EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.16.08

Has Microsoft Sent Its Former Employees to Conduct Anti-Google Studies?

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Burton Group deja vu

IT IS no secret that Microsoft manipulates figures and muscles analysts to produce so-called ‘studies’, which soon become Microsoft’s marketing material for being favourable to Microsoft (otherwise Microsoft calls it off, despite its own funding). They manufacture informational ammunition that seems independent and thus more credible. This got caught doing this before, so the hypothesis is well-substantiated.

Here is a new and familiar type of ‘study’. It is already cited by all those typical Microsoft fans and boosters, including the Seattle P-I (Microsoft blog).

A study examining the behavior of more than 2,000 Internet users over a six-month period shows that Microsoft Office did not lose any ground to the free Web-based Google Apps.

The study — conducted by ClickStream Technologies — is good news for Microsoft as it prepares to put a version of Office online, which will directly compete with Google’s offering.

How were these 2,000 users selected? Do they represent the global population? We have witnessed some messing about around population studies before.

The study above comes from some small and obscure company which is located in Asia. We did some searching on the Web and this ended up a very short trip. The ‘smoking gun’ was just a few clicks away.

They are not only attending Microsoft summits; look at who “ClickStream Technologies”are: [emphasis ours]

Cameron Turner
CEO and Cofounder

Combining an extensive background in product research, data analysis, program management, and software development, Cameron Turner co-founded ClickStream Technologies in 2003. He developed the patent-pending technologies for data collection deployed by ClickStream while earning an M.B.A. at Oxford University’s Said Business School after spending eight years at Microsoft. He speaks frequently at international conferences on software topics. While at Microsoft, he conducted global market research for five versions of Microsoft Office and also shipped several vertically focused products including a solution for Sarbanes Oxley compliance. Cameron earned a B.A. in Architecture from Dartmouth College and is an active member/speaker with various Bay Area tech groups: Churchill Club, SOFTECH, Young CEOs Club, The CIO Roundtable and BayCHI.

No conflict of interests here, eh? He is not the only former Softie there, either.

Kim Anderson
Senior Research Analyst

A research veteran, Kim brings over 12 years of business management and technology experience to ClickStream Technologies. Kim comes from Microsoft Corporation as a researcher and strategist for the Office product team in Redmond. Previously at Digeo, a Paul Allen start-up, she designed planning, marketing and product requirements for their set-top box and spin-off businesses. Kim graduated from Vanderbilt University with an M.B.A. and holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Saint Mary’s College.

What a splendid illustration of the dangers of having former Microsoft employees spread all over the place to potentially assist their former employer [1, 2, 3].

So, Microsoft will approach managers and present this study (never mind who conducted it and what interests were at play) to warn that Google is not catching on. How familiar a story. Classic.

It is very important to Microsoft now that Google is wooing — with great success in fact — some of Microsoft's biggest customers.

This is not the first situation where Microsoft is seen too close to a company that assaults Google Apps. The Burton Group, a known Microsoft ‘buddy’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24], produced an anti-Google Apps study that Microsoft soon referenced. This is how it might work.

Microsoft is not interested in ethics. The example above seems to be taken right out of the ‘handbook’ of Microsoft’s Guerrilla marketing (see the quote at the very bottom), which James Plamondon is said to be writing more extensive literature on these days (yes, he is still at it). In his presentation which he gave to other Microsoft employees he stressed that “Analysts sell out – that’s their business model.” In 2007 he added that “[the] presentation was such a hit with DRG’s management that I gave it in three subsequent internal training sessions at (roughly) six-month intervals. DRG’s management REQUIRED the attendance of all newly-hired evangelists at these presentations, and the attendance & participation of all other evangelists was recommended. The pace of hiring new evangelists then slowed, so it was not necessary to give such internal training sessions thereafter.”

He also added: “The point being that Microsoft recognized that my presentations on evangelism theory, strategy, and tactics — of which only one has been entered into the public record, the others still being massively confidential — were, in fact, the best embodiment of Microsoft’s evangelism “policy” that existed at the time. Else, they would have used some other materials and presenter for new-evangelist training, would they not?”

“Others [presentations are] still being massively confidential,” says James Plamondon. Considering the fact that the leaked document one speaks of “Jihad”, how bad can these other ones be? It’s too easy to be reminded of a remark from an unnamed government delegate, who compared Microsoft's behind-the-scenes affairs to "Scientology cult". How scary is that?

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft internal document [PDF]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    November 16, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Gravatar

    According to this page, their methodology is terrible:

    From May to November 2008, ClickStream Technologies recruited 2,400 U.S. internet users over the age of 18 to complete a survey and install ClickSight®, a patent-pending data collection tool which records click-level user behavior data across all browsers and applications. In addition, ClickSight® reports on dozens of data points relating to the user’s computer configuration. Over 6 months of click data (more than 350 million user actions) was collected by ClickSight® and segmented by each user’s self-reported survey responses that were collected at the time of recruitment, which included basic demographic information.

    So basically, the study tells you a lot about people who respond to spam and don’t mind installing spyware on their computers. It is no surprise that this select group of computer users also favor M$. The rest of the world is moving in a different direction.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Gravatar

    I presume it’s kind of like Alexa then, Windows only as well.

  3. Mandar said,

    November 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Although your doubts are valid in this regard and it is your opinion that employees “always” work in the best interest of their former employers could be considered borderline stupendous but no less farcical.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  2. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  3. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  4. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  5. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  6. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  7. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  8. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  9. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  10. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  11. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  13. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  14. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  15. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  16. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  17. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  18. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  19. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  20. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  21. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  22. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  24. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  25. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  26. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  27. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  29. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  30. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts