Wikipedia definition of FUD showcases IBM and Microsoft
I stumbled upon the wikipedia definition of FUD which happens to showcase IBM and Microsoft for their examples. It is worth reading the entry in its entirety, but here are two good exerpts. While IBM is given credit with the original exploitation, they appear to have abandoned the practice while Microsoft has perfected it:
The idea, of course, was to persuade buyers to go with safe IBM gear rather than with competitors’ equipment. This implicit coercion was traditionally accomplished by promising that Good Things would happen to people who stuck with IBM, but Dark Shadows loomed over the future of competitors’ equipment or software. After 1991 the term has become generalized to refer to any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon.
“ Microsoft soon picked up the art of FUD from IBM, and throughout the 80’s used FUD as a primary marketing tool, much as IBM had in the previous decade. They ended up out FUD-ding IBM themselves during the OS2 vs Win3.1 years. ”
The leaked internal Microsoft “Halloween documents” stated “OSS [Open Source Software] is long-term credible… [therefore] FUD tactics cannot be used to combat it.” Open source software, and the GNU/Linux community in particular, are widely perceived as frequent targets of Microsoft FUD:
- Statements about the “viral nature” of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
- Statements that “…FOSS [Free and open source software] infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents,” before software patent law precedents were even established.
- Statements that Windows has lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than Linux, in Microsoft’s “Get-The-Facts” campaign. It turned out that they were comparing Linux on a very expensive IBM Mainframe to Windows on a PC.
- Statements that “If an open source software solution breaks, who’s gonna fix it?”