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MS expert used Gates-inspired dodgy survey figures

Bill 'Enver Hoxha' Gates came up with the results, then they did the survey

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Some of the testimony of Microsoft witness Richard Schmalensee is based on research whose findings appear to have been determined in advance by Bill Gates. In an 'ambush' email produced by DoJ attorney David Boies yesterday, Schmalensee was confronted by a Gates email which said: "It would HELP ME IMMENSELY to have a survey showing that 90 percent of developers believe that putting the browser into the (operating system) makes sense." Oops. Schmalensee had obtained the data (which showed a somewhat less Hoxha-esque 85 per cent believed this) from Microsoft, but until yesterday had been unaware where Microsoft got the data. He protested that knowledge of this wouldn't have changed his testimony, and that it was a "random" survey conducted by an independent research firm. Up to a point, Lord Copper. The survey, which concluded that 85 per cent of software developers thought integration would help their company, and 83 per cent that it would help consumers, was based on a 350 word question (we hope to dig the text out later today) which listed the benefits of integration while skipping possible disadvantages. A memo from a Microsoft researcher at the time (February 1998) said that the survey was "not entirely unbiased," and shouldn't be referred to as an opinion poll. The text of the question, she said, should also be kept out of the hands of the press. And here's a funny thing, gentle readers. That poll was conducted by an outfit called Hart and Teeter. Last week Microsoft released the results of a survey showing that 76 per cent of US consumers thought Microsoft had been good for consumers and for the software business. And that poll was conducted by - Hart and Teeter. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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