The Register: Linux Today cries foul over Windows MSNBC poll surge

“Strange goings on in an online operating system poll run by
Microsoft partner MSNBC have raised the ire of Linux Today, which
has questioned the strange way in which Win2k/ME surged into the
top slot on Saturday, with a surprise 50,000 votes in favour, or
thereabouts. As Kevin Reichard says in an email to MSNBC, “It
strains creduility that 50,000 votes were tallied SOLELY for
Microsoft 2000/ME on a Saturday morning.”

“Indeed. According to Reichard there had been around 30,000
votes in the poll in the previous two days, and although The
Register hadn’t been paying too close attention to it, we did check
it out on Thursday, and noted Linux was doing well. That in itself
isn’t surprising, as Linux Today had previously encouraged its
readers to vote in the poll.”

At the time of Linux Today’s first intervention Linux had
been trailing WinME, but the bush telegraph swiftly turned this
around. Which of course just goes to show how stupid and
unscientific these polls are, but they do seem to keep people
amused, and the initial boost to the Linux vote was at least
produced by real people (well, geeks then), while the reason for
the surge was verifiable, in the shape of Linux Today.