See Full Story
I know a lot of you will be spending time with your families and, if you are like me, you may be looking for some things to talk about that aren't religion or politics but just as likely to result in a heated holiday "discussion." Since the iPod, Apple's valuation has shot up like a rocket, while Microsoft's stock hasn't moved that much. You can see why Microsoft might want to emulate Apple, so one discussion could be on that dynamic. As for Apple -- after last week's column, I heard from a couple of people who maintained that an independent study was in error.
"since the iPod, Apple's valuation has shot up like a rocket, while Microsoft's stock hasn't moved that much."
Might be worthwhile to compare market caps before your 'apples-apples' comparison of changes in valuation. Apple's mkt cap is ~$69BN, Microsoft's is nearly $300BN. Prior to ipod, Apples market cap was closer to $20BN. At nearly 15x the value, I'd say Microsoft will never be as volatile as Apple, and emulating volatility probably isn't something Microsoft is after anyway.
Using screen names, pen names, nick names, (nom de guerre et al) does not make things inaccurate or even "shady". Its a long established practice that predates the internet by one or two millenia (no sarcasm). Just like using your real name would make anything you or I say any more accurate, people have been wrong since before there were others that cared if someone was right or wrong.
Of course Open Source is open, for example every line of code in the Linux kernel can be traced back to it's original contributor, and always can be. In addition anyone, you, me, great aunt Fanny, can download an inspect every line of that code.
The fact that some people choose not to reveal their actual name and instead post under their nick does not mean that they are unknown, and because the software in open Source is freely available for inspection, anyone at any time can verify anything said about open source software.
On the other hand we have no way of knowing anything about proprietary (closed source) software, even if we know all about the qualifications of the person speaking. For all we know they are merely supplying us with marketing copy.
Speaking on behalf of comScore, I must take issue with the insinuation made in your article that comScore's studies are somehow "suspect" when they're funded by a vendor. I can assure you that whether funded by a client or not, we objectively report what our data are saying. To suggest otherwise is incorrect and irresponsible.
I also want to point out that our study of iTunes sales trends was NOT -- as you state -- funded by any client. It was, rather, an analysis we conducted "on our nickel" using the comScore database (which, with 1 million people, is about 100 times the size of the sample Forrester used). I would further point out that the sales growth rate we reported for iTunes(up 84% in 2006 versus the seasonally equivalent year ago period)has been corroborated by independent reports from Piper Jaffrey (using Apple data) and NPD. Additionally, both Nielsen SoundScan and the RIAA have published data showing that total music downloads are up about 70% this year. Only Forrester is claiming that iTunes sales are down -- which Apple itself has strongly denied to be the case. How much more evidence does one need before concluding that something seems amiss with the Forrester report?