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The Continuing War Against Microsoft's "Facts" Campaign 316

davidmwilliams writes "I've been rallying against Microsoft's so-called 'Get the Facts' site for the last fortnight in my blog. Rather than give any legitimate comparison facing off Windows Server vs similarly spec'd Linux options, the Microsoft spin doctors opt for bunkum and hogwash with sensational headlines that don't have any substance underneath. Here's the state of play, including an update on my request to Microsoft PR to do something about the blatant lack of integrity displayed. I also go over the latest case study put up by Microsoft: they promise to show why people are choosing Windows Server 2008 over Linux using the City of Uppsala as an example."
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The Continuing War Against Microsoft's "Facts" Campaign

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  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by value_added ( 719364 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:21AM (#23298216)
    people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.

    For your benefit and others who similarly haven't read the article or missed its point entirely, the case study cited in the article involves the city of Upssala that has two networks, one a 150-server Windows network, and the second a 100-server Windows network with some Linux and Netware thrown in. Virus outbreaks and a need for increased control were cited as motivating factors for a change.

    The case study goes on about how TrueSec and the city participated in the Microsoft Rapid Deployment Program in order to get Windows Server 2008 pre-release version early. They made a test network, they purchased new hardware, they made a pilot deployment in January 2008 in the city administration network and things are looking ok so far.

    So, what do we learn? Firstly, the existing platform was far more of a Windows environment than a Linux one. The Windows-exclusive network was insecure. A third-party company who maintained the network - and who were a Microsoft partner - recommended new features in Windows Server 2008 that would help. So far, the Windows-exclusive network has been partially upgraded.

    Hang on? Where's the Linux aspect? Why is this on Microsoft's site? Weren't we promised we'd be told why customers are choosing Windows Server 2008 over Linux?

    Oh yeah, there was a single reference hidden away. "If you go with Linux, you can never be sure of what kind of support you're going to get" a server technician said. "Maybe the product is free, but you still have to put in the staff hours to basically support the product yourself."

    If there's a "suit one's needs" aspect to any of this, it certainly isn't in the article.
  • M$'s "honesty" (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:21AM (#23298218)
    As a mid-term observer of M$ from a business perspective, I must say that virtually every statement out of the company ranges from dishonesty to outright lie. I am not in a position to analyze white papers and technical statements but the occasions on which an honest public statement were made in the last ten-plus years can be easily counted on one hand. It's the arrogance of a company that has, of course, prospered as a result of a monopoly, not because of any consistent quality to its products. (Why should they waste money on making something other than crap unless pressured? That's what a monopoly brings: crap shoved down your throat.)

    I'm surprised the poster is surprised by M$'s dishonesty.

    Jesus, M$ makes Apple look straight and honest....
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:42AM (#23298274) Homepage Journal

    this guy is clearly out to sway the audience in favour of his preffered os

    Which is a fair point if you assume that anyone with an opinion is automatically a liar by the very fact of their advocacy. I don't think that necessarily follows.

    Certainly it doesn't seem to be the case in this instance. I can't see anything that looks to be untrue, or even deliberately misleading the article. Mr. Williams even goes so far as acknowledge that one case, (the Hi China story) actually reflected well on Microsoft. So you can't really paint him as being just as dishonest as the corporation he is challenging.

    A deeper point is this: do we really want to live in a world where lies and deception are regarded as the norm, and where all opinions are automatically worthless simply by virtue of their being opinions? I can't see that polluting the world's data flow like that is a good thing, personally. I think we need people who are willing to challenge spin and propaganda wherever they find it. Williams seems to be doing that, and personally, I applaud him for his efforts.

  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:13AM (#23298378) Homepage

    If you read the article, there was no comparison done. The decision was outsourced to MS resellers who, surprise, peddled more MS wares. Comparison of other technologies never happened.

    Oh, that and MS Sweden couldn't be bothered to look up any of the dozens of regional companies that provide support for non-MS systems and packages. That 'no support' argument worked in the early 1990's but not anymore.

  • by Lincolnshire Poacher ( 1205798 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:22AM (#23298414)


    SQL Server remains off-limits for benchmarking. From the EULA for SS2005 Std / Ent:

    5. BENCHMARK TESTING. You must obtain Microsoft's prior written approval to disclose to a third party the results of any benchmark test of the software.

    However the company has now changed its restrictions for .Net benchmarking. One can release results according to certain ( sane ) requirements on the condition that Microsoft can reciprocally benchmark your software:

    Benchmark Testing, Microsoft .NET Framework [microsoft.com]

    Still glad I don't use proprietary software.

  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:44AM (#23298468) Journal
    As I said, Premier Support is not available from Microsoft India. Support typically comes from Gold partners, and they have no clue about Server technology, choice of platforms, architecture etc., since these are controlled by Microsoft.

    Even in rare instances of virus attacks etc, the firewall vendors provide the support and do the cleanup, not Microsoft. And this is the case despite Corporate Volume Licensing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:59AM (#23298496)
    Ironically Datormagazin is one of the most Linux friendly Swedish magazines, they even had a 5 page guide for people who wants to switch from Windows to Linux or OSX just a couple of months ago. :)

    People who actually read it should have a more nuanced view than the "Microsoft-philes".
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by yorugua ( 697900 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:17AM (#23298806)

    Also shockingly, if they are continually fed lies without anybody disagreeing, this affects what they feel suits their needs best.
    "There won't be anything we won't say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go." -Bill Gates
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @09:39AM (#23299838)
    Yeah sounds right. Someone at my company had an issue with Access. He called a few times, but since it was a hobby project and not something for the company, he was asked to pay for support. He paid his fee for them to look at it. All they did was take his money and respond "Oh, yes, we know about that issue. No, we didn't list it on the website as a bug because technically it's not a bug. It won't be in the new version of Access, but won't change it in this version. Thanks for calling." He was a bit upset.
  • Re:correction.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:06AM (#23300154) Homepage Journal

    NOT NOT is null. NOT NOT Var is Var. :. NOT NOT True == True is true.

    In some particular programming language, perhaps.

    More generally, however, the GPP is correct.

    In first order predicate calculus, and also in propositional calculi, and at least half a dozen other logical formalisms, a negated negation is an assertion. It's called 'principium tertii exclusi' [wikipedia.org] and is present in most western logics (although, interestingly, not in many classical bhuddist logics).

  • Re:who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mopower70 ( 250015 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:12AM (#23300198) Homepage
    This is an amazingly poor rebuttal. McDonald's ubiquity demonstrates that for the market it's targeting, it is indeed, the best restaurant. It makes no pretense of being a fine dining establishment. People have a choice and people make that choice every time they visit McDonald's. People go to McDonald's instead of, say, Wendy's, Taco Bell, or for that matter Charlie Trotter's. It's not like they don't know what they're getting into - they know EXACTLY what to expect from McDonald's and are probably pretty familiar with what they'd get from those other restaurants.

    There are reasons for Microsoft's ubiquity. And after spending a week trying to talk a non-Unix co-worker through getting wireless and USB working on his Ubuntu desktop, it's pretty clear to me what those reasons are.
  • by Aram Fingal ( 576822 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:31AM (#23300434)
    You didn't RTFA, did you? The whole point is that Microsoft is promising a comparison of Windows vs. Linux and then pointing to studies which don't do that. One example study was only comparing a new version of Windows against an older version of Windows (typical Microsoft marketing). The other study was about a replacement of a network environment, which was mostly Windows but had a few Linux and Novell servers, with an all-Windows environment. They got some benefit from the conversion but that's no surprise because replaced very old versions of Windows with newer ones. For the Linux and Novell servers, they didn't even consider the possibility of upgrading them with newer versions of Linux. There was no bid from a Linux vendor to compare to.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:16PM (#23302444)
    QWERTY isn't designed to slow typists down. It's designed to avoid jamming. Two quite different things.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith