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. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  2. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  3. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  4. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  5. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  6. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  7. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  9. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  10. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  11. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  12. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  13. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  14. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  15. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  16. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  17. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  18. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  19. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  20. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  21. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  22. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  23. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  24. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  25. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  26. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Staff Protests Today and Protested Last Week, Targeting Corruption in the Institution

    PO staff is demonstrating against abuse by the management of the EPO, today we well as in prior days



  28. Links 7/12/2014: New Linux Release, Marines and Prisoners on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  29. EPO Scandal: Benoît Battistelli's Arrogance Recognised by European Delegations

    Battistelli’s Nixon moment and the evasive nature of his approach towards external delegations that are troubled by his behaviour



  30. CBS Brushing Aside and Away Microsoft's History of Blackmail and Bribes Against Linux

    Putting in context some of the poor reporting (or whitewash) regarding Microsoft's bribe (disguised as "partnership") to Barnes & Noble


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