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Microsoft

Microsoft Found Guilty of Misleading Advertising 608

gtoomey writes "The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints that Microsoft misled consumers by running advertisements claiming Linux is 10 times more expensive than Windows. The print advertisements used "independent research" to compare the cost of Linux on an expensive mainframe to Windows on a PC."
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Microsoft Found Guilty of Misleading Advertising

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  • Marketing slime... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kmmatthews ( 779425 ) * <krism@mailsnare.net> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:17AM (#10066593) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    The advert appeared in an IT magazine and was headed: "Weighing the cost of Linux vs Windows? Let's review the facts". The ad contained a graph comparing the cost in US dollars between a Linux images running on two z900 mainframe CPUs and a Windows Server 2003 image running two 900MHz Intel Xeons chips.

    Hmm, who wants to help me do some "independent research" of our own? We could compare Linux running [slashdot.org] on a WRT54G [google.com] versus the cost of, say, a dual CPU P4 XEON system with 4 gbs RAM, SCSI array, redundant everything, and dual 19" LCD monitors.

    Lesse, that makes linux roughly 100 times cheaper (70$ vs. 7000$). Didn't I also see this ad on slashdot and in Linux Journal?

    Not intended to be a flamebait, it's not just a Microsoft problem - all marketing people are evil. Perhaps we should enact the death penalty for marketing droids?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:20AM (#10066631)
      " all marketing people are evil. Perhaps we should enact the death penalty for marketing droids?"

      Douglas Adams had it right. I have my rifle ready for when the revolution comes.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:26AM (#10066672)
        Marketing Dept.
        Microsoft UK
        Reading

        Dear Microsoft,

        Go stick your head in a pig.

        Signed your chums,
        The Advertising Standards Authority.
      • by Halthar ( 669785 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @10:07AM (#10067593)
        "By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they'll take root. I don't know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously. You're the ruiner of all things good. Seriously, no, this is not a joke. "There's gonna be a joke coming..." There's no fucking joke coming, you are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourselves, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show."

        ""You know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar, that's a big dollar, a lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research, huge market. He's doing a good thing." Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scumbags, quit putting a godamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!" ~ Bill Hicks
    • by pottymouth ( 61296 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:28AM (#10066684)
      "First, kill all the lawyers" .. then we can do the marketing dept and then, just for fun, lets go after the accountants. They're like fish in a barrel anyway.
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 )
      Hmm, who wants to help me do some "independent research" of our own? We could compare Linux running on a WRT54G

      Unfortunately it wouldn't do too well on the capabilities side of the equation. To be fair Microsoft does somewhat have a point as IBM, one of the foremost advocates of Linux, is pushing the virtual-Linux-on-a-mainframe concept, and a lot of people are buying. It seems that Microsoft was tageting that competitor rather than Linux-running-on-obsoleted-developer-PC.

      I didn't bother checking, but mo
      • by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:42AM (#10066792)
        They should have run the two operating systems on identical (PC) hardware. After all, the x86 platform is the original platform of Linux too, and probably the best supported. So this would be fair to both systems.
        Thus, the hardware costs would be a draw and the cost comparison would actually be about software.
      • by Epistax ( 544591 ) <epistax@gm a i l.com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:59AM (#10066922) Journal
        To be fair Microsoft does somewhat have a point as IBM, one of the foremost advocates of Linux, is pushing the virtual-Linux-on-a-mainframe concept, and a lot of people are buying. It seems that Microsoft was tageting that competitor rather than Linux-running-on-obsoleted-developer-PC.

        Right, and Microsoft clearly states this whenever they make any outrageous claim.
        ... no wait
        • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:56AM (#10067478) Journal
          They don't have to blatently state it in big bold letters. It is part of the underlying document that is attached to the *. It is up to the viewer to verify the research.
          This is not uncommon to say the least - companies do this all the time. Notice that every movie is given awesome reviews by someone, that almost every book is on some best seller list, and that every brand is the "best" brand out there.
          Marketers know what they are doing, and after they are done it goes through the legal department for checks and balances.
          Also, since words like "best", "most effective", etc are vague, they can and do utilize these statements. So when Microsoft says "We have the BEST OS on the market" they are not wrong, they just didn't state who thinks they are the "BEST", and they do not have to.
          To help give a real example, years ago Bayer got sued for slanderous advertising. They were accused of stating that other companies dilute their headache medicine with water in their advertisements. Bayer turned around and said - no we did not say that, we just said that we do not use water to dilute our headache medicine. - (paraphrase obviously). Their statement has a blatent hidden meaning, but it doesn't break the literal meaning.
          Its marketing - kill the marketers.
      • by rben ( 542324 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:10AM (#10067016) Homepage
        To be fair Microsoft does somewhat have a point as IBM, one of the foremost advocates of Linux, is pushing the virtual-Linux-on-a-mainframe concept, and a lot of people are buying. It seems that Microsoft was tageting that competitor rather than Linux-running-on-obsoleted-developer-PC.

        In fact, what IBM is pushing is running hundreds of virtual Linux machines on a single IBM mainframe. This substantially reduces the cost of maintaining a large Linux installation. What would have been fair would have been a comparison between an IBM mainframe running hundreds of virtual Linux servers and hundreds of PC's running Windows.

        Oh wait... That is the kind of comparison that IBM is using to sell such systems...

      • by Halo- ( 175936 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:12AM (#10067048)
        Unfortunately it wouldn't do too well on the capabilities side of the equation. To be fair Microsoft does somewhat have a point as IBM, one of the foremost advocates of Linux, is pushing the virtual-Linux-on-a-mainframe concept, and a lot of people are buying. It seems that Microsoft was tageting that competitor rather than Linux-running-on-obsoleted-developer-PC.

        Yeah, but how many virtual Linux machines can one z/OS mainframe run at once? (I beleive that even the mid-range boxes can run thousands without noticable impact) How many copies of Windows can you run simulatanously on a development PC? (I guess two or three if you go the VMWare route, but that drive cost up, and the performace would be the sux0r)

        So if I was say, a webhosting company which gave out "full root access accounts" (or their Windows equiv) I suspect the price difference between a z/OS mainframe running a thousand Linux LPARs vs. a room full of a thousand commodity PC's running Windows would be pretty hard to calculate. There are so many factors. For example:

        You've got one very expensive , but bulletproof box vs. 1000 cheap, but all-too-failable PCs.
        If the mainframe never croaks, you've saved money. But some fluke electrical event fries the mainframe, you're totally fsck'ed.
        I'm not even gonna try to guess at the difference in electrical and facilities costs because I don't know crap about the costs of either option, but I suspect they both would be interesting numbers. (1000 PC's is a lot of heat and electricity, but a z/OS prolly needs special power and the environment needs to be controlled as well...)
        • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:59AM (#10067513)
          But some fluke electrical event fries the mainframe, you're totally fsck'ed.
          1. If it's a mission critical system, you don't just buy one -- you buy two and (preferably) have them installed in geographically seperated areas.
          2. If one does buy the farm through some freak catastrophy, you're not the one who's fsck'ed -- the vendor and/or your insurance company is.
          If you rely on a multi-million dollar piece of equipment to run your business and don't have redundancy, insurance, and service contracts, you deserve whatever happens to you.
          • by pknoll ( 215959 )
            Tassach: Exactly, these rare events are what DR is for. You clearly understand enterprise computing.

            Halo: I'm guessing you haven't done much enterprise-level computing. That same "freak electrical event" could fry 1000's of PCs too (I assume it's something that blows past your PDU-supplied redundant power and line conditioning... right?? I mean, that could happen...)

            If that's the case, I'd rather restore -one- system at my DR site than 100, or 500, or whatever.

        • Let me introduce you to these new (as of uh.. well.. when was writing first invented?) concepts called "backups". And "insurance". And "service". How long would it actually take, in the case of catastrophic natural phenomenon, to replace your z900? How long would it take to replace your thousands of PCs?
        • Microsoft does have a directly competing product. They have Windows 2000/2003 Data Center Edition. It spawns off virtual machines. If MS wanted to do an apples to apples comparison, that's the box they need to test.

          TW
      • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:24AM (#10067173)
        I didn't bother checking, but most advertising boards are self-regulating groups that actually have zero real authority.

        The UK's ASA is a government sponsored body that has the power to levy fines and issue orders that specific advertisements not be used in future.
        • by ergo98 ( 9391 )
          The UK's ASA is a government sponsored body that has the power to levy fines and issue orders that specific advertisements not be used in future.

          Sigh. No, the ASA is an industry body whose sanctions basically amount to loudly saying that what you're doing is misleading, and by members possibly punishing a violator by refusing to do business with them. It's all clearly there on their own webpage.

          Who They Are [asa.org.uk]
          Sanctions [asa.org.uk]
    • by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:43AM (#10066796)

      Douglas Adams described the Vogons as "not being above bribery and corruption in the same way that the sea is not above the clouds" (something like that - I'm working from memory). For some odd reason that phrase popped into my head as I read the article.

      Another interesting bit:

      "...The results showed that IBM z900 mainframe running Linux is much less capable and vastly more expensive than Windows Server 2003 as a platform for server consolidation.*" The ASA said the asterisk linked to a footnote that said: "Results may vary outside the United States".

      I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean: is Linux less capable in Abu Dhabi than it is in the US? Are the results are reversed in the southern hemisphere? One might think that - if the study were conducted properly (big if) - the figures would remain proportional even after pricing for markets and conversion of currency (exchange rates).
    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:15AM (#10067079) Homepage Journal
      The original reason for the research was to counter IBM's claims that you could reduce your TCO more by converting to Linux on a mainframe than to Windows on PC farms.

      BOTH OF THEM WERE CORRECT.

      In the IBM case, they were looking at it from the point of view that you already had mainframes, and you wanted to make them cheaper to maintain and keep up with modern software trends. They were correct.

      In the Microsoft case, they were analyzing what it would take to convert over to mainframes or start from scratch. They were correct.

      Where MS went horribly, horribly wrong was when their marketing folks took this, perfectly reasonable, research and referenced it in ads to the general computing community without any indication that it was a comparison relevant only to a particular niche market!

      MS did some good research here, but the applied it unethically. Let's be clear on what we're coming down on them for!
    • by Mark_in_Brazil ( 537925 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:32AM (#10067247)
      all marketing people are evil. Perhaps we should enact the death penalty for marketing droids?
      Sigh...

      Marketing is not the same as advertising. In fact, the most important functions of marketing are not from the company to the customer, but the other way around. A good marketing department listens to the market or the customer, determines what the market or customer needs, and helps orient production within the company to produce products that meet some identified need.
      I am in the process of starting a company that will be heavily dependent on its marketing department. I expect the top marketing exec in the company (in Brazil, I think it's more appropriate to use the title of Director than VP) to be the second-most influential person in the company after the "big boss" (probably with the title of Director-President), who is writing this post. Some special things in our business model will allow us to do some marketing things in innovative ways. But you wanna know something? I think advertising might not end up under marketing. To me it seems that advertising, as communication from the company to the market/customer, belongs more with sales than with marketing.
      I think of it this way: Sales is responsible for communicating from the company to the market in order to sell the product or service, and Marketing is responsible for the communication in the other direction, from the market to the company.
      In any case, wherever advertising ends up falling in the company I'm starting, it certainly won't be the main activity for the marketing department.
      Marketing people are not all evil. Competent marketing people can help companies provide the products and services customers want or need. That's not only not evil, it's good!
      On the other hand, many advertising people are evil, and seek to mislead the customer. But a good marketing department can obviate the need for deceptive advertising, because a company with a good marketing department doesn't need to deceive the customer- it really is making what the customer wants or needs and simply needs to communicate that in its advertising.
      By the way, I guess I should mention that my background is technical - I have a PhD in physics and had a career doing technical things (and the technical part of sales) in IT companies. So I'm not a "marketing droid" defending his profession. I'm just a person who has studied some marketing on his own time and understood how a well-run marketing department can benefit not just a company, but also that company's customers.

      --Mark
  • by stecoop ( 759508 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:18AM (#10066606) Journal
    Are you surprised that statistics can be bought and bartered? Everyone knows that the person paying for the data can make it show whatever they want.
    • by I confirm I'm not a ( 720413 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:33AM (#10066726) Journal

      Are you surprised that statistics can be bought and bartered?

      No, we're surprised that a government agency saw through the bullshit and has done something about it.

      Incidentally, the ASA is one of Britain's better agencies. It seems to have - some - real power, and doesn't seem to abuse it. Another poster has already mentioned Apple's tussles with the ASA (re: 64bit CPUs, IIRC) and other corporations have also been shouted down by the ASA. I'm sure they've made some bad calls in the past, but I'd be hard-pressed to recall any.

      • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:53AM (#10066873) Homepage Journal
        Incidentally, the ASA is one of Britain's better agencies. It seems to have - some - real power, and doesn't seem to abuse it.

        The ASA is the industries own self-regulating group, and its "real power" is basically a loud voice. Self-regulating groups are usually setup with the intent of keeping the government out by implying that the industry needs no external control.

        http://www.asa.org.uk/index.asp [asa.org.uk]

    • the Bikini thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abundantes ( 780802 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:00AM (#10066928) Homepage
      As my old math prof said:

      Statistics are like a Bikini: showing interesting details but hiding the important stuff.
    • Everyone knows that the person paying for the data can make it show whatever they want.

      Oddly enough, only 14% of people know this.

      Yaz.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:18AM (#10066610)
    What's stopping your guys complaining to your government agencies?
  • by Lostie ( 772712 ) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:19AM (#10066614)
    It's interesting that the ASA slapped Microsoft on the wrists for running the comparison on both different HARDWARE and software.
    They should have also enquired into this "independent research" - Microsoft has a history of funding "independant researchers" itself, which coincidentally always come out in favour for Microsoft.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:19AM (#10066620)
    Clearly, when you compare the operating cost of a mainframe to the operating cost of a PC, it doesn't matter what OS you put on either system, the mainframe is going to cost more to own.

    The research may have been conducted indepenently and fairly, but the conclusion it came to should have surprised nobody because the test they were running didn't put the two operating systems on a level playing field in the first place.

    Try running both OSes on identical hardware and then see what kind of results you get...
  • Link to adjudication (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:20AM (#10066630)
    Here's a link to the adjudication [asa.org.uk] at the Advertising Standards Authority.

    This is the same agency that has nailed Apple [asa.org.uk] to the wall several times in the past.
    • I don't see how you can claim they "nailed" Apple several times when a) there's only one case and b) two out of three of the complaints were rejected: The G5 was the world's first 64 bit personal computer and the first to break the 4GB memory limit.

  • nonsense (Score:5, Funny)

    by kg_o.O ( 802342 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:20AM (#10066633)
    Linux is as cheap as Windows. Windows is as cheap as Linux. They both cost ~one CD-R.
  • No real surprises (Score:5, Interesting)

    by farnz ( 625056 ) <slashdot@POLLOCK ... uk minus painter> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:21AM (#10066636) Homepage Journal
    Having seen the advert, I'm not surprised they got told off; the gist of it was that Linux had to be worse than Windows, since Windows on a dual Xeon was as fast as Linux on an S/390 mainframe, but at 1/10th the cost.

    If you didn't read the website the advert pointed you at very carefully, you would be led to believe that Linux needed much more expensive hardware than Windows to even match capabilities; in fact, the study made no such claims.

    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:24AM (#10066660)
      What the study results really show is that for a typical usage patern, the IBM Mainframe product running Linux is a complete waste of money because the typical user needs only a typical PC worth of resources on their server. The fact that the two machines being compared ran different operating systems was more or less incidential.
      • Re:No real surprises (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spookymonster ( 238226 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:50AM (#10066852)
        ...the IBM Mainframe product running Linux is a complete waste of money because the typical user needs only a typical PC worth of resources on their server.

        The true benefit of Linux on the mainframe comes from server consolidation. Using an entire z900 mainframe to run just one Linux image at a time is a huge waste of resources. Running 16 images at the same time (native, so as not to incur a performance penalty from a VM) is far more efficient and cost effective.

        Using a $1M(USD) CPU for a desktop replacement is indeed a waste. Using it as a server-farm-in-a-box isn't.
  • Fark (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:22AM (#10066639)
    I think Slashdot needs an "Obvious" tag.
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:22AM (#10066641)
    Since it has been shown time after time (sorry Ms. Lauper) that EU != US, will MS get smacked here?
    Probably the only outcome would be a forced disclaimer like the fast talking legal-speak in car commercials: 'Whencomparedbetweendislikesystemsbypaidresearchco nsultants.realresultsmayvarybasedonuseandhardwarep urchases.notresponsibleforvirusesandothersoftwarem alfunctions.seeresellersfordetails'
    • The US has much more liberal standards for what we allow advertisers to get away with. To get in trouble here, your ad has to contain "false" information, over there, it's a much weaker standard of being "misleading"... which is to say the information in the ad can be all true, but if an average reader will use your information to reach a false conclusion you're still in trouble there but not here.

      Silly First Amendment coming back to bite us when in the hands of a megacorp again... :)
  • Surprising (Score:5, Funny)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:22AM (#10066644)
    I'm surprised Microsoft didn't go ahead and factor in an SCO license to the "cost" of Linux.
  • by Biotech9 ( 704202 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:23AM (#10066649) Homepage
    MS compared server 2003 on dual 900 MHz Xeons to Linux on an IBM z900 mainframe.

    By my own similar method of comparison I can conclude Apples Mac OS X is 2000 times cheaper than MS server 2003*.

    * Mac OS X running on a dual G5 Xserve. MS sever 2003 running on a quad quantum cyberdine systems X-9000 with gold plated tri-lithium cooled case and diamond studded cup holder.
  • But don't kill.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by 9-bits.tk ( 751823 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:24AM (#10066654)
    The open-source marketing droids.

    If we had some of Microsoft's droids working for us, the open-source community in promoting open-source software, we may possibly have a big market share (as if we haven't got a growing one already).

    Fine, Linux may be expensive in the short-term, i.e. upgrading and replacing some incompatible hardware, training staff, etc. but as ESR says [opensource.org], pay-per-seat Microsoft licensing fees are forever.

    Just my two pence.

  • The Adjudication (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:24AM (#10066656)
    no karma required
    from http://www.asa.org.uk/ [asa.org.uk] [ironically running on IIS with .asp]
    -- - - - - -

    Microsoft Ltd

    Microsoft Campus
    Thames Valley Park
    Reading
    Berkshire
    RG6 1WG

    Date: 25th August 2004

    Media: Magazine

    Sector: Computers and telecommunications

    Agency: McCann Erickson

    Public Complaints From: Liverpool, Surrey, Wiltshire
    Complaint:
    Objections to a specialist magazine advertisement, for a computer operating system, that was headed "WEIGHING THE COST OF LINUX VS. WINDOWS? LET'S REVIEW THE FACTS." A graph compared the cost (US$) per Megabit per second of "One Linux image running on two z900 mainframe CPUs" with "One Windows Server 2003 image running on two 900 MHz Intel Xeon CPUs". Underneath it stated "Linux was found to be over 10 times more expensive than Windows? Serverâ 2003 in a recent study ⦠audited by leading independent research analyst META Group, measured costs of Linux running on IBM's z900 mainframe for Windows-comparable functions of file serving and Web serving. The results showed that IBM z900 mainframe running Linux is much less capable and vastly more expensive than Windows Server 2003 as a platform for server consolidation.* To get the full study and other third-party findings, visit Microsoft.com/uk/getthefacts." The asterisk linked to a footnote that stated "Results may vary outside the United States â¦". The complainants challenged whether the comparison was misleading, because the operating systems were run on different hardware.

    Codes Section: 3.1, 7.1, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3 (Ed 11)
    Adjudication:

    Complaints upheld
    The advertisers said they intended the advertisement to compare competing file-serving set-ups that met the same needs and were intended for the same purposes. They said they had prepared the advertisement in response to an advertising campaign by IBM in which Linux running on an IBM mainframe was tested for file serving and web serving. They said their advertisement was based on results from a benchmark study and the advertisement informed the public of the results from that study about the relative performance and cost of one Linux image running on IBM's z900 mainframe CPUs and Windows Server 2003 image running on two 900MHz Xeon CPUs. The advertisers said the benchmark study was a network load performance test that was neither hardware specific nor operating system specific; they said the fact that the hardware and operating systems were different was irrelevant. They pointed out that the client PC did not determine the server used and that the server workloads were the same and were functionally equivalent. The advertisers explained that each server was tested to deal with increasing numbers of functions from client PCs. They said they took measurements from the client PCs to assess how fast the server would respond. They asserted that the study was audited by Meta, an independent consultancy firm, who reported that the study was a fair comparison.

    The Authority noted the advertisers intended the advertisement to compare competing file serving set-ups that met the same needs and had the same function. It noted the study was audited and was a fair comparison of the operating systems on different hardware. The Authority considered, however, that because the advertisement stated " ⦠WEIGHING THE COST OF LINUX VS. WINDOWS ⦠Linux was found to be over 10 times more expensive than Windows ⦠" it implied the comparison was between Linux and Windows operating systems only, and not about the performance of operating systems on different hardware. It took expert advice. It understood that the study measured the cost of Linux, running on IBM's z900 mainframe, to a Windows Server 2003 image, running on 900 MHz Intel Xeon CPUs, and was therefore a comparison that demonstrated the price and performance between IBM zSeries hardware and Intel Xeon CPUs. It understood that the pri
  • by wtom ( 619054 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:32AM (#10066714)
    ...and thinking, how much more stupid can it be? I saw the ad in a publication aimed at IT professionals (e-week, I think). Now granted, I know a lot of CIOs and other IT executive types might see it, but at least with the magazine I saw it in, I would think the target base would have enough tech savvy to know that a mainframe is going to cost more to run than a dual-xeon system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:32AM (#10066717)
    In Windows 98 setup it said,"You simply plug in a USB device and your system automatically configures itself. You don't even have to restart your computer"
    I've plugged in USB devices that prompted for a reboot.

    Windows 98 setup also said that "Windows 98 is Year 2000 ready." But later Microsoft issued two patches to correct y2k problems in Windows 98.
  • by spookymonster ( 238226 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:38AM (#10066759)
    The real cost savings in running Linux on a zSeries mainframe comes from consolidating multiple server images under one box - either 16 servers running in native LPARs or 20+ under z/VM virtual machines.
  • Advertising. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:40AM (#10066777) Homepage
    I used to work in an advertising company. Oddly, the one that held the Microsoft account in 1995, when MS released Windows 95.
    At that time, there were a few 'jinks' planned for the release that were not, strictly speaking, legal.
    They knew that they'd get their wrists slapped, perhaps fined heavily.
    The company take on it? They knew they may get caught up for it, and slapped hard. But these jinks would get the 'message' across in a spectacular way.
    Nobody looked too hard at the slapdown and retractions, because they simply avoided the limelight. They had to look apologetic to the right people in private, and it was all forgotten.
    But people at large simply remembered the original advertising stunt.

    In this, it's the same thing again. They knew they'd be held up by the ASA, and torn down a strip, and forced to stop the advertisement.
    However, they also know that the tech-unsure IT Managers and CIOs and so on will probably see it, and start saying "See, this Linux thing isn't so cheap after all! Stay with MS".
    Advertising like that is meant to stay in the head along with the words 'survey' and masquerade as fact, so that in a future discussion that's on the subject, they won't say "I saw an advert that said Linux is more expensive than Windows", they'll say "I saw a SURVEY that showed how windows was cheaper to run than Linux".
    Damage already done. Although the lie has been caught it's already spread, masquerading as fact.
    They've earned their money, MS will pay any required fines (they've probably already been built into the pitch before it was released), and MS will be smiling all the way as the flung mud sticks, as it always does.
    • Re:Advertising. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Punishment should be to run advertisements of the same size and in the same magazines as the original ad to retract the claims. That way, it gets the same exposure as the original ad.

      Sounds fair to me.
  • advertising IS BAD ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rozz ( 766975 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:49AM (#10066841)
    advertising IS THE REAL EVIL ... PERIOD.
    advertisers calculate ~like this :

    a lot of people are too lazy to do their own reserch

    a lot of people are too dumb to do their own reserch

    about the remained ~5%, we don't care

    and the obvious conclusion - it don' matter what crap you tell them, make it sound nice and they'll buy

    as about stigmatising MS for this .. i don' wanna say they are the nicest company, but ANY big company that ever did advertising, had at least one similar campaign

    or think about this sample AFAIR, Carlsberg ran a spot saying "Carlsberg - probably the best beer in the world"
    think about the uproar after a "Windows - probably the best OS in the world"

    advertising is the real bad-guy here, not MS ... advertising takes away your freedom of choice by exploiting your lazyness or dumbness ... and they do it so good, most of people even enjoy it!

  • Americans (Score:4, Informative)

    by jb.hl.com ( 782137 ) <joeNO@SPAMjoe-baldwin.net> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:50AM (#10066853) Homepage Journal
    For all you Americans, this serves as an introduction. This here is what we call "regulation". It stops businesses being dicks by not bending over backwards to them at every opportunity. Our economy has not yet collapsed. Amazing, that.
  • Duh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by RLW ( 662014 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:52AM (#10066868)
    DDDDDDuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
    Finally we have proof that government does watch TV.
    Oh, right the Jackson thingy, well I guess now we have proof that the governemnt watches TV even when boobs are not on display.
  • by DrugCheese ( 266151 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:54AM (#10066883)
    Most government have heavy laws to try and help protect people from corporations. Yet if a person is brought in to court on so many charges in a time frame the court adds them all up hoping to get a better view of how the person is acting in (and hurting) the society. But giant corporations, they can get hauled to court constantly even over the same charge again and again and courts treat them all as seperate cases. Why not look at the big picture and see what these giants are doing to society and pass judgement trying to change something rather then trying to say something the corperations obviously aren't going to listen to?

  • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:01AM (#10066933)
    How do you know the marketing guy is lying?

    His lips are moving.

    (Or, in this case, his fingers are typing.;)

    • Marketing - selling the un-neccesary for an un-reasonable amount, to people that have no use for it.

      I almost got a marketing degree, then I figured out I wasn't qualified, I had a conscience!
  • by Halo- ( 175936 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:01AM (#10066937)
    The whole idea of generically computing TCO is fraught with problems. The "total cost" is going to greatly depend on what the platform is used for and by whom.

    I think you've got to look at common examples where the profit margin is thin, highly competitive, and tightly linked to actual operating overhead. If you an price web hosting, a Windows/IIS solution is more expensive than a Unix-based one. The cheapest hosts are always Unix-based, and ironically they tend to also be the most "reliable" (according to uptime....)

    I'm sure there are examples of where the TCO of Windows on the same hardware is cheaper than something Unix-based, but for most serious work, Unix still rules.

  • by shigelojoe ( 590080 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:01AM (#10066941)
    Hell, Microsoft was guilty of false advertising when they released Microsoft Works.
  • The Damage Is Done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rinkjustice ( 24156 ) <rinkjustice@NO_S ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:13AM (#10067052) Homepage Journal
    Now that Microsoft has been "found guilty" of misleading advertising, I wonder what their punishment will be? Life sentence at a hard labour camp? Confinement in a maximum security prison? Did the Gates family weep as the sentence was handed down?

    Seriously, the UK Advertising Standards Authority have no authority, and there are likely no repercussions for Microsoft. Many whom have read those false claims and erroneous statements (and especially the poor saps that bought into it) will likely never hear the truth. The lies have been perpetrated and spread. It's like the old man who climbs to the top of a mountain and releases a bag of feathers to a mighty gust of wind. Those feathers are like lies: they spread to the four corners of the earth and are impossible to retract.
  • by nwbvt ( 768631 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:15AM (#10067074)
    Man, its a good thing we don't have that here, or else what fun would political campaigns be?
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:17AM (#10067090) Homepage
    Then have someone invent it for you. Seems to be all the rage lately.

    Advertising has always played around the fringes of the truth, like system specs. But lately it's gone from stretching the truth to inventing it.

  • I complained to OSDN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mpcooke3 ( 306161 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:19AM (#10067108) Homepage
    When I saw these TCO ads running on slashdot I complained to OSDN. They didn't deny the ads were misleading but didn't seem to want to stop running them. Their argument basically revolved around the fact that slashdot users wouldn't take the ads seriously anyway.

    I stated at the time that I thought they would be in breach of UK advertising law.
  • by DVega ( 211997 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @10:03AM (#10067548)
    I've seen the same ad. running on Slashdot [slashdot.org] in the recent past
  • by ohad_l ( 683421 ) <lutzky.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @12:40PM (#10069484) Homepage
    Damn, that's either a real cheap mainframe, or Windows is a helluva lot more expensive than I remember it to be.

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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