Beware vendors bearing analyst reports

Few analyst reports will be more eagerly awaited this year than DH Brown's "investigation" into the relative costs of running Microsoft's Windows operating system compared to its open source rival Linux. Not least because although the report has only just been commissioned, the software giant seems to be convinced that its conclusions will be favourable to Windows.

In a leaked memo, Microsoft senior vice president Brian Valentine says that the report will be used in the first wave of a new attack on the open source operating system. "The DH Brown report will be customer ready and will help your customer understand just how competitive Microsoft is," Valentine says.

Quite how DH Brown will make the mathematics add up is another matter entirely, but analyst groups have long been subject to accusations that they are not as independent as they claim to be. Furthermore, the way in which DH Brown pitches its research at vendors will only fuel CIO scepticism.

For example, it offers a number of analysis services aimed specifically at vendors under its ‘Competing to Win' package. "The format of Competing to Win research has been refined and perfected through years of actual field experience and reflects the needs of the individual on the street selling your products," reads DH Brown's hard-sell.

Particular services include Claim/Response, which "outlines current claims being made by competitors regarding their products and suggests ways your sales force can counter each claim." Which is good news for under-hand vendors, but bad news for CIOs struggling to come to make the right purchasing decisions at a time of squeezed budgets.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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