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Microsoft Linux Business The Almighty Buck

Microsoft-Funded Linux Studies Benefit ... Microsoft 431

mr.big_pig writes "The Seattle PI had a front page article analyzing the Microsoft's Get The Facts website and related ads compairing Windows to Linux. The short and sweet: follow the money and see just how 'independent' is this research. What caught my eye was that this was on the front page and not buried in the business section."
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Microsoft-Funded Linux Studies Benefit ... Microsoft

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LochNess ( 239443 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:10AM (#8110217) Homepage
    I think this part of the article is significant:
    One problem, he said, is that companies will tend to keep under wraps the results of commissioned studies that turn out unfavorably. That means the public may get only part of the story when it reads a report sponsored by one of its subjects. "We're only seeing the ones they want us to see," Cherry said.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BuckaBooBob ( 635108 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:52AM (#8110657)
      Not to mention... How the studies are conducted... Mostly when MS is comparing Windows up against its like comparing Apples to Wax Apples... They can apear to be the same... But How they are used are 100% diffrent. The one study goes on comparing multiple windows boxes against a linux mainframe consolidation server... Umm... Well Linux can run on any platform windows can... why not use the same boxes? (Because it wouldn't produce favorable results for MS)

      Where as I think most of the linux vs ms studies that get done are alot more closer to real apples vs real apples. But I haven't seen very many studies at all in detail poing linux over windows.. Its just my guess they are alot closer to a direct comparison than what I have seen in windows vs linux with windows on top.

    • "I think this part of the article is significant:
      One problem, he said, is that companies will tend to keep under wraps the results of commissioned studies that turn out unfavorably.

      Lemme guess, the rest of the article was unfavourable, so you kept it under wraps? ;-)
    • Remembers me of... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sunda666 ( 146299 )
      First they ignore you,
      Then, they laugh at you,
      Then, they fight you,
      And then you win...

      And they are already fighting...

      • Someone over on Groklaw, a couple weeks ago, pointed out how in the backwards world of SCO it works like this...

        First they fight you.
        Then they laugh at you.
        Then they ignore you.
        Then you lose.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:39AM (#8111807) Homepage
      But another, much more common problem is sadly not adressed by the article

      The article does hint that whoever pays for a report may also get undue influence on the outcome. If not for any other reason than that the research-firm wishes to get similar tasks in the future.

      But much more blatant is the influence of the commissioner on the questions asked in the research.

      Thus the "Get the Facts" website has reports with summaries like:

      Microsoft-sponsored benchmarks prove that multiple Windows Web servers perform better than a Linux mainframe acting as a Web server consolidator.

      Thing is, that's not comparing Windows to Linux. That is comparing the cost-structure of "Mainframe" computers with "heaps of cheap boxes". It is well-known that generic boxes provides unparallelled price/performance for tasks that are easily divisible, such as web-serving.

      Had you asked the oposite question, you'd have gotten the same answer: "Eivind-sponsored benchmarks prove that multiple Linux Web servers perform better than a Windows mainframe acting as a Web server consolidator.

      What is the value of a study where you can swap the words "Linux" and "Windows", and get the same result ? Other than if you're wondering what is cheapest as a webserver for static web-pages: a mainframe, or half a dozen generic x86-boxen. But noone is really wondering about that anyways.

      This is only one example, there are many.

      My point is that even if the commissioner does not unduly influence the research, he still has a huge influence simply in deciding which questions to ask.

      • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

        by awol ( 98751 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:57AM (#8112502) Journal
        Classic example from Yes, Minister. About getting the desired result by asking the right questions (cut and paste of the quote from try_id=1879);

        Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."
        Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."
        Bernard Woolley: "Is that really what they do?"
        Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."
        Bernard Woolley: "How?"
        Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
        Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
        Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."

        A classic.

  • by Larry David ( 738420 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:24AM (#8110285)
    I've definitely noticed in the last few mnths that Microsoft seems to be REALLY ramping up its PR war against Linux. They've been talking about it for a while, and now we're seeing it.

    On the /. story below this there was a link to e-week about the 2.7 Linux kernel, and guess who had a big ad on that page? Microsoft. And the ad tried to show that Microsoft Windows Server is 11-22% faster in '4 out of 5' workplace scenarios than Linux.

    Even Slashdot has been running Microsoft ads, and almost any tech news site you go to is crawling with them. Microsoft has a definite advantage against Linux when it comes to ad budget, as only IBM seems to be really pushing Linux in terms of PR and advertising.. and even then it's more about IBM's solutions than Linux, which is not surprising really. And so Microsoft is going to continue funding studies and surveys, slightly tweaking the questions to favor them ("How easy do you find it to connect to an Active Directory from Linux?"), showing the world the results which are good, and dismissing the surveys which are bad.

    I wonder if there are any Linux mad advertising zealots with deep pockets to get some ads on those sites, and to generally kick up a stink and get us lots more stories in the papers and magazines. This is a PR war, and if you're a Linux devotee, make sure you fight back against it in some way (even if it's just winning your clients over to Linux even more).
    • by Killswitch1968 ( 735908 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:48AM (#8110377)
      I've definitely noticed in the last few mnths that Microsoft seems to be REALLY ramping up its PR war against Linux. They've been talking about it for a while, and now we're seeing it.

      Linux's true downfall has far less to do with MS's market dominance than it does with basic marketing. It's nice to have a product, but it's useless if no one knows about it.
      For example the people that use Internet Explorer do so not because "other browsers don't work with ActiveX" but because they are not even aware of the existence of Opera or Mozilla. The only browser ever mentioned in the same breath as MS is Netscape, which is massively inferior to the aforementioned browsers. At best it's marginally superior to MS, but not enough to have a significant competetive advantage.
      Take a look at iMacs, often cited as one of the most brilliant marketing programs conceived. Personally I hated those ugly things, nevertheless they did exceptionally well.
      • by Larry David ( 738420 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:48AM (#8110643)
        I agree, although it's often more simple than that. I converted a client to Mozilla Firebird, which they used for a while without incident. Eventually they admitted they'd gone back to IE. Why? Because they preferred the look of the IE icon.

        This is what we're dealing with out there.
      • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:23AM (#8111678) Homepage
        Linux's true downfall has far less to do with MS's market dominance than it does with basic marketing. It's nice to have a product, but it's useless if no one knows about it.

        Thankfully, Microsoft is fixing that now.

      • Linux's true downfall has . . .

        This assumes that the value of Linux is diminished somehow by fewer users. Linux (the kernel) does not gain from network effects the same way a browser does. Linux cannot win or lose in a practical sense. And as long as hardware manufacturers don't actively cut their only lifeline to Microsoft independence, Linux should continue to operate just fine for the millions that use it.

        On a related note, in my experience this past year, Mozilla compatibility has been steadily i
      • well, I have netscape, mozilla, on my pc's at home-just for testing my webpages

        I USE IE because I need activeX

        it's the only way I can check my son during the day rocks for parenting.. and grandparenting

      • > Linux's true downfall has far less to do with...

        Tell us more about this 'downfall'. Do I need to quit using it?

      • I agree that a marketing stratagy for Open source, and Linux in general, would be great!
        However, marketing takes a lot of research, which in turn takes a lot of money.

        I think the problem is that most open source projects don't have the money, and would rather spend the money they have to making their product better.

        This leaves all hope in distributers to market linux for us (think IBM), which is slowly comming along, at least for the corporate markets. Any Linux distrobution that wants to break out
    • Well, it's largely a marketing company. For the three months ending December 2003, it spent $ 2 467 000 000 USD [] on sales and marketing. Some of the other line items probably include some marketing activities, so that's at least $ 9 868 000 000 000 USD per year.

      The gains that Linux, BSD, OS X and others have made despite this warchest is quite a testimonial as to how far behind that company's technology is.

    • by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:01AM (#8111533) Journal
      And that's just it right there. MS is smart enough to know how far PR goes despite damn near owning the desktop market. The "pure linux" players haven't even tried (RH, SuSE, etc.). I know their budgets aren't as huge as MS or IBM but I'm surprised they haven't caught onto this. It would make my week to see an RH or SuSE ad on TV, like some of the Apple ads. I'd even be wiling to bet that the ROI is worth it, if they do it in tech-heavy cities such as Boston, Atlanta, NYC, LA, Chicago, etc.
    • "And the ad tried to show that Microsoft Windows Server is 11-22% faster in '4 out of 5' workplace scenarios than Linux."

      Hmm. 4 out of 5... that's 80%. But supposedly Microsoft has 90%+ of the market. So Microsoft just paid to run an ad urging over 10% of the market to leave them for Linux >:)
  • Best quote ever... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ghideon ( 720955 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:32AM (#8110321)
    "Dan Leach, group product manager for the Microsoft Office System, was asked at the time whether Microsoft would have publicized the results if they hadn't been positive. He answered that he had been so confident in the software's benefits that it "was never going to be a question." Is MS smoking the same stuff that SCO is??!?
    • "Dan Leach, group product manager for the Microsoft Office System, was asked at the time whether Microsoft would have publicized the results if they hadn't been positive. He answered that he had been so confident in the software's benefits that it "was never going to be a question." Is MS smoking the same stuff that SCO is??!?

      Of course they are. MS is probably not intentionally conspiring with SCO to kill Linux. But SCO got their mind-altering stuff from Microsoft and now they seem like they are the sam
    • by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <gterich AT aol DOT com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:07AM (#8111566) Journal
      Since Microsoft is paying for the stuff SCO is smoking, I would say yes..
  • Must be... (Score:5, Funny)

    by PHPgawd ( 744675 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:34AM (#8110326)
    ...that Slashdot readers are finally sick commenting on stories about Microsoft and SCO... That must be it...

    In other news, recent market studies have a massive decline in the demand for porn on the Internet, and...

  • by ozric99 ( 162412 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:36AM (#8110332) Journal
    I really don't mean to sound like a troll, but honestly, the day Microsoft pays for and publicises a report in which linux comes out on top will be the day it should get front page headlines. This is just business as usual.

    Is it possible to mod Stories as redundant?

    Sat here watching my karma go wheeeeeee all the way down ;)

  • Not entirely BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NutscrapeSucks ( 446616 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:36AM (#8110334)
    First of all, any vendor TCO study is going to be completely bullshit. However, there's a glimmer of truth in the Microsoft stuff:

    + Realistically, the software & hardware costs aren't going to be significantly different between Windows and Linux. Yes, you can download Linux for free, but your boss is going to pay real money for RedHat or SuSE.

    + Unix admins are more expensive than Windows admins, although they generally have a much higher skill level. Maybe as Linux penetrates the market, this will equalize (both in cost and skill level).

    + MS selected specific scenerios to favor them. For example, File and Print have never been a strong spot for Unix -- Novell and MS have owned that segement for years and years. It will be interesting to see what Novell/SuSE puts on the market.

    And attacking Linux on Mainframes is like hitting the broad side of a barn -- There might be some scenarios where it makes sense, but for the most part a mainframe has pathetic price/performance and is very expensive to keep running. (Although, that wouldn't stop IBM from selling you one.)

    And as for J2EE -- some of the tools are ridiclously expensive, so that's a pretty easy cost study to rig.
    • Re:Not entirely BS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spillman ( 711713 )
      Unix admins are more expensive than Windows admins, although they generally have a much higher skill level. Maybe as Linux penetrates the market, this will equalize (both in cost and skill level).

      I always laugh at the "windows staff is cheaper" stuff. I seriously can't believe the number of people who buy this. It's so blatently obvious that windows staff is cheap. Supply and demand IMHO. More companies use windows so there is more of a need for windows techs, and dare i admit it, there is not much need
    • by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:52AM (#8110658)

      Yep, J2EE is ridiculously expensive. I mean, just check out these figures...

      JBoss Appserver [] - Cost: $0.00
      IBM 1.4 JDK for Linux x86 [] - Cost: $0.00
      Eclipse IDE [] - Cost: $0.00

      • Hence the magic word "some". Sure IBM will let you download Eclipse, but they will also sell you "WebSphere Enterprise Developer Studio" at a price so expensive they refuse to list it on their website.

        Last I checked, the 'official' prices for BEA or WebSphere were something like $10,000 per developer.

        Sorta like how you can do MS dev for free, or you can drop $3000 for MSDN & VisualStudio.
    • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:08AM (#8111576)
      First of all, any vendor TCO study is going to be completely bullshit. However, there's a glimmer of truth in the Microsoft stuff:

      Whether the report is biased or not, it would behove the Linux community to respond to the report with innovation, not just scorn. For example, improving ease-of-use on admin tools could create a drop in the cost of a Linux support people. Or better File and Print features (Novell/SuSE migth be doing this) could improve TCO in that arena.

      My point is that fixing these perceived areas of "Linux inferiority" would make it even harder for Microsoft to create the next version of a biased report. If Open Source is smart, they will exploit these biased marketing reports to set future development priorities and fill any perceived gaps in functionality, ease-of-use, and TCO.
      • by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] []> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:02AM (#8112003) Homepage Journal
        I would like to point out that Unix way, text files and command lines, while more difficult to learn is far superior in repeatability.

        I've been a network engineer for 5 years, and a hard-core computer junkie since I was 7. Every time Microsoft comes up with a new GUI I have to play hide-and-go-seek to find the one dialog box that contains the checkmark I want to pick. That infuriates me, and makes trying to document procedures all but impossible. In unix I simply tell them to go into this file end edit this line. Even better, I can usually write a script to do it for them.

        Microsoft would do us all a favor if on the next version of their OS they go back to good old fashioned INI files. Having to break out a registry editor tool every time I discover they forgot to write in a hook for a setting I need is ifuriating.

    • Something to keep in mind with the Windows Admin cost vs. Linux Admin cost is this: Any moron can administer a Windows box. Why? Because Windows doesn't give you control over anything. Linux gives you control over every little detail of how a box runs, so naturally a *nix admin has to know more stuff than a windows admin does.

      After all, there aren't any "Wizards" living in your Linux box....
    • "+ Realistically, the software & hardware costs aren't going to be significantly different between Windows and Linux. Yes, you can download Linux for free, but your boss is going to pay real money for RedHat or SuSE."

      Yes, you will pay real money for them but Windows XP Pro is $300 compared to Redhat at $180 is still a cost savings. A $120 savings per machine can add up quickly and doesn't even take office software into account.

      "+ Unix admins are more expensive than Windows admins, although they gen
    • by steve_l ( 109732 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:27AM (#8111704) Homepage
      Looking at the
      .NET vs J2EE/Linux study []

      The reviewer compares the cost of WebLogic+Oracle versus Windows Server+ SQL server. While the OS is much cheaper (and they omit costs of securing the platform against repeated worms), it is the cost of the proprietary software that gives MS its 25% cost saving.

      The thing is, the cost of the app server and database are huge; they dwarf everything. So a large size company would only pay $5K for Redhat versus $40K for windows, but then pay $160K for WebLogic and $40K for oracle (versus $0 and $20K for the MS solution). And of course the annual maintenance fees are simply a fraction of the software costs, so they are more on the j2ee system.

      Really the survey says 'J2EE using Oracle and WebLogic is more expensive than .NET and SQL server'. And it probably is true. But that is what comes of not embracing open source more fully. Adopt JBoss instead of WebLogic, save nearly $160K. Adopt Postgres or MySQL instead of Oracle, save $40K. end result: open source wins hands down, provided development costs are roughly comparable.

      So yes, the study was utterly rigged. It makes a valid critique of using WebLogic and Oracle, but says nothing about Linux/JBoss/mysql.
  • Bias aside (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kolinar ( 605296 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:50AM (#8110386)
    Given the "LINUX performance analysis" from Microsoft in the past, I tend believe these "independent reports" are more or less propaganda. Bias aside, I think the point is made, that the problem isn't whether Microsoft attempted to influence the reports or not, but rather the fact that Microsoft sponsored the study puts (conscious or unconscious) pressure on the analysts performing the study to be bias one way or another.

    It is the same reason why drug companies need to perform double blind testing on new medicine to see whether the effects are merely due to influence from the people performing the study and the patients being told that they would get better.

    similarly, though Microsoft may demand that the reports be objective, the analysts employed may just by association, subconsciously put Microsoft products in a slightly better light.

  • Sun and IBM... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:59AM (#8110414) Homepage

    The IDC study is such rubbish. It talks of Linux developers and ISVs...

    And fails to mention the two corporate giants who are backing and rolling out Linux across the globe. Sun and IBM.

    Its like talking about the Superbowl, but not mentioning the teams.
    • All Windows vs Linux researches are meaningless because of one simple fact: Microsoft has billions available to throw at making Windows better, whereas the Linux community, even with RH and other prominent companies, is rather poor in funding in comparison.

      If I was an IT manager, I would consider Linux to follow a "best effort" sort of approach, whereas Windows, being far less than free, should come with guarantees about stability and performance. However, at least in terms of stability and security, Linux
      • Re:Sun and IBM... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by soloport ( 312487 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:46AM (#8112381) Homepage
        However, at least in terms of [1]stability and [2]security, Linux certainly outperforms Windows, if not by much these days. And it probably isn't far from Windows in terms of raw [3]speed.

        Hard to match
        1) stability through fever-pitched-bug-fixing (open source) vs. mere self-monitoring-of-doomed-processes.
        2) security-by-design vs. security-largely-through-obscurity.
        3) the raw speed of having no CPU cycles to have to burn on the GUI becuase you can entirely remove the GUI!

        OTOH, Windows makes for a nice workstation. Why not use the right tool for the right job? Can't we all just get along?

        Throw Microsoft's billions at Linux and Windows would instantly become a laughable joke.

        Uh, in the back office and in the data center, Windows is a lughable joke. (Yes, most data centers tout Windows, but that's because customers demand it.)
      • Your analogy, though fruitful in some respects, does not hold over thoroughly to software development. It is a commonly accepted axiom among experienced commercial teams that adding people to the team does not ship the product faster. In that light, throwing money at problems need not produce solutions. The problem seems to be that professional programmers are not immediately useful in a project, requiring ramp-up time.

        In the open source world, however, the incentives and results are very different. Many p
  • Well Guh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:05AM (#8110430) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft funded studies have been popping up since my OS/2 days. They all have some things in common: They seem to try to obscure the fact that the study was funded by Microsoft, they all come to favorable conclusions based on questionable premises and they all seem to end up on a forum like this one, with everyone calling shennanagans.

    Studies are a marketing device for Microsoft. We may as well get used to being on the sharp end of their marketing department's pointed stick.

  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:37AM (#8110588)
    I've refrained from posting on any garbage like that forever, but since not much people are posting (sick of it already, or too busy combing thru all the reports?), I'll chip it one.

    Disclaimer: I've not read all the reports, just the article and the IDC report.

    Microsoft's Taylor said that findings are also presented in such a way that they can be duplicated by others. I'm not sure. The reasoning for the quantification method is weird at best. On p.10 of the IDC report, every item for Linux is more expensive.

    Let's take hardware. The hardware for Linux is more expensive because it is assumed that for the same hardware, Linux can handle less load than Windows, therefore, you need more hardware if you deploy Linux, hence higher cost. That's weird, how did they come up with that assumption? It's certainly not explained in the "open methodology".

    Software: how did they come to the conclusion that Linux softwares are more expensive? I can't find the list of comparable softwares they used in their study. If this methodology is really open, let's provide the data, shall we? And they claim that Linux is used mostly for print, file serving, and web serving. Well, if that's the case, the softwares for those functionalities cost almost nothing, except for support, which is more or less the same for both platform. How come I remember I used to pay thousands of dollars for a Windows Server allowing only 5 connections?

    Staffing: Sure, Linux/Unix admin are more expensive. That's true only if you assume that each Linux/Unix admin can only do the same amount of work as an MCSE monkey. You draw your own conclusion.

    Downtime: Whoa, Linux cost more for downtime (in a couple of cases)? Real data please?

    Training: That, I'm not sure. It's probably easier to pick up Windows, as every new kid is already familiar (more or less) with windows interface already, before the training? Ok, let's say the data here are correct, but I still want data.

    Outsourcing: I can't seem to understand how did they come up with that conclusion. I'd like to see the raw data.

    The funny thing is this: the report said that Linux is used only for "light workload on the edge", and not for the real stuff.

    Hmm, I guess they didn't talk to the CIO of (hint: based on their previous experience with Linux for other things with a $16M cost savings, they are moving their mission-critical terabyte database to Linux!)

    • The hardware for Linux is more expensive because it is assumed that for the same hardware, Linux can handle less load than Windows, therefore, you need more hardware if you deploy Linux, hence higher cost. That's weird, how did they come up with that assumption? It's certainly not explained in the "open methodology".

      This is a fundamental flaw in logic known as "begging the question" - by assuming what you want to prove and then "proving" your conclusion based on that incorrect assumption.

      I.E. "Linux is

    • I haven't bothered reading the report, but reading your summary reminded me of Vietnam. when fixing the election results the U.S. advisors suggested a more realistic value but they went for something like 99% instead.

      contrary to Hitler's "the bigger the lie, the easier they swallow it", putting out BS of this magnitude is retarded.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:56AM (#8110672) Journal
    Just 30 posts so far, hours after an article on MS is put up on Slashdot. Guess it implies that study reports (funded, sponsored, sexed-up, or otherwise) carry little weightage with IT consumers, these days.

    This could explain why Linux adoption continues to increase despite all the media hype and study reports - users and organisations are probly doing the study reports themselves..... consumers getting wiser is a highly undesirable phenomenon for the Corporat types - I think we'll soon see Ask Slashdot article on "How to Keep the Consumer Stupid?"
  • ...why the hell does Microsoft need to campaign so much against it? It is not as if Linux is campaigning to push Microsoft out of the market, is it? If Linux becomes a big player, it will only be because of its merits. And Microsoft claims the merits aren't there. So what are they worried about?
    • Microsoft is scared shitless of linux. They know as well as anyone that linux is faster, cheaper, more reliable, less prone to vendor lock-in, etc., and they know their customers know it too.

      Since everyone knows they're lying anyway, Microsoft's black PR campaign will end up giving linux the exposure it can't afford to give itself. Maybe it will hold back the tide for a bit. Who knows? But software commoditization is inevitable if Microsoft fails in its bid to Xbox the PC platform.

      There's an extremely goo
  • 52? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Red Pointy Tail ( 127601 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:00AM (#8110696)

    Companies "couldn't say, 'Maybe I should just choose Linux because there were 52 Slashdot postings saying that Linux is better,' " he said, referring to a popular Web site for technology news and commentary. "That's really what drove a lot of the emphasis to say, 'Hey, fine, let's really give a set of facts.' "

    Did they miss out the 000,000 somewhere?

    • It's official: MS fears us.

      I bet they're reading this.

      Hello Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Martin Taylor.

      Send me a hundred thousand dollars and I will start posting in favor of windows.

      It's a good deal and you know it!


  • When I opened up the page for the article, the banner ad on top was for the MSN Smart Watch.

    I wonder, with random ad placements in banners, if there will eventually be a requirement that ads don't show up on pages with content saying something less than favorable about the advertiser...
  • Their website doesn't work. At least link to article. After so many years we finally found way to destroy Microsoft. All you need to do is post more MS-related stories, and see how their servers die.

    PS. Windows is better than Linux in 4 on 5 scenarios, but I always hit in that last scenario.
  • I like Linux myself and I do use it alot. But to me it stil misses one thing.

    When you install a Novell server or a Microsoft server these days, you get Directory Services with them both. You have the possibility of integrated groupware products that works together with the the Directory Services just like file serving, print services, internet access and alot more, all controlled from one system. Specially Novell have made a great system for centralized management of decentralized serveres, and I as far as
    • Everything you want may be coming. I'm assuming Novell purchased SuSe with the intent of integrating Netware into Linux. If that happens, we'll probably see a large groundswell of people migrate. There are a lot of companies out there using Netware still and I'm sure a lot of them would switch to Linux for a whole lot of reasons.

      The combined strength(technological and financial) of IBM and Novell should give Linux a corporate presence it's never experienced before. Netware for Linux would really give it a
  • The best say "We're #1", the second best say "We're better than they are" Which one is MS doing?
  • Doesn't matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    OS X rules. Should just get a Mac and ignore the argument. Think about it: all the apps, all the CPU speed, 8GB RAM, and a *nix operating system.

    Offtopic, Flamebait and Troll, and the little grey duck took all the karma home.
  • by fuzzybunny ( 112938 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:10AM (#8111596) Homepage Journal
    What I find hilarious in that marketing "report" is the focus on "TCO" (which isn't so total). They don't address a whole bunch of factors which come back to bite you as a MS-only shop:

    -resultant (direct and indirect) security costs
    -hardware costs

    So essentially yeah, I can say the TCO (including acquisition) of a network of P90s running a DOS-based text interface is really low, but what does that say about my business' capability? *silence from the ranks*

    I'm no Linux fanatic--I believe in somewhat heterogenous environments, and that every app/product has its place. Also, Microsoft here have been doing a fantastic job responding to our needs and requirements with information and updates about security issues, even though I'm sure it's a direct result of pressure and arm-twisting (shows what a bit of competition can do to a lazy organization).

    However, this sort of goes to prove that adage about "lies, damn lies and statistics". What a lot of IT shops who've focused entirely on the bottom line start realizing is that you don't get around hiring very good, expensive IT staff if you want to keep your business running. Fact of life and all that.

    But then again, I don't expect the types of people who want "facts of life" distilled down to "numbers on a Powerpoint presentation" to necessarily be directly interested in long-term benefit to their companies.
  • by WebMasterJoe ( 253077 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:11AM (#8111602) Homepage Journal
    'Maybe I should just choose Linux because there were 52 Slashdot postings saying that Linux is better,' he said
    Well, he must have at least looked at the slashdot article, because a headline I made fun of last time [] has been removed! Previously, the headline read "10 Times Less Expensive Than Linux," and now it's "Far Less Expensive." It's stilll wrong, but at least it's not quite so absurd.

    But since my voice was heard the first time, I have another suggestion. Stop trying to look like Apple! That page looked like it came straight out of Quartz! Why not try making your documents match your own company's image, instead of a competitor's image?
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:18AM (#8111635)
    It don't understand this. M$ can't be _that_ stupid, can they?

    Step number one was completly negleting OSS and hoping customers wouldn't notice. *That* was a time when M$ should have prepared to sell it's own Linux distro with DX 9 and some other embrace and extend stuff. They missed it and screwed up. Lucky was we.

    Step two was bashing the GPL as 'unamerican' and other bullshit and bringing customers to look twice at licensing where they used to give a hoot about the small print. Thus causing them to also look at M$ licenses and notice what BS they have been subscribing to for years allready. Ballmer backed of merely a half a year later and admited it was a bad plan to draw so much attention to OSS by bashing Linux/GPL in such a way.

    Step three: Publish studies were everybody with more than 2 braincells notices in an instant that Linux/OSS is on top of things and M$ knows nothing other to do about it than flail the bullshitting-club left right and center.

    Can a company of this size with marketing departments on a budget as big as the anual throughput of something like the third of afrika be so stupid and windows focused to pull such a mindless stunt?
    Honestly, if I were a stockholder of M$ I'd be somewhat pissed and would want a question or two answered on that matter. M$ better get a grip and start preparing to change their business model or else they're gonna be in deep shit faster than any of us had ever hoped for.
  • I personally don't think that the research companies make up results, just to please Microsoft. I do however believe that results that doesn't favor Microsofts products remain upublished.

    The result for the research companies work is only valuable because people trust them, they can't really afford to lie. On the other hand Microsoft wouldn't allow them to publish which doesn't favor their products. The research is stil useless, because the company who is paying can choose not to make the findings available
  • Fox guarding henhouse benefits... Fox!

  • by jki ( 624756 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:22AM (#8111672) Homepage
    as in: "Our response to WTO has been to spend 300 million yuan on a research and development centre and improve the quality of our brands. In March last year, a research centre in Kentucky found that our tobacco, grown using only natural fertiliser, causes the least harm to consumers. Actually, it is good for health - it calms the mood and stops old people from becoming muddled and getting Alzheimer's disease." -- Hill of the Red Pagoda Group, China's biggest cigarette producer. O'Neill, M. Beijing briefing: tobacco giant in training for WTO, "South China Morning Post" 2000 August 28.

    There is approximately 42^42 reports published yearly on any given subject. If you cannot find your truth in one of them you just don't know what you want your truth to be like.

  • $ORGANIZATION_A funded study shows $ORGANIZATION_A's product far superior to $ORGANIZATION_B's product. News at $TIME.

    Big $EXPLETIVEing deal.

    I am happily surprised that it made the front page of a Seattle paper, though.
  • I guess I should be ashamed of myself for always being so surprised when Microsoft continually refuses to defeat something via innovation or hard work and instead chooses the propaganda route.
    Their strategy, in this particular case, will probably lure a couple of CIO's who stumbled upon the 'independent study' into Microsoft's camp, but then again, anyone not willing to do a fair amount of research on their own probably deserves Microsoft software.
    We're in the process of phasing out our Microsoft servers.
  • is that msft usually tries to hide the funding. For example, a ziff-davis article comes out with a headline like: "Independent study shows linux has higher TCO than Windows." and you have to really dig to find the "independent" study was actually funded by msft.

    If msft came and admitted right away that msft funded the study, I would have no problem with those bogus studies at all.
  • Sheesh, it doesn't take a huge conspiricy.

    Ask a careful question so that it leads directly to the answer you want.
    Set the conditions and assumptions to levels you know will give the desired outcome.
    Don't tell anyone about all the situations where you don't get the answer you want.

    Ever see a MS study on a Beowolf/Google type deployment? It isn't hard to understand why.

  • They state that:
    "Staffing expenses were 33.5% better."

    According to that study, they have a chart rating Linux staffing at ~80,000 and Windows staffing at ~58,000.

    Now, better refers to an improvement. Therefore, they are refering to the improvement of Windows from Linux. This is ~27.5%.

    To say that the report says staffing expenses on Linux are 33.5% worse might be accurate, but the reverse is not right.

    I know it's a bit pedantic, but it bugs me. I don't know if they did that more than once, because I onl
  • How can they do a Total Cost of Ownership study when you can never truly own a Microsoft OS machine?

    You never really OWN a Microsoft OS machine -- you may own the hardware, sure, but you merely license the use of the OS.

    A Linux system, by contrast, allows you to actually own and modify the system, with the only restriction being that if you distribute modified GPL'd code, that you make the source available.

    Isn't that inherently better than licensning the use-but-not-own?
  • Analysts. (Score:3, Funny)

    by 13Echo ( 209846 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:08AM (#8112055) Homepage Journal
    This just in...

    Microsoft funds analysis of Windows/Linux TCO. Buys analysts with free MCSE training and an XBox. More news at 11!
  • Well, of course... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:40PM (#8113591) Homepage Journal

    The real problem is that the studies are geared toward benchmarking the few strengths of the Windows platform. A perceptive reader would note that the IDG study actually confirmed that Windows was significantly less reliable that Linux.

    The IDG study mentioned that among file and print servers, Linux servers on Intel platforms averaged a higher workload with a lower failure rate. However, faithful to their master, IDG goes on to contradict itself by noting that Linux admins get paid more than Windows admins. Which means that taken on a per machine basis, Windows is cheaper, but when taken on a workload volume basis, Linux is less expensive.

    The problem with such studies is that they are slanted toward the situations in which Microsoft's products do perform reasonably well. Consider for example the Windows-server against Linux-on-mainframe benchmark: a totally useless comparison. In the first place, companies don't buy mainframes for web-serving; they buy them for corporate datacenters. Then, when they want to provide web functionality, they either augment with Windows boxen which must connect to the mainframe for database access, or they run Linux servers on the mainframe. The first case involves hiring additional Windows admins, the second, merely training the existing mainframe systems programmer on Linux. Furthermore, you will never find a situation in which a company's mainframe-based webserver is outperformed by a Windows box. The reason? In real world corporate environments, business critical data is always stored on the mainframe simply because it is the most reliable platform. Thus, the screamingly-fast webserver on a windows box can never run faster than the mainframe simply because it must wait on both the mainframe database and network latency when filling requests.

    In reality, the studies are worthless because they simply don't address the manner in which businesses actually use the systems. They ignore the crucial questions of reliability, robustness, compatibility, and support.

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:47PM (#8114301)
    Here's a fair way of doing the comparison...

    Have Microsoft and a Linux sponsor (IBM?) each have a competition to pick a team of 6 knowledgeable Windows admins and 6 Linux knoweledgeable admins.

    Put two identical empty servers in a room in a neutral place with an independent analysis company.

    Give the two teams all the tools they need and, say, 24 hours to build their respective Windows and Linux environments - even allow the Linux team to build their own custom kernel / distro if need be.

    Then do the performance testing on the servers.


    1) Fair test results that will probably show Windows is better at some things and Linux at others.

    2) Microsoft gets some glory showing a willingness to compete in an "open" trial.

    3) Microsoft and Linux both end up with "things to do" to improve their software.

    4) We all benefit as a result.

    5) We all stop bickering over a marketing campaign that is no different to Mercedes comparing its cars to BMW or Macdonalds comparing its burgers to Burger King.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong