Friday, February 02, 2007

Buying Opinions

If there was any doubt in people's minds about how "analyst reports" are generated, this one should pretty much put the nail in the coffin. The article details some of the relationship between Microsoft and IDC, when Microsoft was struggling to come up with a plausible argument on how Windows costs less than a free operating system.

To be fair to the analysts, they did have a bit of trouble finding someone to write the study:
In a different Nov. 3, 2002, message, Houston said that the company had been unable to convince any other major research company to do the TCO study, and specifically mentioned Gartner as one that turned down Microsoft's request.
This may not be researcher integrity, however, so much as having a good sense on which way the wind is blowing:
"We approached Gartner about doing this study and they declined," said Houston. "They said it was because they didn't know that their model for TCO would work well with Linux. I privately wonder if they want to take on this debate."

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