Well, friends, we've won the Alexis de Tocqueville FUD war.
It's official. In the face of a united community's repudiation of Ken Brown's "Samizdat" attack on Linus and Linux, Microsoft told the Wall St. Journal's reporter, Lee Gomes, the report wasn't helpful, leading Gomes to end his report, "Recent attacks on Linux come from dubious source", like this:
"With growing numbers of businesses turning to Linux, its pros and cons are fair game for debate. But cynically manufacturing confusion isn't debating. Even Microsoft didn't like the way this report turned out, though it indirectly helped subsidize it. A company spokesman called the study, 'an unhelpful distraction from what matters most -- providing the best technology for our customers.'"
That is the cherry on top that dooms the report to the junk bin. I doubt that it enhances a "think tank's" reputation to be called an "unhelpful" "dubious source".
Do you think they'll put that quotation up on their web site?
I wish to commend Microsoft for repudiating this "study", which they were at least indirectly responsible for. No. Really. There is no need to be cynical today, although I'm sure we can all admit to plenty of subsidiary reactions, including a definite reaction to claiming "the best technology". But this is a day to just rejoice and let a few things slide for now.
I have a further suggestion for Microsoft, since they followed my advice about repudiating Samizdat: learn to play nice with others, distance yourself from SCO, drop what we believe are your patent-pool attack plans on GNU/Linux, actually work on providing the best technology instead, and you may find your company has a future after all. It's the Information Age now, you know. The old ham-fisted, muscle techniques will have to go, because they don't work in broad daylight, and that is exactly where you are.
I'm only kidding about them following my advice -- I have no knowledge that they followed or even knew about my previous suggestion. We've had a huge upsurge in trolls since I began highlighting the AdTI story, so maybe they did, but that isn't proof positive. If I were AdTI, I'd put out a press release, but I'm not, so I'll acknowledge it's only suggestive. They could be AdTI operatives, or SCO's, after all. Still, it was good advice. And so is this. And by the way, Bill Claybrook agrees with me. Remember when Mr. Claybrook was an Aberdeen analyst? No more. Guess what he's doing now? He's president of New River Linux & Grid Computing. Yup. The handwriting is on the wall.
You can read Gomes' story on the Wall Street Journal [update: no more; but you can find most of it here], if you have a sub, on page B1 (or search for Gomes off the home page), or via Google, which directs you to the AP, which has picked up the story.
So, as weird as it feels, we can now add Microsoft to our list of those offering rebuttals to Samizdat.
Don't forget, SCO has another teleconference today, Tuesday, at 11 AM Eastern, to tell a drooling world all about SCO's new UNIX products businesses just can't wait to buy from the company that has shown a singular propensity to sue its own erstwhile customers and partners when funds get low. I'm sure there is a line forming all around the block. No doubt they'll write a long novel for Judge Kimball about how it is all Novell's fault. The truth is people don't much like doing business with serial litigators.