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Gates orders survey with Rigged Results? 59

Normally I don't post this sort of thing because it's major flamebait, but this one is just so funny so I'm gonna let it through. Jason Eric Pierce writes "The DOJ surprised Microsoft's computer "expert" by revealing that the survey he used as part of his testimony was actually ordered by Gates. Bill being the nice guy he is, he went ahead and specified what the results of the survey should be. " Read this one and laugh.
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Gates orders survey with Rigged Results?

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  • From Bill Gates and his countless PR people
  • Great, first Bill, and now Bill. It looks like the DOJ isn't taking any bull from MS's lawyers.

    Can Microsoft survive? Should we let it? :)
  • Microsoft didn't do anything illegal by requesting a poll and specifying the results. They were just stupid to call a witness who based his testimony on the results of the poll.
  • Posted by jonrx:

    ``It would HELP ME IMMENSELY to have a survey showing that 90 percent of developers believe that Jón is underpaid,'' wrote jonrx on on Feb. 14, 1998.

    hehe, of course!

  • Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

    Is Gates competing with CLinton fotr the
    "(Un)Slick Willy Award"

    While it was very bad of him to do this...
    it goes on every day. In is funny
    the US Gov would point to someone doing this...
    since they are the worst offenders!
    (However they do it with so called "Scientific

    ANyway....I hate Microsoft, I will never use their
    software again unless I am paid to (which I am
    so I am...but at home its linux all the way)

    I Hope that ALL that comes of this trial is to
    discredit the hell out of MicroShit and help
    deplete their resources. I do NOT wan tto see
    regulation of the industry...just discredit them
    and show int he open what rotten bastards they

    Then let Linux and Open Software do the rest.
  • Further down in the article, there was another survey mentioned which claimed that 76% claimed MS was good for consumers & the industry. I'd be curious to see who was polled. I believe that the general public is largely ignorant of the issues in the case in the first place.

    How many American's can even answer the question "What is an Operating System?" It's gonna be interesting to watch, anyway.
  • The word "Monopoly" has become MEANINGLESS. Either a company needs to have *ONE HUNDRED EXPLETIVE PERCENT* of the market share, or be the ONLY company providing a product in that area, or the term is MEANINGLESS. A Monopoly is not 90% of the market, because that proves that there are other products out there. It's not 95% of the market. It's either all or nothing...

    AT&T was a monopoly, but it didn't have 100% market share; there were competitors like MCI and GTE, who probably weren't very pleased to be permanently consigned to "niche" status by the near-omnipotence of The 800-Pound Octopus Known As Ma Bell. OS/2 wasn't designed to be a "niche" OS; it was supposed to be the successor to the ubiquitous DOS, no? It ended up a victim of IBM's cluelessness and Microsoft's predatory practices. But the fact that there are still passionate (or nostalgic) OS/2 users out there may be a clue that a superior OS got muscled out of a chance to really succeed in the MS-tainted marketplace.

    Windows 95-98-NT,2002.4, are all property of Microsoft. They own it, they can sell it at any damn price or any damn way that they want to. They don't HAVE to sell you what you want to buy. In return, you don't HAVE to buy what they want to sell...

    MS can do whatever they want, as long as it can't be construed to be an act of flexing their OS-monopoly muscle to extend their dominance to other spheres of activity. Like the browser market, for instance.

    I've got to go to class, I'll finish this rant later.

    There's probably better things to do on a Friday :)


  • So if you DON'T like the API or you feel like the API isn't open enough, DON'T PROGRAM FOR IT!

    And, sir, if you don't like this country's antitrust policy or you feel it is politically motivated, DON'T LIVE HERE!

    Meeting illogic with illogic,
  • by Daniel ( 1678 )
    When the richest man in the world says "It would be nice to have xyz." It will be taken by his underlings as if it were a direct order, whether Gates actually meant it that way or not.

    Reminds me of when thieves stole statues from some NY church. John Gotti said something like "That was not a very nice thing to do." The statues suddenly showed up again. :)

    What about Thomas a Becket?

  • Back in mid-November, a few people started reporting that they had gotten a phonecall from a pollster asking questions about the Microsoft court case. Apparently, the questions were obviously slanted such that you either had to appear to be pro-Microsoft or anti-capitalism. See "" for the comments.

    Yesterday on Pointcast I found an article titled "Majority of Americans Believe Microsoft is Good for U.S. Economy abd Has Benefited Customers." It's on the Companies channel, under MSFT. The article is a PRNewswire release which gives all of the questions asked in the phone survey, along with how many people gave each answer.

    I desperately want to give people the URL to this article... problem is, I can't find it anywhere on the web. It's not on Microsoft's web site, it's not on PRNewswire's web site, and I can't find a web site for the polling company (Hart and Teeter, who have run similar polls to show that Americans didn't want the government to block the Win 98 release and that Americans love Microsoft in general).

    If anyone can help me figure out why this press release shows up in Pointcast but not anywhere on the web, I would really like to know!

  • "It would HELP ME IMMENSELY if Bill Gates kissed my butt!"
  • In a textbook of mine last year, there were some examples of experiments in rigging surveys. Using a few differently worded versions of the same question (not nearly so grotesquely biased as the Gates survey) they got _completely_ different results. Survey participants are highly susceptible to even slightly suggestive versions of the same question . . . every research institution has courses in research methods that cover this stuff.
  • if Prof. Schalmansee will have any credibility left among his peers after this. Anyone at MIT who can tell us what the Ec dept. thinks of their duelling profs?
  • (oops... forgive if this is already up... hit return at the wrong time the first time)

    New slogan for the masses:

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics... and then there's Microsoft.

  • Surveys, Polls, Opinion Polls, etc., mean nothing, especially when the questions are worded such that you have to agree to something because you only see one side of the issue.

    I'm not surprised that Microsoft uses tactics like this, but it would be nice if more people noticed this type of manipulation. And it comes from the government, from other media sources.

    People lie with statistics all the time. Unfortunately, they only teach you how to really read into statistics in college. Sure, you can learn this yourself, but this is why I think college is important. There is a lack of critical thinking, and college helps foster that.

    Most people believe these surveys and use them to defend a poorly research opinion of theirs. It's unfortunate, but it happens all the time.

    What I'd like is for companies to reveal the survey questions, as well as the results, as well as the sample that they sent it to for all of their surveys. That might help foster some sort of fairness.


  • Amen. You can replicate this behavior with the following project:

    Call 100 random people in the town of
    Vandergrift, Pennsylvania (trust me,
    languid wills and torpid minds abound
    there) and ask these two questions.

    Then, you can try this question in big cities
    like Williston, South Dakota to compare results.

    Stupid Americans abound.

  • Only wanted to know since I replied to one of his flam- I mean, comments.
  • Of all the economics professors in the world, why, oh, why, did Microsoft had to get an MIT guy for their sycophancy?

    To make this all the more bitter, this guy has tenure.

  • This is precisely the tip of the iceberg that was talked about in the info I recieved from a Microsoft Employee...
    To Recap

    M$'s strategies are going to be close to the following. (from a source inside of M$)

    1.The closer to the Win2000 release the more FUD we should spread about open source.

    2.Spread FUD about how it is unstable, hard to use and is not in use in large numbers in corporate America.

    3.Spread the perception of ease-of use of Windows

    4.Infiltrate the newsgroups (SlashDot et. al) with inflammatory comments making more rift in the Linux camps and then spread more FUD on fragmented the so-called "Linux-Community" is.

    5.More than embrace & extend, we go after the companies that are known to use or embrace Linux and offer them large incentives to switch to Windows.

    6.Use the news sources and media outlets at our disposal to conduct mock tests against Linux and other competing operating systems, first by making windows lose to the competing OSs then after the debut of Windows-2000 conduct tests by "Independent Media Outlets" to let the world know how much our product has improved and outdone the competition. This "Impartial Validation" methods wins consumers over.

    7.Increase marketing pressures on current media partners and increase our financial stake in those companies.

    Microsoft is scared... hell they have a server there running Linux....

    The interesting thing that I see is that in Office2000 they have a new "advanced" feature that makes the curser disapear if it is not moved for about ten seconds..... it's called unclutter.rpm(or T.gz) folks...we've had it for several years... So many of the things touted by the clueless idiots (reporters) in the media are things we have had for years. No one hears about them because up until this week, there has never been a concerted marketing effort by a Linux group.... That changes this week....wish us luck! :-)


  • >The DOJ surprised Microsoft's computer "expert"
    >by revealing that the survey he used as part of
    >his testimony was actually ordered by Gates. Bill
    >being the nice guy he is, he went ahead and
    >specified what the results of the survey should be

    Sometimes polls can useful for showing things: you just have to look at the petty details that don't fit in.

    For example, in a poll done before a local election, the pollster knew the mayor was in trouble when one unknown candidate was the choice of 2% of the folks surveryed. Why? Cause the unknown happened to be the pollster's dog.

    Gates ordered^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hstrongly suggested that a poll be commissioned showing that 90% of the population thought Windows was the best operating system. Despite all of their efforts to spin the question, the best the posllsters could get was 87%

    What does this tell me? That if Microsoft were the last software company left in the world, 13% of the US population would be scouring garage sales & Goodwill for old TRS-80s, CPM machines & Apple ]['s before they would buy Microsoft.

    That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

  • by dgenr8 ( 9462 )

    After the way this bozo Schalmansee was ripped apart on the stand, I can't wait to see the rest of Microsoft's "defense."

    The whole thing will probably go so badly that they will be forced to have Gates testify. Now that will be really damaging to Microsoft. For a great laugh, read through his depositions as

  • > DoJ trying to strangle Microsofts innovations!

    Innovations?? Like what??? Having to reboot my NT machine at work every 10-15 min? Not being able to totaly rid myself of IE?
  • New Survey: 85% of MS Developers think that making the OS slower would be beneficial bc users are so stupid. ;-)
  • Hmm... between that article and a couple of the ones linked to it, I think we can conclude that Microsoft is attempting to use the "Clinton Defense".

    Gates: Lets make sure they define all the variables precisly so we can step around this on technicalities...
  • My statistics teacher told our class that there was a major change in the way statistics was taught about 15 years ago and that was why almost every survey taken in the '90s sucked eggs. I have no idea if he was making it up or what, but it could be right... look what happened when they took away phonics.
  • Don't get me wrong...I have respect for Microsoft and their technology. That's where my respect ends. The thing that bothers me about microsoft is the way they do business. They are too dependant on "the next version." I think a company that has the most popular operating system in the world should worry about customer services. If nothing else, it would've prevented this need for something new (check out how Linux is becomeing more popular). an interview with Barbra Walters, he simply said "its a tough business" in repsonse to everyone accuseing him of shady business. In is a though business...but take some lessons from the good guys. It can't hurt.
  • There was a great book in my High School Library around 1984 entitled "How to Lie With Statistics". I forget the author's name, but it was a great laymans intro to statistics and how they are often distorted.

    But your right, no really talks about this until stats class in college.

  • From what I remember from econ, a monopoly is not necessarily 100% of the market, but rather the ability to control the price on ones product, indicating a basic removal from the laws of supply and demand. Microsofts Windows family's price has remained stable for an extremely long time, and the variation in prices is usually no more than a dollar or two. Microsoft (at least with 95, I havent bothered looking recently) limitied the price range to within acouple dollars at all outlets through creative use of advertising promotions and subsidizations. Hence, it has effective control over the price of its products, indicating a monopoly. Granted, it is a weird monopoly. Wether you buy this definition of a monopoly is another matter, but I is one that is more accurate than pure 100% market share.
  • All this time, I've heard the industry lament that software piracy is the reason they have to raise their prices, and why we pay so much for software.

    Now all of a sudden I hear software piracy being used by Mikey$oft as a factor in keeping software prices down?????

    What's the deal here?
  • In the article, the busted economist claims that piracy makes the prices lower than they would have been otherwise. While I can sort of see his logic, I don't think I've ever heard anyone--especially an MIT economist--make that claim before.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"