Questions Microsoft’s Need for a “Get the Facts” campaign?

Microsoft’s controversial program, “Get the Facts”, offers what they call third party white papers and research reports comparing Microsoft and Linux. But we wonder what they really offer? Already aware of a possible ownership bias with Gartner, any reports from them featured on Microsoft’s web site raises an eyebrow over here.
Now we get word of a three page report called “Costs and Benefits Still Favor Windows Over Linux Among Midsize Businesses” aimed at priorities of the typical midsize business CIO.
The report, written by Gartner Research Vice President Mika Yamamoto Krammer, opens with the Gartner prediction that Microsoft will remain the dominant server operating systems provider for midsize businesses through 2010 (0.8 probability).
We have also gotten word of a release today showing the findings of comparing two platforms: Windows Server System and Novell Inc.’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The study supposedly demonstrates evolving business requirements over an extended period of time.
Herbert Thompson of Security Innovations Inc performed the study, funded by Microsoft. Thompson reportedly indicates that neither the study nor its findings are final or conclusive. He states: “The sample, although too small to provide conclusive statistical comparisons, illustrates the methodology and begins to shed light on some key model differences between the platforms.”
Microsoft will put it up with other reports such as those comparing Linux running on an IBM mainframe to Windows Servers running on Intel platforms. We consider summaries of analyst studies an unreliable format for decision making because they do not provide enough information. Too many studies on the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Windows versus Linux have arrived at vastly different conclusions.

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