Via Tom Duff, this one is irritating enough that I lost sleep over it.

Image:Microsoft: "Presenting intelligent opportunities" based on flawed, irrelevant website polls
Microsoft has announced a new roadshow for partners: "TS2 -- Competitive Tools and Resources Event Series".  Why am I pissed?  Because the seminar copy says this:

Today's organizations that own Lotus Domino or Novell Netware have reached a "fork in the road" in the future of their collaboration platform. According to the Radicati Group, "Only 21% of the Lotus Domino customers surveyed are planning to deploy IBM Workplace."
Now it appears that I've not previously commented on this survey on the blog, though I did cover it in my "Boss Loves Microsoft: Where does that leave Lotus?" presentation.  Several bloggers, including Christopher Byrne, dissected it at the time it was announced, in May, 2005.  What's wrong with it?

- Only 32 respondents.  Notes/Domino has an installed customer base of over 61,000 organizations.  32/61,000 = Not exactly a representative sample.
- Survey participants were chosen from visitors to the analyst's website.  Not exactly a random sample.
- Anyone could fill out the survey -- there appears to have been no validation of who participated.
- Old.  The survey was conducted a year ago.  Things move fast in IT.
- "IBM Workplace" is a brand and product family, and it includes Lotus Notes!  So the thought is flawed at the outset.

So Microsoft is really citing results of a website poll, not a rigorous market study.  And even though this poll was so thoroughly debunked ten months ago, and the analyst firm cited has seen questions over methodology in the past, Microsoft continues to cite the poll without blinking.  How ethical is that?

It does show how good Microsoft is at staying "on message".  I've always been impressed by this.  Once they have a factoid, it just gets repeated and repeated and repeated.  Nobody questions it, they just use it.

Antony and the rest of us are working on a few things for the Lotus "Fighting FUD" blog.  I'll add this to the list.

Post a Comment