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Volume 2, Number 16 -- April 20, 2005

Skepticism of Microsoft-Sponsored Study Applauded

Feedback on "What Does Microsoft's Latest Windows-Versus-Linux Test Show?"

Alex, you do well to be skeptical of Microsoft's benchmarks.

Writing scripts to make the tape drive work? Normally you're unlucky if you have to manually choose a kernel module to run a tape drive. A strong odour of rat pervades all.

This sounds like another MindCraft fiasco, comparing Macks with Ladas by doing time trials and handling tests, then timing the drivers as they change a wheel or wash down their vehicles.

There's another obvious ploy here as Microsoft persist in choosing only the expensive and conservative RAHS3 to benchmark against, whereas in real life quite a number of $0 Linux distributions like Debian Testing or Mandrake (now Mandriva) Community will do a better, faster, easier job.

If you feel inclined to pay for something, put it directly into support, donate it - or offer a code bounty on a feature you'd like. Can you imagine Microsoft's reaction if you offered them five grand to add PDF exporting to MS Word by June? Yet some businesses save ten times that, each, on that one feature alone when they elect to use in place of or alongside Microsoft Office.

The big issue is control. Microsoft feel impressed to control the benchmarks to uselessness rather than playing on a level field, because that inward-directed control is an essential part of their core motivations. It means that they can never grant you or any other business the independence you automatically get from their opponents on the other bench. I haven't seen that valued or benchmarked yet. It's a sleeping giant - or was.

Thank you for taking the time to point out some of the un-publicised aspects of the study, and without assuming an adversorial position. It's an unusually calm and rational attitude in the trade press.


Thanks for writing in, Leon. We think it's important to provide critical analysis of studies, particularly when they're sponsored by one of the vendors featured in the study. Valuable insights into market trends can be gleaned from well-done studies, but all too often key elements of fact are glossed over or buried, or the studies parameters are so narrow as to make it practically impossible to assess the value of the study's results in the real world.


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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Shannon O'Donnell,
Timothy Prickett Morgan, Victor Rozek, Kevin Vandever, Hesh Wiener
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
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The Windows Observer


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Skepticism of Microsoft-sponsored Study Applauded

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