) and "free software"(which sounds more like gratis than libre in english). My current favorite term is "free source", which can be interpreted correctly with both interpretations of "free", but doen't *necessarily* imply that as a product it's free. (Hell, they can sell bottled water;) I do have to wonder though if a term like "liberated software" or something like that would be good, avoiding the gratis interpretation. However, I'm rambling, so I'll shut up now

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @10:40AM (#1608876)
    > also heard it can't work with burned CPUs and crashed harddisks. And it won't display things on monitors with broken glass!

    Since society seems to accept vapourware as standard practice in the industry, I suggest that we start promising these things for the 3.0 kernel.

    Indeed, we should promise to eliminate the need for memory and disks altogether, by putting everything on a RAM disk in virtual memory, and then moving the swap file to the RAM disk. (Too late for a patent: I think they already do this to make infinite memory available in the OS's Moebiux and Klinix.)

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @05:05AM (#1608877)
    This is the same group of 'consultants' that has done a number of reports on user productivity and cost of ownership funded by Apple in order to show Windows to be inferior.

    These outfits have zero credibility. They are not independent, they always write what the client wants to hear in hopes of getting more work of the same nature in the future,
  • by Zoltar (24850) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @07:33AM (#1608878)
    AP - 10/16/1999 Microsoft Purchases ALL Public Broadcasting Stations.

    Microsoft has reported today that they have just closed a deal to purchase every Public Broadcasting Station in the free world for an undisclosed amount of money. Bill Gates speaking via video conference had this to say: "We are very exicted to announce this bold move into world of non-profit organizations. I have always been more interested in helping people than making money and I feel this will finally prove this to everyone. Americans have always said that they want more access to quality shows on TV and now we can offer help to them by providing the shows that they want to see!"

    PBS will now be known as MSPBS and will be run by the former CEOs of Mindcraft and the Gartner Group. Some of the new shows to debut this winter will be:

    Cooking with Bill: Watch Bill Gates make food with recipies stored on Win98.

    Wild Kingdom : See young people survive in the jungle with nothing but their Windows CE devices.

    Financial News Nightly: See how all of the terrrific innovations by Microsoft causes their stock to raise on a daily basis.


    In an unrelated announcement Microsoft has changed the name of their new OS from Win2000 to Bob2000. Bill Gates was quoted as saying: "We really feel the name change will help our customers be more productive."
  • by sphere (27305) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @09:19AM (#1608879) Homepage Journal
    I agree with witz. If you take a careful look at the actual Gartner Group report here [gartnerweb.com], you'll see that this report isn't really "anti-Linux propaganda." They simply believe that Linux won't replace Windows as the most-used desktop OS in the land (at least by 2004 the way that Linux is currently going).

    IMHO, and this is not intended as a flame, this whole tempest-in-a-teapot was blown up by ComputerWorld journalist Ellen Cresswell. She says that Gartner "painted an unflattering picture of Linux" in their report when the actual report isn't really that critical on Linux, It simply raises issues that have been discussed on Slashdot as real live problems with Linux. But Cresswell blew up this report as Gartner's "slam" on Linux when the report wasn't any such thing. Let's not let Cresswell benefit from a useless and pointless flamewar between Gartner and the Linux community.

    And even though Gartner obviously has substantial reservations about the success of Linux in the mainstream (if you thought the desktop OS report was bad, check this Gartner server-oriented Linux report out [gartner.com]), we shouldn't flame them. Instead we should prove them wrong, right?

    So let's prove them wrong!

    Rob Thornton
  • by Jules Agee (54174) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:06PM (#1608880) Homepage
    People just haven't realized yet that none of these "objective" tech review groups have any reason to be truly objective. They claim objectivity, but there is no one holding them to it. The average PHB doesn't investigate the findings, and the money goes to whoever can consistently provide the best combination of perceived integrity and customer butt-kissing.

    For example, in Microsoft's Linux Myths [microsoft.com] page, one of the key points is lower TCO. The study [microsoft.com] they quote to back this up was paid for by Microsoft and Compaq, and is seriously funny if you actually add up the numbers. The study is actually a comparison of NT TCO with Solaris/SPARC TCO, so since they use this "study" in an argument against Linux, I thought it would be appropriate to look at the numbers as they would appear in a Linux environment.

    First of all, on every line, they compare the TCO of 30 NT servers to 38 Unix servers. Why? They don't say. In the absence of convincing evidence that 30 NT servers will do the job of 38 Unix servers, let's make this a server-to-server comparison and use numbers for 30 Unix servers instead. Let's assume the hardware costs are the same between NT and Linux, since they will both run on Intel hardware. That saves us big bucks over the Sparc hardware quoted in the study.

    Now, for additional software, they include databases, development tools, apps, and utilities. Top quality Linux apps, dev tools, and utilities are free, but I could see paying money for Oracle or something on big boxes (no disrespect to MySql intended), so we'll include their figures for database expenditures, minus 21% to account for 30 servers instead of 38.

    The initial purchase price and application prices I list below are double what are shown on the "TCO Summary" table on their web page. For some reason their summary figures are exactly half of the totals in their detail reports, and I couldn't determine why, so I went with the detail report. All the other summary figures on their page match their detail reports exactly.

    All the support etc... stuff will probably be about the same between Solaris and Linux, so I just took those numbers right off their page.

    ............................................NT.. ..........Linux
    Hardware+OS.....$684,980......$530,400
    Applications...........$49,510.........$32,307
    Support, etc..........$867,740...$1,035,496
    TCO/Year.........$1,602,230...$1,598,203

    So, even in their own study, Microsoft couldn't beat Linux in TCO. What Microsoft paid for was for BRG research to arrange the data in a way that complimented NT, even if they had to "fudge" the data. Imagine what the numbers would look like in a study the FSF paid for!

    ______________________________________________

    Auditing and dentistry are excellent career choices for people who don't
  • by Skyshadow (508) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @06:53AM (#1608881) Homepage
    Don't blame Microsoft's PR department; this sort of thing really did used to work, and it used to be used by companies all the time. So it won't work against Linux; they just haven't realized it yet. It's like in the Civil War: None of the generals knew that their tactics were out of date compared to the weapons they were using, and some hadn't learned that by the end of the war (with disasterous consequences for their commands).

    Mindcraft, Gartner and any other company that bases its business on its rep with the business community need to learn right now that you can't fool 100,000 pairs of eyeballs, no matter how hard you try to distract them, nor can you outshout 100,000 angry mouths yelling against you. They simply can't afford to pull this "We do a report for you that says exactly what you want it to say and you pays us" crap (which is exactly what they both did, its just that Mindcraft got paid before and Gartner got paid after).

    The 100,000 brains out there are ripping this report to shreads, and 100,000 coworkers are talking about how the Gartner Group sold out to Microsoft. Gartner is, in a word, fucked; any second-year advertising major can tell you that word-of-mouth is the most incredibly powerful force for or against a company that exists.

    Gartner made the mistake of letting MS use them to use a tactic that's out of date in the information age. The only question is how many more generals out there have yet to realize that their tactics are out of date, and how many more companies will have their reputation destroyed before this is over.

    ----

  • by Otter (3800) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @06:28AM (#1608882) Journal
    I admit I didn't bother to plow through all the links to the original /. post, but since this has turned into "All The President's Men", let's take a closer look at the conspiracy theory:

    So, we're to believe that:
    -- Gartner Group wrote it all, despite what the small-type notice (quoted earlier) says in direct contradiction.


    Maybe I'm confused, but isn't all of this (the URL and the notice) pertaining to the "Webletter", not the original report?

    -- We're to understand that a set of URLs on www.gartner.com are "the Microsoft site".

    It's ComputerWorld that used those words, not Gartner. Not that they're necessarily wrong.

    -- Microsoft "sponsors" this "site", and paid unspecified fees to Gartner Group related to the content, but in no way did Microsoft fund the study.

    Again, I don't think this "site" or "content" is the "study".

    In any case, I think people are missing the biggest offender here -- ComputerWorld, which took a report criticizing Linux as a business desktop and turned that into "A damning report from Gartner has all but put the kiss of death on Linux."

  • by Signal 11 (7608) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:54AM (#1608883)
    Hasn't anybody told Microsoft yet that Linux itself is a myth? It really doesn't exist.. we're just trying to get your goat. I mean... system uptime measured in years? High performance out of desktop computers? You'd have to be pretty gullible to believe all that. And to top it off, an operating system that doubles in functionality while increasing it's speed by a similar amount at every major release? Absolutely unbelieveable! Programmers who devote their free time to giving away their code? I can barely contain myself.. I really must go...

    --
  • by LL (20038) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @05:34AM (#1608884)
    ... is that ultimately it appeals to the emotions, whether the safety of the pack or reinforcing existing prejudices (let's face it, the existance of rather spotty quality free/shareware has tarnished the origins of GNU/OpenSource). The marketing concept of the "Big Lie" (repeat anything long enough and people will believe it) probably offends engineers' sense of asethetics, being trained to think logically and applying careful principles to evaluate physical properties. Unfortunately, how do you measure two complex pieces of software? Function points (ie bells and whistles) are easy to count but who measures subtle factors like quality, support, and reliability? As they say, a leaky tap gets the attention whereas something designed to work correctly the first time is not noticed. The lack of marketing oomph outside word-of-mouth is a somewhat mixed blessing as unless people are aware of alternatives, they cannot have free choice, especially given inherent biases in some trade journals. Perhaps one way of redressing the balance is for every piece of OpenSource software available for public release (ie not beta) have 3 sets of numbers associated with it.
    1. cost to repair/replace
    2. estimated useful product lifecycle
    3. mean time between failure/update

    giving a rule of thumb purchase price + (1) * (2) / (3) lifetime cost. Perhaps other /.ers can suggest metrics for giving consumers a better feel for what the real cost of software really is beyond the initial marked price. In particular, people should be aware of the switching costs as given the rapid pace ot technology, something better always comes along. This is true regardless of whether it is OpenSource or Commercial. The only way to combat FUD is to provide independently validated information which the consumers can then use to make up their own minds as to the value and stability of whatever software goods they are purchasing.

    All brand and no beef makes for very skimpy meal.

    LL
  • by witz (79173) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @06:37AM (#1608885)
    How so much misinformation can lead to so much knee-jerk reactivity.
    Gartner writes reports for companies on a subscription basis. IE PAID. The company I work for, for example, pays Gartner for consulting and reports. The "webletter" on the Gartner site is a paid Microsoft publication of the original Gartner report, it is NOT the actual Gartner report. MS did not pay Gartner to trash Linux, they paid Gartner for the ability to post the Gartner report on Linux on their site.
    If you people would actually READ the report, instead of that idiotic summation by IDG and the Microsoft produced webletter, you'd realize that it isn't that big of a rip on Linux. It simply criticizes the *current* state of Linux as a viable desktop solution. It applauds what Linux is doing in other areas.
    Sheesh. Stop the zealotry and start to look at things with a *calm* and objective eye.
  • by Technik~ (87292) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @08:08AM (#1608886) Homepage
    Sidestepping the matter of ComputerWorld putting its own spin on the report, what is the credibility of Gartner, Giga, etc. in the IT industry? The second question is who is their target audience?

    These analysis groups have a deservedly bad reputation among IS/IT staff for the same reason that the national news reports lack accuracy when one is personally familiar with the event: the author is too far from the subject matter to do it justice and the readership doesn't demand more. Ask anyone who does the "heavy lifting" in an IT shop about one of these reports. If they are more than vaguely knowledgeable about the subject they can pick the report apart. Now try the same thing with upper management. Funny how the response is different.

    These groups make their living producing, despite their claims, shallow analysis for a readership that needs information quickly so that they can become "instant experts" before the next meeting. Depth is not necessary, technical accuracy obfuscates, just get the gist and make it readable. The topic of the week is always on the horizon and this must be put into the readership's hands fast. Odds are good that the information will be lost or forgotten (for a chuckle, go back and read last year's reports and predictions).

    I know I've said it before, but these companies have a track record for post-prediction and a habit of ignoring their misses that makes psychics look good. Worse, I personally know a few people who work for these companies and I can only say that I was glad to see such people leave.

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