On the slugnet, a curiosity was exposed. The M$ URL brings you to a site that has three white papers/research reports and four case studies. What is particularly interesting are the case studies.
Let’s look at them. There are four case studies: PhillipCapital, Euro Group, Mozat and earth9. What these studies are trying to do is to put out the FUD that running “Linux Sendmail”/open source email solutions was causing grief and enormous costs and inefficiencies.
These documents are wonderfully written with so much handwaving and mixed up technologies to continue to mislead and confuse the reader. Here are some samples:
a) “… the 40% estimated savings was simply astounding”
b) “using Sendmail as a POP3 email system” 
c) “Even a simple function which Outlook users take for granted such as a sent items folder to retain email was also not available with Sendmail.”
d) “Linux is also a highly complex system to maintain. Previously, on average, a problem took between four to five hours to resolve. … with Mxxxxxxt, it takes less than half the time, about one to two hours to fix any problems.” 
e) “Linux Sendmail was crashing almost every week, which meant that our IT manager had to spend about 20% of his time troubleshooting the email system” 
f) “Frustration with Linux Sendmail was also high among our staff – we had reached a stage where they simply did not have any confidence that it was capable of delivering their emails properly” 
g) “… also had problems handling email volumes, and mass mailing using distribution lists was limited”
h) “200 users … needed five servers to support the email requirements …” 
i) “MOZAT found that its Linux-based solutions could not be deployed effectively for more than a few hundred users …” 
j) “… found that MySQL was unsuitable for this data-heavy application and was unable to handle complex data …”
I guess all of these words are written by the spinmeisters who I am sure, have put words into the mouths of these companies.
What this set of documents has prompted me to do is to want to determine exactly what they are saying and to hear from the companies themselves.
So, today, I set about trying to contact the persons named in these documents. It is probably instructive to note that none of these documents have *ANY* form of contact detail to get to the companies and individuals mentioned – i.e., no phone, fax, email nor URLs.
Googling for 3 of the 4 got me the contact details but Euro Group remains very elusive. I had to contact directory service to get a number and was given four numbers to call them on.
I started calling up the companies. Mozat was answered by some engineer-type saying “hello” (no company name, morning/afternoon etc) who told me that the CEO is not in. When I asked to be put to the sales folks, said that they are all out. Asked if I can get their cell#s, the answer was no. He wanted me to leave my name and number for them to call back. Hmm.
Next I called PhillipCapital and did get connected to the system engineer mentioned only to reach his vmail, which in turn was full. Hmm.
Called the Euro Group numbers. Three of the numbers just rang and the forth number got a answer. When I asked to be put to the person quoted in , I was told that the number I called is not where she is at. I asked for the right number and was told that they are not allowed to give out the person’s office number!!! Huh? I had to leave my name and office number for them to call me!
Having struck out with three, I decided not to call earth9. From what I have heard about them, they were essentially “bought out” by Mxxxxxxxt back in 2001 or so to move out of Linux and open source in return for Mxxxxxxxt being earth9’s customer (see earth9’s customer list on their website). I will still want to call them, if nothing to really hear from them.
It does look like Mxxxxxxxt will continue to put out lies and falsehoods in the name of “case studies”. When will they learn? Why *do* they do it? It boggles my mind to think that there are what would seem normal, intelligent and educated people doing deplorable and criminal acts like this. Yes, it is criminal. They will mislead the average CIO (who are, in general, below average as far as IT folks are concerned).
http://tinyurl.com/cydb4 – PhillipCapital document http://www.phillp.com.sg
http://tinyurl.com/9o52y – Euro Group Private Limited document
http://tinyurl.com/8384z – Mozat document http://www.mozat.com
http://tinyurl.com/dp96k – earth9 document http://www.earth9.com
Re: Fighting the FUD
Thanks for the reply. To answer you question “why bother?”, if these lies and falsehoods are not confronted and clarified, it will over time become perceived as the truth. Trust me, I am not the least frustrated by the marketing schemes of M$. It is actually interesting to watch how they try to twist things around and is becoming a spectator sport, much as seeing how the spam-meisters are developing their craft.
In a sense it is good that M$ spends real cash to do this rather than for Linux companies. I have had on numerous occasions use their spins to clarify and explain to potential customers and win their business.
Thanks for the suggestion of talking with the folks quoted in the documents over drinks. While it might make sense, I think as a total stranger to, it would not be something that they will say yes to. But then again, I did not try, so I will not know.