Microsoft sinks Get the Facts
Microsoft’s comparative advertising towards open software and the open code development model, so far embodied by the aggressive and low-impact Get The Facts site, gives way to the softer and more thoughtful tones of the Compare campaign.
The website of the Get The Facts operation, of which traces remain at Microsoft Canada, featured the newspaper The Higly Reliable Times, a starting point for exploring analyzes and case studies aimed at comparing Microsoft-branded products with the Free and Open Source alternatives present on the market. The analyzes pitted by research institutes regarding reliability, safety and costs published on Get The Facts have long been a source of very lively controversy.
Now relegated to a corner the bombastic gothic characters of the magazine, the Compare campaign offers support for the choice of products in a more polite way. Support provided by experts in the most disparate formats from webcasts to field trials, from back-and-forth buckets to more in-depth case studies, support that also comes from other consumers, whose opinions and experiences reports ZDNet UK, will find space on the site.
What is the motivation for Microsoft’s turning towards more staid tones? Many speculate in this regard, a novelty officially justified by the desire for multimedia expressed by users and the need to make room for dialogue between consumers. ArsTechnica and Betanews read in the Compare un campaign compromise reached between Microsoft and its Open Source partners, such as Novell, Linspire and Xandros, an argument supported by the fact that Microsoft’s residual aggression is mainly aimed at Red Hat, uncompromising in not wanting to enter into agreements with BigM.
Another reason for Microsoft’s more temperate tones, proposes Mary Jo Foley, a careful observer of Microsoft’s strategies, could lie in the still pending question of Shared Source licenses pending approval by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).
In essence, observes Scott Gilberson among others, Microsoft Compare is just a replica of Get The Facts stripped of the most flamboyant anti-Linux rhetoric, but equally biased, as is logical in the case of an advertising operation.