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Rick Moen Debunks Gartner Myths

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Linux 169

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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169 comments

When are we going to stop noticing distractions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608721)

Linux (GPL more correctly) is overtaking every type of computer faster than anything. Microsoft conspired to charge you to use your own PC. They have been planning it for years, because there are no new features to throw into the same 3 apps, and they are out of new solitaire games to add in. We are witnessing a beached whale flail around trying to get back to the water.

Re:Lighten up. Microsoft is good for the economy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608724)

The USA doesn't exactly do a whole lot of exporting of MS software in foreign countries, Linux (of Windows and Linux) is the more popular. Look at Germany, Sweden, Japan, and India for example - those countries run twice as many systems on Linux than NT (or any other flavor of Windows) MS products generally stay in the USA because: 1. costs too much 2. expensive stuff doesn't have as much meaning in other countries The USA focuses on large and expensive everything the person with the most expensive car is bettert han the guy next door with the Honda but whats so bad about the Honda? it gets ya from A to B and for sure has ebtter gas milage than the expensive sports car you don't need 12,000 horsepower to get you the 3 blocks ya have to go to get to the super market especially when ya can't ever use that much power anyway, not without getting a huge fine at least not to mention insurance on that sports car is outrageous In conclusion: Microsoft is good for Microsoft. Microsoft is not good for the world. Note: I'm not saying MS sucks. It is the best damn gaming environment there is (maybe someday Linux will be there but for now it's not). They make one of the best flight sims that I know of. The also have (had) a damn good office package. I just wish it didn't cost so damn much, I'm a college student and I can't afford that kind of price - even with the discount!

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608729)

You mean it's sad because you now have to look for a new line of work because you can't sell the bullshit you write? Are we supposed to take what Windows Users like yourself who can't format a floppy disk under DOS say seriously when it comes to Linux or anything else for that matter? Don't make us laugh at you....

Good job of not looking like a rabid zealot, C.Lee

Re:Gartner Group = Stupid People Trying To Ca$h in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608731)

The Gartner Group signed a multi-million dollar
a year deal with a state university to
provide CBT IT courses and various other IT
training related material. From word of
mouth - many of the IT people on campus thought
what Gartner Group provided was absolute crap. Their view of Linux doesn't surprise me at all,
Gartner Group knows nothing about computer
and internet technology. They are totally incapable of keeping up with advancements
in such technology.

Re:Lighten up. Microsoft is good for the economy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608734)

When I started this thread this morning I expected that the references to "Linix" and "environments" would tip savvy /.'s that I was jesting.

The great thing about Linux is that it removes the emphasis from the OS and puts it where it belongs: the applications.

No entity or individual (regardless of their size or position) can continue to get away with the kind of egregious immorality that MS has exhibited. The universe won't tolerate it. Microsoft deserves what's coming to them: by their actions they asked to be taken out.


Now I'm off to create an account here. Been lurking too long...

MS Self-promotion=BAD, Linux Self-promotion=GOOD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608736)

You know, I didn't see much "debunking" in the article, just a bunch of typical Linux Zealot whining and self-promotion. "OH! Microsoft is so bad! They're always promoting themselves and asking other companies to help! Jerks! I'm gonna cry now."

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.

Come on people, if you don't like someone else doing it, then you shouldn't either. I've seen many articles where Linux Zealots promote Linux, and try to make it seem objective or "independent". I have yet to see any objective criteria or test to prove Linux's uptime record, or stability, or speed or anything. These are just myths. Show me the PROOF. And make it independent.

Oh, but that never happens. Linux is just as bad as MS: No proof, no backing, and no objectivity. That's why Linux Zealots are hypocrites. You can't tell someone else not to do something, and turn around and do it yourself.

So, what I'd like to see, just for a change of pace, is someone who hates Linux debunking one of these anti-Linux articles. That would convince me that the anti-Linux article in question were crap. Otherwise, you can take your "debunking" and put it in the same place you quickly put your head after the Ziff-Davis labs benchmarks showed Linux sucked in comparison to WinNT. I didn't see much "debunking" after that, but before that people were pretty obnoxious. Even threatening.

I used to love the Linux community and project. Back when it was just a bunch of like minded people trying to make something cool. Now it's just a bunch of zealots trying to dominate the world and following some stupid dictator. I'd rather work with FreeBSD.

Re:sprinting exactly where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608737)

MS will fall over whether the gravy train passengers want it to or not... it's called "repositioning yourself to better reflect market trends". Sure, MS has a lot of money - what monopoly doesn't? That hasn't prevented them from failing or being taken down, though...

Holy Snickers I think I just dodged a bullet!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608738)

We're in the process of having our whole IS setup reviewed and one of the companies that bid was the Gartner group. And since all of our our file servers, mail, web and ftp are running on Linux boxes. And I've just finished moving our database server over to Oracle on Linux. I'm getting the distinct impression that I've just dodged a bullet [heck perhaps a bazooka round].

The higher up's decided not to go with Gartner due to the fact that they just seemed to want to do a cursory walk through and drop off a stack of boiler plate reports [and collect a sizeable chunk o cash].

I wonder how others who have a large Linux presence have faired going through one of these reviews. What resourced did they use to justify Linux. Not like you need to. I'm just going to let them uptime on all the servers. Most of them are in the 90+ day range.

A.C. [for good reason]

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608740)

It actually tends to make the people doing the debunking look rabid and zealous. You can't even write a bad review of a linux distro because you will have tons of zealots picking it apart. It's really pretty damn sad.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608741)

You didn't read it did you?

It is not an article but a news group posting and it doesn't make any attempt to "debunk" specific claims from a Journalist or from MS.

What does do is point out some readily observable facts which reasonably call into question the independance of Gartner's report from Microsoft.

BTW, I have agree with you concerning the majority of rebuttals out there. They serve about the same function as foam on a dog's jaw.

Re:Deja vu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608742)

It makes you wonder with these high-level screw-ups, what they are actually getting away with.

They must be able to get away with most of thier exploits. Nobody is so stupid as to think that lying and getting cought so often is a good idea unless they do get substantial benifits when they aren't cought. (I mean it; not sarcastic.)

Re:Yes and no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608743)

If the Net falls into Microsoft's hands, we have worse things to worry about. Even worse than if Linux or the Open Source movement as a whole went to hell in a handbasket.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608744)

"MS did not pay Gartner to trash Linux, they paid Gartner for the ability to post the Gartner report on Linux on their site." 2 + 2 != 4?????????????????????? Do you think that Garter doesn't actually *hope* to sell their studies?? Do you think they would have paid for it if it favoured linux?? Are you telling me that Garter doesn't have a bias to favour microsoft in order to sell the report??? Get real. Garter group is out to make money. The will write in reports what makes them money.

Linux can't handle bad memory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608752)

Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe Linus isn't god. Another Linux myth exploded!

Re:You know what? (0)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608754)

>It actually tends to make the people doing the debunking look rabid >and zealous. You can't even write a bad review of a linux distro >because you will have tons of zealots picking it apart. It's really >pretty damn sad.

You mean it's sad because you now have to look for a new line of work because you can't sell the bullshit you write? Are we supposed to take what Windows Users like yourself who can't format a floppy disk under DOS say seriously when it comes to Linux or anything else for that matter? Don't make us laugh at you....

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608755)

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.

The Gartosoft reports _are_ available (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608756)

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

Damage Control... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608757)

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.

Don't you see a conflict of interest?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608759)

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???????????????????

Lighten up. Microsoft is good for the economy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608760)

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...)

Re:My goodness. (1)

MassacrE (763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608764)

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")

Is it me or did I miss something here.... (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608766)

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.
^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~ ^~

Deja vu? (1)

moonboy (2512) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608768)

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

Exactly. (1)

J. FoxGlov (2910) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608769)

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

Re:My goodness. (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608770)

Silly customer, Taco Bell is owned by Pepsi.


As are Pizza Hut, KFC, and Frito Lay. Not sure who owns Pepsi.

Re:You know what? (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608771)

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.

Gartner is ALL fluff... (1)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608773)

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.

What ya talkin' 'bout Willis? (1)

Speed Racer (9074) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608776)

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?

Re:Can't anybody write HTML anymore? (1)

Speed Racer (9074) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608777)

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.

I've said this before... (1)

Yogurtu (11354) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608781)

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.

Re:Mythosoft (1)

loki7 (11496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608782)

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

The Godfather... (1)

ultra1 (12214) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608783)

... 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.

Re:wealth causes decline in credibility (1)

Mark Gordon (14545) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608786)

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. ;-)

Re:Can't anybody write HTML anymore? (1)

LeBleu (15782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608788)

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.

Re:Can't anybody write HTML anymore? (1)

LeBleu (15782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608789)

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.

Re:You know what? (1)

Fizgig (16368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608792)

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.

Re:My goodness. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608795)

> 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?

Re:You know what? (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608796)

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 did read it (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608798)

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."

Who owns Pepsi (1)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608800)

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).

;-)

Just goes to prove that MS has too much power (1)

soldack (48581) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608802)

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.

Re:It hasn't even begun yet... (1)

CJ Hooknose (51258) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608803)

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...

Why PHB's buy Gartner reports. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608804)

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

Re:The problem with branding ... (1)

sgml4kids (56151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608807)

This is a good idea. Would one of the Linux distributors be willing to fund this extremely useful marketing (and engineering) initiative?

On a related note, let's not forget people: What Microsoft says or does has nothing to do with Linux. Since our goals (software that doesn't suck vs making money and achieving world domination) are different, we are left in an interesting position:
  1. Linux is a competitive threat to Microsoft
  2. Microsoft is not a competitive threat to Linux


    1. This latest morsel of FUD demonstrates that Microsoft still doesn't realize that Linux and the Open Source movement have already succeeded at their stated goals. And in terms of competition, they don't realize that we've changed the rules of engagement.

      This is going to sound like a joke, but if you think about it (hint, hint, Mr Gates), it rings true:
      The worst thing Microsoft could do to us is start contributing to the open source movement.

Re:Mythosoft (1)

cdlu (65838) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608809)

Heh. Microsoft is grasping at straws, and the microserfs can't seem to be able to see through it. Any one here gotten windows to stay up more then a week more then once at the desktop? I used to get memory errors after 24 to 48 hours with 128M.
I measure my desktop uptime in months now though.

Re:Mythosoft (1)

cdlu (65838) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608810)

Yes, sorry, that's what I meant. Not bad memory, but out-of-memory errors.

sprinting exactly where? (1)

zorgon (66258) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608813)

Ummm, you forgot something: all of these consultants and media run on money -- lots of it -- M$ has it -- most of it -- and they will feel much pain if M$ takes it away. Just what are they supposed to do, when their whole business model relies on this sort of payoff? I'm reminded of a quotation from 101 Dalmatians: "The humans have tried everything: it's up to us dogs now." Well, it's up to us geeks now. There will be nothing but more Mindcraft and Gartner from the mainstream.
--

I see no debunking here (1)

johnwerneken (74428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608817)

I am skeptical of Gartner, especially how precise they claim to be in guestimating costs of big-corpoation software adoptions. For example I don't think windows 2k would cost as much to bring in as they say.

So I'm skeptical of their put-down of Linux, too.

But I didn't see ANY debunking here - merely inuendo that Microsoft wrote or suborned the report. Maybe they did, who cares.

The point should be, note the facts and conclusions that are wrong, and tell us the correct ones, and show us some evidence. That is debunking.

Re:Can't anybody write HTML anymore? (1)

JordanH (75307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608818)

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. If you're sending mail that tries to explain how to do something with HTML tags in this mode, it can be very confusing. Also, URLs can and do have embedded spaces and there's no good way to deal with that.

All in all, I think it's a bad thing.

The wwwthreads package [wwwthreads.org] has a system of markup tags that make things more convenient. You just enclose a link in ... and it makes a link based on the enclosed URL. You can also use HTML much like Slashdot does. I don't know if the free clone [freethreads.org] of wwwthreads supports this.

An HTML editor that had a mode to support only those tags that Slashdot supports would be nice.

Re:Amazing (1)

eoghann (76111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608819)

This idea rather misses the point the original poster was making
which is that the Gartner report is in fact not an outright
attack on Linux and the criticisims it makes are justifiable.

There seems to be a sort of seige mentality going on here. Every
criticisim is attacked regardless of merits.

FUD V x.x..... (1)

1%warren (78514) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608820)

What suprises me is that Microsoft have not been more active....

Watch the machine shift into top gear when Corel gets released

They must be %#!&* themselves.....

MS = MAFIA (1)

pfy (79082) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608821)

Is it just me, or does microsquish seem to be exhibiting mafia like tactics in their marketing schemes? BTW, has this guy even USED linux, or installed a major distro? My experiance with NT is that to get it installed with all the service packs, and a few applications such as Dev studio 6, and IE 4.x or better takes around 3+ hours at a minimum. My experience with red hat 6.0 was a 20~30 minute install, another 15 minutes and i was on the net. MS is way off on that one.

Re:Ye gods... _Very_ cute. (1)

witz (79173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608825)

MS didn't write the report, they wrote a press release summarizing it on the site. In order to read the ACTUAL Gartner report, which is NOT paid for by MS, you have to have a paid subscription with them. It isn't publicly available.
Maybe 1% of slashdot readers have actually seen the actual Gartner report.

Re:What ya talkin' 'bout Willis? (1)

grrlfox (80643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608826)

Haven't you ever run Windoze? Up, down, up, down.....it bounces between states.

That said, I've had uptimes of up to a month on this Pentium100/96 megs RAM running NT/SP4....of course, it probably helps that I use as little micros~1-ware as possible....

It hasn't even begun yet... (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608831)


If you think that Microsoft is playing rough right now, think again.

They haven't even started.

Remember all the anti-OS/2 hype and smearing from 1991 through to 1998? It'll happen all over again but this time it is for Linux. 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.

This Is The Smoking Gun, Kids (1)

NeverSayNever (91151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608832)

Man, I didn't realize that Windows 2K was in such bad shape. When Microsoft has to fabricate documents to prove NT is better, you know they are in trouble. There must be some numbers on Linux growth that have scared some MS executives.

Not only is this document probably written by Microsoft, I'd even venture a guess that this company has financial ties to Microsoft. This is something we Slashdotters should find out.

Re:Hiding Out in the Information Age (1)

wickline (93513) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608833)

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
Obviously you've never used Lotus Notes. Somehow IBM still has oodles of suckers buying and using this product, and faithfully upgrading to every new buggy version, all the while complaining. The angry customers are easily outshouted, and the IS departments are easily fooled... each time. I don't pretend to understand it myself. -matt

Re:Credibility of Analysis/Credulity of Readers (1)

TicTacTux (99149) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608835)

IMHO everyone consuming pre-digested information just for meetings or small talks at parties disqualifies him/herself. (Then they believe that 'internet' is a vertically challenged assistant and pat their shoulders for their french language knowledge)

Gartner et al anyway just feed them the stuff they'd like to hear so they can do their next quarter forecast without using brains or common sense. (when they plan to be on zero stock on 12/31 while their customers have zillions on not-yet-spent budget dollars available at exactly that time is a logical result)

Hmmm - I wonder if not only Gartner was bribed by M$ but also the IT decision-makers...? Imagine the headline: "Haywire Inc. CIO sacked $1M for switching from Novell to MS". That war may be dirtier than we'd imagined...

A bit more of Gartner's explanation ... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1608837)

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

Ye gods... _Very_ cute. (2)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608839)

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!

Re:I've said this before... (2)

broonie (5807) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608842)

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.

Re:The problem with branding ... (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608843)

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.

--

Why are we always so shocked... (2)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608845)

...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

wealth causes decline in credibility (2)

Mark Gordon (14545) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608846)

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.

Re:Linux can't handle bad memory? (2)

kinkie (15482) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608847)

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...

Byline at microsoft.com (2)

layne (15501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608848)

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.


Re:Amazing (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608850)

> 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?

Re:Deja vu? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608851)

> ... 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?

Re:I've said this before... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608852)

> 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?

Re:You know what? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608853)

> 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?

Re:You know what? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608854)

> 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?

Re:Lighten up. Microsoft is good for the economy. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608855)

>

The one in the easter egg?


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

Re:Lighten up. Microsoft is good for the economy. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608856)

> 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?

Before/after comparisons? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608857)

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?

Yes and no. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608858)

> 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?

Re:Amazing (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608859)

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.


You know what? (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608862)

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."

Re:MS Self-promotion=BAD, Linux Self-promotion=GOO (2)

NovaX (37364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608863)

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.

Re:Linux can't handle bad memory? (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608864)


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.

Re:wealth causes decline in credibility (2)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608865)

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.

There's a difference between "write" and "publish" (2)

Sponge (47399) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608866)

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

Re:You know what? (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608868)

"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?



We're badass because we say so. (2)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608870)

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

An Unintentional Respose to Gartner (2)

Shelled (81123) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608871)

From the most recent osOpinion

http://www.osopinion.com/Opinions/AaronFransen/A aronFransen1.html

Marketing seen as Warfare (2)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608872)

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?

Webbed fingers? (3)

DrSpoo (650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608873)

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!

Re:The problem with branding ... (3)

LeBleu (15782) | more than 14 years ago | (#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

Sure it can! (3)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#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?

Gartner Group = Corporate Whores (3)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#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,

From the newswire (3)

Zoltar (24850) | more than 14 years ago | (#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."

Re:Amazing (3)

sphere (27305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608879)

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

Hiding Out in the Information Age (4)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608881)

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.

----

I'm not sure I buy this (4)

Otter (3800) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608882)

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."

Mythosoft (4)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#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...

--

The problem with branding ... (4)

LL (20038) | more than 14 years ago | (#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

Amazing (4)

witz (79173) | more than 14 years ago | (#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.

Credibility of Analysis/Credulity of Readers (4)

Technik~ (87292) | more than 14 years ago | (#1608886)

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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