"Microsoft Corp. is touting the results of 'independent
analyses' in its latest effort to show corporate decision-makers
the merits of its Windows operating system vs. Linux, its biggest
"The studies were, in fact, performed by well-known, independent
research firms such as IDC, Giga Research and Meta Group. But the
reports themselves tell the rest of the story: They were conducted
'at the request of Microsoft,' 'commissioned by Microsoft' or
'prepared under contract from Microsoft.'
"Microsoft, in other words, paid for the studies to be done.
"Some analysts say that doesn't meet the definition of
'independent.' Microsoft says it does. But no matter the outcome of
the semantic debate, the situation is drawing new attention to the
company's controversial practice of funding and publicizing
research to support its competitive claims..."