Microsoft report prompts Forrester policy change

Posted by bink on October 4 2003, 7:29 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Forrester Research Inc. has changed its policy toward vendor-sponsored research following last month's publication of a controversial Microsoft Corp.-funded study that compared the cost of developing applications on Linux and Java to a Microsoft-based approach.The policy change was announced in a letter written by George Colony, the CEO of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company, and posted to the Forrester Web site late last week."We will no longer accept paid for, publicized product comparisons," Colony said in an interview. "The best example of that would be the Microsoft report."The Microsoft-funded study found that developing certain types of Web applications was 40 percent more expensive when Java and Linux were used rather than Microsoft software. The survey was widely seen as a blanket statement about the cost of ownership of the platforms, rather than a more qualified statement about their relative costs for running certain types of applications, according to Forrester analyst John Rymer, the author of the report."There was a huge outcry about the Microsoft study," said Rymer, who blamed the way the media covered the report for much of the criticism. "'Microsoft cheaper than Linux:' That was the basic headline. There were a dozen variations on that. Obviously, if you read the report, the conclusions in the report are much more qualified than that," he said.In addition to Microsoft having funded the study, critics also took exception to the small sample size (12 companies) that Forrester's results were based on, as well as the study's methodology. Continue