Feeds

MS browser stats based on dud data

Six million, plus or minus two million? Oh dear...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

MS on Trial Much of Microsoft's defence has relied on some data - the so-called MDC data set - that is now realised to be seriously duff. Microsoft's economics expert, Dean Richard Schmalensee, admitted that he might not currently be up to speed on statistics, and indeed he wasn't. Schmalensee reworked data that should have been presented with confidence levels at a certain probability, following criticism from the DoJ's economist witness Fisher about this. Schmalensee should not have said that "One reason we work with quarterly data, instead of monthly data, was to reduce margins of error and... to increase sample size", because aggregating data cannot decrease the error from invalid data. In fact the revised exhibit shows very well why Microsoft was reluctant to use confidence levels: in one graph, at the end of the study period the result is 6 million Netscape browsers, plus or minus around 2 million, at 95 per cent probability. This is meaningless, especially when the data is examined: the telephone questionnaire shows the fundamental design errors in the survey. It was disingenuous, and deliberately misleading, for Schmalensee to claim that "I used the MDC database because that's really the only available data that relates to how - that tells us how individuals got the browser." The data are incapable of showing anything useful, and Microsoft knew this. ® Complete Register Trial coverage

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.