LinuxInsider: Getting the Facts About Windows and Linux

“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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