Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Interesting sponsor for a Linux news site

I was just recently sent a link to a news article on a Linux website. This website claims to be "Australia's Premier Linux News Source". I was quite surprised to find that Microsoft had somehow purchased some advertising space on this website, and were trying to advertise their "Get the facts" campaign. For anyone who doesn't know what "Get the facts" is about - essentially it's Microsoft trying to put forward case studies on companies that have chosen Microsoft Windows over Linux due to cost, ease, performance, and other factors. I haven't really spent too much time investigating "the facts" from Microsoft, so I won't be able to comment on their cases, but it is interesting to take "the fight" to the front-line and advertise the "Get the facts" message on a Linux news site. The article I was pointed to was: Intel quietly ships Pentium D with DRM, but it appears you can access the advertising from many different pages, including the site's home page. In case the web site has changed their advertising policy, I took a screen-shot of the article in my Mozilla browser:

Linuxworld scrrenshot with Microsoft advertising
Initially I was a little stunned at what the Linux news website had allowed as advertising. I thought that this would send mixed messages to prospective Linux users. Think about a new user coming to the site for some information, only to find that they can "Get the facts" and stick with Microsoft. But then again, if you think about it, Microsoft in a way, is sponsoring the spread of Linux. They pay for the website to be up and running, and thus allow people to find out about Linux. I just wonder if Novell or Red Hat would adopt a similar marketing tactic and advertise on Windows web sites.