Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Linux Business Businesses Operating Systems Software Windows

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Continuing War Against Microsoft's "Facts" Campaign

Comments Filter:
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:51AM (#23298086) Homepage

    people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.

    You are right, but the keyword is "feel"..

    If I spend a million dollars in publicity where I suggest product X is, not only, superior to product Y, but also that everybody is going for product 'X'.

    It would be normal for you to "feel" that product 'X' suits you best, even though it doesn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:52AM (#23298092)
    As someone who lived and studied in Uppsala and has worked in several places in the public sector in Sweden, I can tell you that there are LOTS of Pointy Haired Bosses and sysadmins theres who are unabashedly Microsoft-philes.

    The bosses because they all they know how to use is MS Office and they demand Outlook integration so they can book meetings and keep tabs on employees. Sysadmins because they are often self-taught (from magazines such as Datormagazin [datormagazin.se] and they feel threatened whenever someone suggests using something other than Windows.

    Sadly many Swedish universites are in the process of switching to AD.
  • Pot? Kettle? Black? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:52AM (#23298098) Homepage Journal
    "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.

    Not defending Microsoft, but decrying them using the same tactics you are admonishing them for using probably won't win you any followers that weren't on your side to begin with.
  • by Lincolnshire Poacher ( 1205798 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @04:56AM (#23298318)

    > How about just having a third party review that compares products

    That is difficult to achieve when, for example, Microsoft and Oracle EULAs prohibit releasing the results of benchmarking.

    In Microsoft's case, this prohibition originated with SQL Server and now encompasses any product which uses the .Net frameworks including, apparently, WMP 11.

    Fortunately I don't have any such concerns with the software I use, OpenBSD. Does that make me a shill?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:16AM (#23298394)

    Mod this up. The blog in the headline is just a bad fanboi expression.
    Perhaps you would care to comment on the greater than 90% discount that Uppsala received from MS a few years ago on MS Office to prevent it going Open Source in productivity software.
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:58AM (#23298492)
    ...as primarily a Linux user myself who works as a consultant in a telecoms company where most of our products are already running on Linux, can you please stop with this stupid idea that Linux is "at war" with Microsoft or Windows?

    Linux is an operating system, and a very good one at that, but please treat everyone else like adults who are capable of making their own minds up as to what OS they want to run. Fine, if they choose not to consider Linux then so be it, let it be their loss but let them get on with it.

    Unless you are fighting for open file standards (so Linux can interoperate on par with Windows) or pushing back on DRM, you will do more harm than good to Linux and the Open Source movement because you will appear as nothing more than a religious zealot.

    It's quite clear that recently, Microsoft is quite capable of putting its own foot in its mouth without your assistance.

    So I would strongly suggest your energies would be put to better use giving assistance to those who have just started to explore Linux - help them along with it, make their experience with it easier & firmly dissuade them from any thoughts that Linux people are not lunatic hippies but actually nice helpful people.

    Linux exists DESPITE Microsoft, not BECAUSE of Microsoft and it will still be here in years to come whether Microsoft is here or not.

  • Re:who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mig ( 15526 ) <jabali.feliz@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:24AM (#23298590) Homepage

    people will choose the software they feel suits their needs best. shockingly it's not always going to be linux.
    You are right, it can also be BSD.
  • I've posted about this before, but if you buy Windows you don't know what support you're going to get. When we installed our first Windows domain servers we bought two servers and enough client licenses for our user base, and it was good. Then we upgraded from NT 3.1 to NT 3.51 and we started getting users kicked out because we didn't have enough licenses. So we called Microsoft, and they told us to make some changes to our license settings, and we did that, and EVERYONE started getting kicked out. Nobody could log in to the domain. So we called Microsoft back and they said, oh no, we'd used up the three free support calls, now we had to get a support contract, they were sorry that it was their fault they'd made things worse but they couldn't do anything about that... policy was policy, even if our whole domain was broken...

    So I asked on Usenet, got the right answer, and everything was working fine the next week when someone more senior from Microsoft called VERY apologetically and saying they'd reset our calls. For all I know they're still waiting for me to make 'em... because since then I've gone for the free "you don't know what you're going to get" support FIRST and it's always come through.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by totally bogus dude ( 1040246 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:53AM (#23298950)

    I'm complaining about a lot of directed debugging that leads to nothing but more stalling. Even basic things like handling of times was broken when it was released so timer jobs wouldn't fire; even if content deployment actually worked reliably for us, that's a pretty significant problem. I'll also throw "completely useless error messages" into my list of complaints, while I'm ranting.

    Microsoft chose to sell us -- to aggressively sell us -- their complicated product, at a pretty high price compared to other content management systems, with the promise that it does all these wonderful things that'll save us time and money and enhance our workflows, and so on. For that kind of price, I'd expect things to just fucking work, and if we do have problems then I'd expect a decent level of support to be provided, not bought as an extra.

    So having bought the support as an extra, you're damned right I'm complaining about having to spend even more of my time debugging their software for them. For what we paid for it, I should be able to just set up a test farm with the same configuration and custom code as our production environment, give them RDP access, and let them debug the shit out of it. (Actually it would probably be better if we told them how we'd configured it, then they set up their own farm and tested our code in it.)

    Commercial software houses are always spouting the "you get what you pay for" line. It's nice and pithy, but it means nothing if they don't deliver on it. And my experience with most vendors says they don't.

  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:06AM (#23300150)
    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.

    How is this legal?

    I'm not just thowing a car analogy out there, but its the first thing that I thought of. Cars when they say they have XXX horsepower, these claims are within government guidelines on how to measure horsepower.

    The same is true for gas milage.

    Benchmarks are part of the decision making process, and they are useful within and between different products (eg, SQL Server 1998 vs SQL server 2001 vs Oracle 15).

    Yes, I know that benchmarks are not the end all be all, but they are a fairly standardized unit of measure that is used in many industries.

    I also just hate EULAs, especially ones that don't even stay the same within a single product.

  • by NotBornYesterday ( 1093817 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:43AM (#23300554) Journal

    In fact, I'd have to say that the truth of Windows being overall better, shows in market share alone...
    Market share != better.

    Also, market share numbers are often fudged by technology companies, especially Microsoft. I recall one particularly silly ppt slide MS reps used to trot out that showed NT marketshare in the mid-'90s, when Novell Netware was the dominant competitor to NT. I worked for a PC distributor at the time, and every so often a MS rep would come in to feed us some kool-aid. The slide in question showed a bar graph with 3 vertical bars. The tallest bar was NT shipments from a particular time frame. The next, slightly shorter bar was Novell Netware 4.x shipments from the same period, and the third bar was Novell Netware 3.x. The Microsoft dog-and-pony expert would point proudly at the graph, explaining that it showed Microsoft's market dominance, despite the fact that the aggregate Novell NW 3.x + 4.x totals were substantially greater than NT.

    I can also recall being told by management (same distributor) to ship at least 1 CAL with every order, for free if need be - whether it was ordered or not. Why? To artificially boost numbers of NT seats shipped.

    No matter what attempted "spin" you use, it still doesn't [...] unseat Windows as the most used [...] up to Enterprise Class/Mission Critical systems...
    I won't dispute the numbers in the home/desktop/small-to-mid server arenas (although, like I said, numbers aren't everything). I call BS on the enterprise/mission-critical stuff, though. Windows is still trying to make inroads into the mainframe/high end UNIX world. I'd argue that through the efforts of IBM and others, Linux can run better on higher-end gear than Windows.

    I'm not saying you can't like MS products for whatever reason you see fit. But this isn't high school anymore. Popularity isn't everything.
  • by blueZ3 ( 744446 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:43AM (#23300570) Homepage
    and he wants credit for his personally-paid chroniclers. Heck, Hammurabi called too.

    Marketing is as old as mankind. I bet Grog was selling stone wheels out of his cave with FUD.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by number6x ( 626555 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @10:57AM (#23300740)

    'feel' might be the wrong word, however it is a good way to confuse 'best' product to market with the best product.

    The prouct that wins in a competitive open market is rarely ever the product a human would 'feel' was best. Often they would 'feel' it was an inferior product.

    As an example try to think of the best hamburger you ever ate. I know that this is a matter of opinion, but that's the judgment I want you to use. What was the hamburger you 'feel' was the best you ever ate? One that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. You're thinking of how you could plan a road trip right now so you can taste it again.

    I know all the vegans reading are calling me an insensitive clod right now, but stay with this...

    Was the hamburger you thought of a McDonald's brand plain hamburger? The plain regular McDonald's hamburger is clearly the market leader in hamburgers. It has complete market dominance and is the undisputed all time best seller in the market place. Billions and Billions served.

    The product that the market place chooses as 'best' is rarely what a human would think of as 'best'. Market winners are usually best described as 'adequate'. They get the job done, and usually not much more. However the best to market is also cheaper. a product that functions adequately and costs less usually grows to dominate its market. More expensive products that offer more functionality can usually still carve out their own niche in a market, but they will not dominate.

    Sony Beta was a superior product to VHS. It was also more expensive to license. VHS dominated the mass market, but Beta survives in the production studio where the extra cost is justified by the greater demands for sound and image quality.

    Ford's Model T was inferior to other cars produced during its day. The other cars were hand made affairs. They were faster more comfortable and more powerful. Many were status symbols. The Stanley brothers would refuse to make a car for you if they 'felt' you were the wrong type of person to be seen in one of their vehicles. Ford however was the first to use complete mass production techniques to build his vehicles. This resulted in drastically reduced prices. His Model T was adequate and cheaper. Mass produced cars grew to dominate their market.

    The IBM PC was about the worst PC you could purchase when it was introduced in the Early 1980's. It was under powered, had almost no software that would run on it, and was more expensive than almost anything else on the market (except for the Apple III and the Lisa). They would have been a tremendous flop if it weren't for IBM's existing corporate customers. An Apple II, a Commodore, an Amiga, even the TRS 80 had more software and was cheaper. Their market share was also larger than IBM's. IBM sales were almost exclusively made to corporate customers who used the pc's as terminals for existing mainframe computers. Think about it, a $2400, 640K, green screen dumb terminal. (nice keyboards though). But then came the clones. When the Bios was reversed engineered the market place was flooded with cheaper clones that ran that knockoff of CPM called MS-DOS. The cheaper, but adequate, clones gained dominance in their market. Just like the cheaper but adequate product always does.

    A human would rarely choose the market winner based on how they 'feel' about the product. The market winner will need to perform adequately and to be cheaper. More expensive products can easily survive by offering more functionality or quality for their extra price (think gourmet hamburgers, Mercedes cars or Macintosh computers). Bill Gates knows his history and He knows the market place, and that is why he fears Linux. He knows that it is more than adequate and that it is cheaper. He will lose market dominance unless he can raise the cost of Linux (patent and copyright law suits that force license fees on Linux) or redefine what it means to be adequate (get enough corporation's documentation in patent encumbered formats that force a new mea

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound