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LinuxInsider: Getting the Facts About Windows and Linux

Feb 07, 2004, 07:00 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Murphy)

"If you read a report sponsored by the Flat Earth Society in which an independent research organization found the world to be flat, would you believe it? I'd guess not, but any reputable research organization hired to survey the society's membership on the question would have to come to that conclusion--and I don't think you could call the result dishonest.

"I found a whole bunch of examples just like this the other day when I followed up on a Microsoft ad urging me to 'get the facts' on the relative cost performance of Linux versus Windows. Not all of those reports, available on Microsoft's Get the Facts site, are based on surveys, but they all illustrate the magical power of money and emotional commitment to prove all kinds of otherwise counter-intuitive things.

"What's interesting about these reports isn't that they're intended to deceive, but that the deception is carried out by carefully selecting, slanting and wordsmithing bits of truth to the point that you can rant about omissions and unfairness but not demonstrate a pattern of deliberate lies..."

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